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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 10: naval engagement at South-West pass.--the Gulf blockading squadron in November, 1861. (search)
gs, schooners and large launches, filled with soldiers, was seen to be coming from the direction of Pensacola, and heading for the two ships lying outside of Santa Rosa Island. There were about twenty-five of these small vessels, but the number of troops was not known. This flotilla approached to within a mile and a half of the beach on Santa Rosa Island, and as they were either going to land there, or reinforce the insurrectionary army, it was time to stop their approach. The 11-inch gun on board the Powhatan was cast loose, and a shell fired, which burst directly over the middle of the flotilla. The consequence was a rapid retreat of the expedition te Confederates and the Government, it was broken on the arrival of the Powhatan--for she fired upon them the moment they attempted a water expedition towards Santa Rosa Island. All the claims for saving Fort Pickens from the enemy, put forward by anyone in favor of the Navy Department, are null and void. Capt. Meigs puts the