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Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 3. (ed. Frank Moore), Doc. 34. attack on Santa Rosa Island. October 9, 1861. (search)
ricans and two ladies escaped from Pensacola, and gave us all the news of how they describe the terrible victory. We lay upon our arms every night. I have slept but very little this week. I don't feel well. I have got the diarrhea. We will want eight hundred uniforms. Your obedient servant, William Wilson, Colonel Commanding. Captain Norman's statement. The following account of the engagement was furnished by Captain Norman, of the Wilson Zouaves: On the morning of the 9th of October, at three o'clock, it being pitchy dark, the attack was made. On the evening previous to the fight the rebels landed five hundred men on the lower part of the island, and on the same evening two steamboats were noticed to leave Warrenton, which circumstances had the effect of putting the Zouaves a little on their guard. On the muster being called, but two hundred and fifteen of the Zouaves were reported ready for immediate action, several companies of the regiment being sent to Tortuga
e brig Maria into port and dispose of her cargo, which vessel fortunately escaped, though the Sumter cruised two days off the port for her. Much disappointment was felt on board the Powhatan at the non-capture of the Sumter. It was confidently anticipated that we should find her in Maranham, when her fate would have been sealed. We lost her only by three days; and had the ship been in a condition to run, or could she have made even seven knots an hour, we would have caught the Sumter and three or four days to spare. The sooner the Government takes steps to capture her the better; twenty vessels would not be too many to send after her. The moral effect of a Confederate privateer wandering over the ocean, (unmolested,) destroying our commerce, is very bad indeed. We must remedy it without delay. Having returned to the north, taking the track of China traders, and looking out carefully for vessels, we arrived in St. Thomas on the 9th of October. Respectfully yours, Q. E. D.
f the Harvey Birch: I, William Henry Nelson, of the city of New York, in the United States of America, Master Mariner, do solemnly, sincerely, and truly swear that I sailed from the said city of New York, on the 20th day of September last, as master of, and in, the ship Harvey Birch, of New York, a ship owned and registered in New York, in conformity with the laws of the United States, bound for the port of Havre de Grace, in France, with a cargo consisting of wheat. About the 9th day of October I arrived at Havre, and having discharged the cargo of my ship and ballasted her, I sailed in her again for the port of New York, on the 16th day of November, first having received the register, crew list, articles, and all papers belonging to the ship in proper form from the United States consul there. On the morning of Tuesday, the 19th instant, the ship then being in about lat. 49° 6′ N., long. 9° 52′ W., a steamer was made out bearing for the Harvey Birch, which, on getting neare<
command since the 16th of April, and during the whole of that time their force has averaged, so far as I can learn, from eight to ten times the number of mine. The position in which I have thus been placed has been sufficiently trying, and I have at three separate times intended to free myself from it by opening my batteries on them, but imperious circumstances, over which I had no control, has unexpectedly in each instance prevented. Affairs were in this state on the morning of the 9th of October, when the enemy, fifteen hundred strong, attacked by surprise a portion of my command on an intensely dark night. They were defeated and driven from the island with great loss by less than two hundred regulars and fifty volunteers — all the efficient force I had disposable for the purpose. An insult so gross to the flag of my country, could not by me be passed unnoticed, and I designed immediately to take appropriate notice of it; but, as I said before, circumstances over which I had n