Lieutenant Commander J. J. Cornwall did his duty zealously and efficiently. Acting Master Benjamin W. Loring, whom I recommend for promotion for gallant behavior under the fire of Fort Darling, served the guns admirably, as the result shows. His energy and coolness were every thing that could be wished. Executive officer Lieutenant Commander J. J. Cornwell informs me that on the berth deck the powder and shell divisions, under Acting Master C. C. Kingsbury, wore the aspect of exercise so completely, that no one would have thought the vessel was in action. The engine under the direction of Acting Assistant Engineer James George Young, always in beautiful order, was well worked. Mr. Young has, I hope, by his participation in this action, won the promotion for which, on account of his skill and valuable services, I have already recommended him. In a word, every man in the vessel did his duty. I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Report of Commander Downes.
Atlanta, captured by the Weehawken and Nahant yesterday morning in these waters: The Atlanta was first discovered at early dawn, about three miles distant, standing toward us, coming out from the Wilmington River, and rapidly approaching. At first she was mistaken for our usual visitor, a steamer that had reconnoitred us daily at about this hour; but a few moments sufficed to show us the true character of the vessel, and we instantly commenced weighing anchor and clearing ship for action. The Weehawken, slipping her cable, passed us standing out seaward. At about forty-five minutes past four A. M. cleared ship for action, and in a few moments, our anchor being weighed, we followed in her wake. At this time the Atlanta fired the first shot, which passed close to our pilot-house. The Weehawken having at this time turned, was approaching the enemy, who continued, however, to direct his fire upon us, though without effect. At five A. M. the Weehawken closed with the enemy, and opened fire on him with accuracy, this vessel approaching at the time with the intention of running him abroad before delivering fire; but at the fourth fire of the Weehawken the enemy struck, and hoisted the white flag, the firing ceasing after one more shot from the Weehawken, this vessel not having the satisfaction of expending one shot in reply to the enemy's fire, which had been directed exclusively at her. Lieutenant Commander Harmony proceeded on board the prize at half-past 5 A. M., taking possession and hoisting the American ensign. During the action two of the enemy's armed steamers were in sight up the river, crowded with people, apparently observing the progress of events, who steamed up the river when the result was attained. The behavior of officers and men was, as usual, every thing that could be desired. Acting Ensign Clarke, though quite sick, and under the doctor's charge, proceeded to his station at the first call, and remained there until the affair was decided. I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Report of Admiral Lee.
Newport's news, June 22, 168.Your telegram just received. Admiral Du Pont sent the Weehawken, Captain John Rodgers, and Nahant down to Warsaw Sound, to look out for the Atlanta. June seventeenth, at six A. M., the Atlanta came down, accompanied by two gunboats. The engagement was exclusively between the Weehawken and Atlanta. The latter mounted four of the Brooke rifles-two of seven-inch on the bow and stern pivots, and two of six-inch on each end. She could fight two of the former and one of the latter on a side. Rodgers engaged the rebel at close quarters. The first fifteen-inch shot, fired by himself, took off the top of the Atlanta's pilot-house and wounded two of her three pilots. Another fifteen-inch shot struck halfway up her roof, iron-plated, four inches thick, killing one and wounding seventeen men. Eleven shots were fired in all; five by the Weehawken and six by the Atlanta. The latter got aground and surrendered. The fight was short, the victory signal. The Weehawken sustained no injury of any sort. The Atlanta steers well, and made six knots against a head sea going to Port Royal. She was completely provided with instruments and stores for a regular cruise. She had a ram, a saw, and a torpedo on her bow. Ex-Lieutenant W. A. Webb commanded her. Her complement was one hundred and sixty-five souls. The Atlanta is said to have come down confident of capturing the monitors easily, and her consorts, filled with spectators, were prepared to tow them to Savannah. She will soon be ready for service under the flag of the Union.
Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy :
Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy :
S. P. Lee, Acting Rear-Admiral.
Navy Department, June 25, 1863.sir: Your despatch of the seventeenth instant, announcing the capture of the rebel iron-clad steamer Fingal, alias Atlanta, has been received. Although gallantly sustained by Commander John Downes, of the Nahant, the victory, owing to the brevity of the contest, was yours, and gives me unaffected pleasure to congratulate you upon the result. Every contest in which the iron-clads have been engaged against iron-clads has been