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[568] the river by a different route to prevent corn munication with the troops below. Acting-Ensign Balch and men were the first to reach the river, where, near the opposite bank, lay the steamer Scottish Chief, loaded with one hundred and fifty-six bales of cotton, and also the sloop Kate Dale, with eleven bales. He hailed some men moving about the steamer, and ordered his men to cover them with their rifles, gave them three minutes to lower their boat to come over after him, which they immediately did. Turning them out, and leaving them prisoners under a guard ashore, he took possession of the boat, taking six men with him, boarded the steamer, capturing all on board, and informing the Captain that he took possession in the name of the United States Government. When the rest of the party arrived, the vessel was ready for firing. The order having been given, he started a fire in her fore-hold. The sloop was served in the same way, and in a few minutes they both were a mass of flames. Ten minutes from the time of first seeing the vessels, the whole object of the expedition was accomplished, and the party started on their way back by a more direct route to the bay, making short halts for rest, and carrying some of their number who gave out on the road. One of the Tahoma's men became so exhausted that, by his own request, he was left behind, after being carried some miles through swamp and bushes. When within a mile of the shore, small squads of rebel troops were seen dodging about in the scrub ahead, at first in squads of five or six, then by eight, ten, fifteen, until when near the beach a sharp fire was opened on the advance scouts. The main body coining up scattered them in all directions, and, taking a number of prisoners, the line of march was continued to the beach, down the beach to nearly opposite where the Adela lay aground. Here they made signal for boats and came to a halt, first throwing out pickets to prevent a surprise. So exhausted were some of the men that they would sink down anywhere, and would rather die than go further. The Adela, on seeing them, fired a lee gun, and made signals to the Tahoma, which, with all the boats with her, lay aground on the opposite side of the bay, some miles from them. On seeing the Adela's signals, she sent the boats after them in charge of an Acting Master's Mate.

In the mean time some horsemen had been seen flying about through the woods, as if arranging matters, while others were seen dodging about behind trees and bushes, and apparently planting themselves in a half circle about them. Not appearing in any force or showing any disposition to make an attack, one of the men was sent out to half his depth in the water. When the boats got to him they were turned about. Acting-Master Harris ordered all, except the Tahoma's First division, to embark. No sooner had they got in the water some distance than the concealed enemy began to close up from all sides, and opened a rapid fire on them. Acting-Ensign Strandberg's division had not yet left. These faced about with the Tahoma's First division, charged on the enemy, and compelled them again to seek refuge in the bushes. Captain Harris ordered the remainder to take to the boats, which were now some quarter of a mile out. Before they had got half way out, a fire was opened on them from the bushes along the beach for the space of a mile, and from some light artillery masked among the bushes. A party of riflemen and cavalry, before unseen, came around from behind a building below them, charged up the beach with a yell, some of the horsemen riding along into the water, to cut them to pieces as they got into the boats. The Adela was the first to see this movement. Having but one gun that would reach, she opened on the advancing column, Captain Stodder himself sighting the gun, and making some splendid shots, bursting shell among the horsemen, compelling most of them to put back and go around through the woods. This with the fire from the boats, and from those in the water, kept the rebels in check until all the boats got off, bringing the prisoners with them. Orders were given to turn back and capture the guns, and fight it out, when it was discovered that in wading and swimming to the boats, nearly all the arms and ammunition had become wet and useless; the project was therefore abandoned, the boats returning to their ships. Shortly after the Adela got off and ran over to the place of conflict, and opened on the rebels, driving them up toward Tampa. On Sunday, the eighteenth, Captain Semmes sent in a flag of truce to ascertain what had become of our missing men. From what we can gather, the Tahoma lost one man, James World, killed. Acting-Ensign Randall, and six men wounded, and two men, Collins and Hilton, taken prisoners. The Adela lost two men, Roddy and O'Donnald, killed, five men wounded; one man, Donnelly, taken prisoner. The rebels lost six killed, a number wounded, and seven taken prisoners.

On the night of the sixteenth the citizens of Tampa held a crowded meeting in the courthouse, for the purpose of forming a military company, and electing a captain. Had Captain Semmes known it while they were balloting, he would have sent them several two hundredpound black-balls, which they would not have stopped to count.

Some time after the boats had returned, a head was seen projecting above water at some distance from land, while a party of rebels were on the beach firing at it, and calling out for the man to come on shore. A boat was sent in charge of Acting-Ensign Garman, to ascertain who the head belonged to, when it was found to belong to the pilot of the Tahoma, who had waded out up to his neck in water, determined rather to drown than be taken prisoner. He was nearly dead from exhaustion.

Among the trophies were some cartridges. In place of balls there are twelve large buckshot or pistol-balls wrapped up in cloth. Some of our men were wounded with these. Doctor Gale, of the Adela, took from one of the wounded a


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