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[367]

Chapter 33:

  • Capture of the Princess Royal.
  • -- remarks on blockading the Southern ports, and the difficulty in preventing blockade-runners getting in and out. -- attack on blockading vessels before Charleston by Confederate rams. -- surrender of the U. S. S. Mercedita. -- Keystone State disabled by the rams, which afterwards attack the Augusta, Quaker City and Memphis. -- rams escape chased by the Juniata. -- Confederates claim the blockade is raised. -- the claim not admitted and the blockade strengthened. -- capture of the gunboat Isaac Smith. -- the iron-clad Montauk, Commander John L. Worden, engages the forts at Ogeechee River. -- Confederate steamer Nashville destroyed by the Montauk and other vessels. -- iron-clads Passaic, Patapsco and Nahant attack Fort McAllister. -- sinking vessels on Charleston bar as obstructions. -- expectations of the Navy Department from the iron-clad vessels. -- Admiral Dupont attacks the batteries in Charleston harbor, April 7, 1863. -- description of the harbor of Charleston. -- order of Admiral Dupont previous to attacking the forts. -- list of iron-clads engaged in the attack. -- iron-clads retire before the heavy fire of the batteries. -- the Keokuk disabled and afterwards sunk. -- list of damages to the iron-clads. -- comparison between the guns on shore and those afloat. -- view of the case. -- Reflections on Chief Engineer Stimer's letter to the Navy Department. -- difficulties encountered by the monitors. -- misrepresentations of the attack on Charleston. -- General Ripley's instructions for repelling the federal attack on Charleston. -- correspondence between President Lincoln and Admiral Dupont, and between Mr. Secretary Welles and Admiral Dupont. -- Admiral Dupont retires to Port Royal. -- combined attack of Army and Navy on Buffington. -- capture of Confederate iron-clad Atlanta by the U. S. S. Weehawken. -- Admiral Dupont retires from command of the South Atlantic Squadron and is succeeded by Rear-Admiral Dahlgren. -- Secretary Welles' letter to Rear-Admiral Dupont on his giving up his command. -- list of officers who served under Admiral Dupont.


Operations commenced in January, 1863, by some of the vessels of Rear-Admiral Dupont's squadron capturing a large blockade-running steamer, which proved to be one of the most valuable prizes of the war.

To show the nature of the blockading service, it may not be uninteresting to give an account of the capture of the above-mentioned vessel.

On the morning of the 29th of January a blue light was observed from the U. S. S. Unadilla, Lieutenant-Commander S. P. Quackenbush, in an easterly direction, supposed to be from the U. S. S. Blunt. The Unadilla slipped her cable and stood in shore in a north-west direction, guided by a rocket thrown up apparently by the Blunt, and indicating the course of a vessel attempting to run the blockade. After proceeding inshore a mile and a half, a steamer was observed from the Unadilla standing along close to the shore, and heading for Charleston. Two shots were fired at her by the Unadilla, when the strange steamer changed her course and ran upon the beach, where she was immediately taken possession of. The prize proved to be the iron steam-propeller Princess Royal, four days out from Bermuda--one of the principal depots of the blockade-runners — loaded with rifle-guns, small-arms, ammunition, [368] steam-engines for iron-clads, etc., etc.

Thus was the Confederacy kept afloat by our cousins across the water, not so much from sympathy with the Southern people as from a desire to obtain cotton, which was so necessary for them to have to keep their mills going and prevent a revolt of the factory operatives. The English Government did nothing to prevent blockade-running, and doubtless considered it a fair business enterprise. If a vessel got safely in past the blockaders, her cargo sold at a large profit, and she loaded with cotton, worth three times as much as the ingoing cargo. There was great excitement as well

Surrender of the U. S. Steamer Mercedita to the Confederate ram, Palmetto State, off Charleston harbor, Jan. 31, 1863.

as profit to the hardy Britons who engaged in this trade.

In some respects the Confederates had advantages superior to our own. The markets of Europe were glutted with rifled guns and engines, and almost all the blockade-runners carried rifled field-guns for the Confederates, while the conservative Army and Navy Departments of the North felt it due to the people that all the implements of war should e made at home. The result was that the Confederates at an early stage of the war had their forts partly armed with heavy rifled guns, while in our vessels-of-war a rifled gun was an exception.

It was plainly to be seen that, as long as blockade-running continued, the task of putting down the Rebellion was greatly increased, and it could only be prevented by the untiring energy and watchfulness of the Navy, incited somewhat by the hope of prize-money, which is a great incentive to extra exertions in time of war both to officers and men. Blockade-runners were captured in large numbers, and the vessels and cargoes condemned by our Admiralty Courts, without protest from the British Government.

There was plenty of timber in the South, and the Southerners could build vessels as fast as Perry did on Lake Erie, but they could not build engines of the kind they required.

The British merchants who went into blockade-running with such alacrity probably never dreamed of the facility with which the United States Government could equip a large number of vessels exactly calculated to run down and capture their own. There was another factor that these traders had not taken into account — the watchfulness and energy of the American naval officers, who were ever on the alert, and would either run the blockade-runners off the coast or upon the beach, where they would fall into Federal hands, often with their cargoes in perfect order. This was the case with the Princess Royal, which was floated off without sustaining the least injury, and [369] was fitted up by the Navy Department as a gun-boat. and performed good service, under Commander M. B. Woolsey, at the capture of the forts at Donaldsonville, La.

During January, 1863, the harbor of Charleston was not occupied by the Federal squadron, but the vessels lay outside the bar, keeping a bright look-out. Towards the end of the month two of the heaviest ships. the Powhatan and Canandaigua, had to proceed to Port Royal for coal, leaving some lighter vessels to continue the blockade. The Confederates had two ironclad rams, the Chicora and Palmetto State, under Commodore D. N. Ingraham, in Charleston Harbor, and on the 31st of January, about 4 A. M., they succeeded in crossing the bar unperceived in the darkness and attacked the Mercedita, Captain H. S. Stellwagen, which had just returned from the chase of a strange vessel.

The captain was below, and Lieutenant-Commander Abbott in charge of the deck, when the faint appearance of a vessel showing black smoke was seen through the gloom. All the Federal vessels burned anthracite, while the Confederates and blockade-runners burned bituminous coal, the smoke from which can be seen even in the darkness of night.

All hands were called to quarters, the captain appeared on deck, and saw what, for all he knew, might be a tug belonging to the squadron. The guns were trained on the approaching stranger, who was then hailed and ordered to heave-to. The answer to the first hail from the Mercedita was “Hello!” The other replies were purposely indistinct, and the stranger crashed into the Federal vessels, with the reply, “This is the Confederate States' steam-ram, Palmetto State.”

The order was given to fire, but no gun could be brought to bear on the enemy as she approached. At the moment of striking, the Palmetto State fired a rifle-shell diagonally through the Federal steamer, which penetrated the condenser, the steam-drum of the port-boiler, and exploded against the port-side of the vessel, making a hole four or five feet square in its exit. The Mercedita was instantly enveloped in vapor, while cries came from below “Shot through the boiler! Fires put out — gunner and one man killed and a number fatally scalded — water over fire-room floor — vessel sinking fast! The ram has cut us through at and below water line, and the shell has burst at the water line on the other side!”

This was appalling information, and it must be a well-trained crew that would not feel nervous at such intelligence. Captain Stellwagen could do nothing, for the enemy's ram was under his counter. He had made a mistake in not firing on the stranger as soon as she appeared, for none but an enemy would have approached so stealthily.

He should have had steam up and chain ready to slip at a moment's notice. No one expected that the enemy's rams would dare cross the bar, but the same love of adventure existed in the Confederate navy as in the Federal. and this affair was another illustration of the importance of never underrating a foe.

After the Palmetto State struck the Mercedita she swung round under the latter's counter, and the Confederate commander called out, “Surrender, or I will sink you!” Captain Stellwagen replied, “I can make no resistance, my boiler is destroyed.” “Then, do you surrender?” inquired the other. “I do,” replied Stellwagen.

The Confederate commander hailed several times for a boat to be sent him, threatening to fire in case of further delay. Lieutenant-Commander Abbott then proceeded on board the ram, where the parole of the officers and crew of the Mercedita was demanded; after receiving which, the ram started in the direction of the Keystone State, which vessel and three other blockaders Captain Stellwagen had tried to alarm by burning signal-lights.

Soon after the ram left the Mercedita the people on board that vessel saw a shell from the Keystone State explode against her armor, and several shells from the ram hit the Keystone State, followed by smoke and vapor, which poured from the latter. The firing then receded to the north and east and finally died away, and it was supposed the ram had engaged all the blockading vessels in turn.

The commanding officer of the Mercedita now set to work to save his vessel, about which nothing had been said on board the ram. The enemy supposed the vessel was sinking, and probably thought those on board could take care of themselves. In two hours repairs were made, and with the assistance of the Stettin and Flag the Mercedita reached Port Royal.

When the Keystone State was attacked, Commander Le Roy gallantly returned the enemy's fire, but the ram lodged a shell in the fore-hold of his vessel, which set the Keystone State on fire and obliged her to shear off till it could be extinguished. By this time the ram Chicora, Commander John R. Tucker, had attacked the Keystone State and Le Roy turned upon the enemy, and putting on full steam ran right for one of the rams at the rate of twelve knots an hour, when a shell from the enemy penetrating both steam-chests rendered the Keystone State powerless. Two rifleshells burst on the quarter-deck, but most of them struck the hull, and there were two feet of water in the hold; but some of the [370] other vessels of the blockading squadron now came to the assistance of the Keystone State and took her in tow. These vessels were the Augusta, Commander E. G. Parrott, the Quaker City, Commander J. M. Frailey, and the Memphis, Acting-Lieutenant P. G. Watmough.

All these steamers kept up a brisk fire on the enemy's rams while the Keystone State was towed out of their reach. The Augusta and Quaker City were both struck in their hulls, but the Memphis only in her rigging.

As daylight approached, the rams hauled off to the north-west, chased by the U. S. S. Juniata, and anchored inside the shoals of the swash-channel, their commanders doubtless thinking they had done enough for one night and that they must reserve their strength for a future occasion.

On board the Mercedita there were twenty killed and as many wounded, a number being scalded to death, among whom was Assistant Surgeon Jacob H. Gotwold and his steward. It was a heavy list of killed and wounded for so short an engagement, but the Confederates wasted very few shots, and the striking of the boilers of two of the Federal vessels was no doubt a matter of calculation and not mere accident.

The attack of the Confederate rams on the Union squadron was a gallant affair, and the one that encountered the Mercedita might have sunk that vessel while the commanding officer was hesitating to answer the hails. After disabling the Mercedita and encountering four other vessels, finding doubtless that the Federal ships were too numerous to be agreeable, the rams moved off uninjured and sought the safety of well-known channels. Admiral Dupont was much chagrined when he received the news of this engagement; but a nation cannot expect to carry on a war with a skillful and energetic enemy without mishaps, especially under circumstances like the above, where the Confederates could slip out in the darkness, make a dash at the blockading vessels and retire when necessary to do so.

The Confederate authorities endeavored to make great capital out of this affair, and General Beauregard, who commanded the defences, proclaimed officially that the blockade had been raised, as the United States Navy was powerless to maintain it. However, next morning, the blockading vessels were at their posts as usual, ready to prevent the ingress or egress of any vessel.

The claim of the Confederates that the blockade had been raised by the raid of their two rams was, of course, absurd. To raise a blockade, it would be necessary to drive away the blockading vessels altogether and hold the positions they occupied, yet, strange to say, the foreign consuls at Charleston, and an officer commanding one of Her Britannic Majesty's ships-of-war, united in a statement that the blockade of Charleston had been raised!

The New Ironsides, Powhatan, and Canandaigua were immediately added to the force off Charleston, which, without further argument, settled the question. The port of Charleston remained blockaded more closely than ever, and it was generally accepted by the world that the gentlemen who had put their names to a paper stating the blockade had been raised had prostituted their offices, by giving currency to a statement which could not have been forced upon their conviction as truth.

Captain Percival Drayton, U. S. N.

On the 1st of February Admiral Dupont received notice of the capture of a gunboat. It seems that the Isaac Smith, Acting-Lieutenant-Commander F. S. Conover, was sent up Stone River to make a reconnaissance. No enemy was seen; but when the vessel was on her way back three concealed batteries opened a concentrated fire on her from — heavy rifle-guns. The gun-boat McDonough, Lieutenant-Commander Bacon, was at anchor down the river, and on hearing the firing got underway, and went to the assistance of the Isaac Smith; but owing to the number, position and weight of the enemy's guns could render no aid without the certainty of losing his own vessel. The Isaac Smith was aground and enveloped in a cloud of vapor, and the McDonough was soon [371] driven off by the superior range of the enemy's fire.

The commanding officer of the Isaac Smith endeavored to get out of the trap in which he found himself by dropping below the batteries; but for upwards of a mile, on account of a bend in the river, the vessel was subjected to a raking fire of 30 guns, and was only able now and then to answer with her pivot-gun. To add to the difficulty, a large number of concealed riflemen were firing upon the vessel. Eight of the gunboat's crew were killed and 17 wounded. But for the latter, the commanding officer would have set fire to his vessel and escaped with his officers and men; but to escape with the vessel was impossible, and she was therefore surrendered.

It may have been observed by the reader that many cases occurred during the civil war where vessels were entrapped as the Isaac Smith was; but, as a rule, the defence of these vessels was characterized by great courage. In such cases it was not possible to ascertain the loss of the enemy, and we abstain from unreliable conjectures.

It was impossible to circumvent the enemy without running such risks as were encountered by the Isaac Smith. “Nothing venture, nothing have,” is a maxim which all should profit by who go to war. Though now and then the Federals met with losses of vessels, yet the experience gained was beneficial and stimulated the younger officers to deeds of daring, while teaching them at the same time the necessity of prudence.

On the 1st of February the Montauk, Commander John L. Worden, was ordered to engage the forts at Ogeechee River, a duty which was well performed; but the Confederates shifted their guns from point to point, as the range of the Montauk improved, and finally the vessel withdrew from action after expending a large amount of ammunition and being struck thirty-nine times without apparent injury.

The Confederate steamer Nashville had been closely watched for eight months by the blockading steamers Wissahickon, Lieutenant-Commander John L. Davis, the Dawn, Lieutenant John S. Barnes, and the Seneca, Lieutenant-Commander William Gibson. The Nashville lay under Fort McAllister loaded with cotton, and although a swift and well-appointed steamer, never ventured to run out. After several months she withdrew up the Ogeechee River and returned in the guise of a privateer, presenting a formidable appearance.

Fort McAllister was strengthened and the river lined with torpedoes to prevent the ascent of vessels to attack the Nashville.

The vessel frequently came near the forts, watching an opportunity to run out and perform the part of the Alabama or Florida. The Nashville was armed with a heavy pivot-gun, and, being fast, would no doubt have rivalled the other Confederate cruisers that had done so much injury to our commerce. For this reason she was closely watched, and it was as great a triumph to dispose of such a craft as it would have been to win a considerable victory.

On the 27th of February, Commander Worden, on making a reconnaissance, observed that the Nashville had grounded in that portion of the river known as “Seven mile reach,” and on the 28th at daylight the

Commander (now Rear-Admiral) Daniel Ammen.

Montauk Seneca and Dawn moved up the river. Worden was able to approach within twelve hundred yards of the Nashville, though under a heavy fire from the fort. The Montauk opened on the privateer, while the gun-boats enfiladed the fort at long range.

In a short time Commander Worden had the satisfaction of seeing the Nashville in flames from the shells exploding in different parts of her. The Nashville's pivotgun was soon exploded by the heat, and in a short time the vessel blew up with a terrific crash. The fort continued a brisk fire on the Montauk, but only struck her five times, and inflicted on her no damage whatever, which indicated that she was impervious to shot and shell. A torpedo exploded [372] near the vessel as she dropped down the river out of range of the enemy's guns, but did no harm, and that night Commander Worden had the satisfaction of reporting to Rear-Admiral Dupont the destruction of a vessel that might have proved as troublesome as the Alabama.

It was deemed advisable to try the ironclads of the squadron in action with some fort, so as to be certain of their impenetrability, and fully test the working of the turrets. Captain Percival Drayton, commanding the Passaic, was directed to proceed with the Patapsco. Commander Daniel Ammen, and the Nahant, Commander John Downes, up the Ogeechee River, and make an attack on Fort McAllister.

The fort had been subjected to three previous attacks from the Montauk; but damages to earth-works are easily repaired, and the work made stronger than ever, unless the guns have been dismounted, as during a bombardment the weak points are discovered and strengthened.

Fort McAllister was 20 feet above the river, solidly built, with high traverses between the guns, protecting them from anything but a direct fire. It contained one 10-inch columbiad, a 100-pounder rifle, four 32-pounders, and one Whitworth rifle, throwing bolts.

The three vessels anchored 1,200 yards below the fort, at 8 A. M., March 3, 1863, opened fire, and, as Captain Drayton reported, the parapets were much cut up and large holes made by the bursting shell, but no damage was done that could not be repaired in a few hours.

Captain Drayton did not consider the fort nearly as great an obstacle to his advance as the piles which were driven in the channel of the river, and which rendered it impassable till they could be removed.

The iron-clads were subjected to the fire of Fort McAllister for eight hours without receiving any serious injury, but the same thing was true of the fort.

Captain Drayton expressed some mortification at what he called his want of success in this attack; but experience has proved that iron-clads, although so valuable against ships, or fortifications built of masonry, are not so serviceable against earth-works as vessels carrying a greater number of lighter guns.

The power of the 15-inch gun as a breaching force against masonry is considerable, but against a work constructed of sand-bags it has not the value of a 11-inch gun, and nothing like the power of a 100-pounder rifle for boring through the sand. The 15-inch gun in a turret is slow firing, not being able to discharge oftener than once in five minutes, while the breech-loading rifle can be pointed and fired once a minute, which in an hour would give 60 shots from the rifled-gun to 12 from the 15-inch.

While the iron-clads were turning their turrets, the enemy would wait until the port-holes appeared, would fire, knowing the exact range, hide in their bomb-proofs until the iron-clads had fired, then stand to their guns again, until the port-holes once more came round.

In attacking forts, in conjunction with other vessels carrying many guns, iron-clads are valuable for distances not exceeding 600 yards; but the initial velocity of the 15-inch shot is only about 1,500 feet per second, which is much reduced even at the distance of 1,200 yards. At 800 yards a 15-inch shot would not, with the charges assigned to the gun, penetrate a 4-inch iron plate.

More was expected from our iron-clads during the war than they had power to accomplish. Any one of them armed with 15-inch guns could have destroyed a vessel like the Merrimac in half an hour, but against earth works, sand especially, none of the monitor class were equal to the New Ironsides, with her quick-firing batteries of 11-inch guns.

All these matters were fully discussed during the siege of Charleston. Admiral Dupont had a great responsibility on his shoulders, as he was the first officer to whom these iron-clads had been assigned. He was determined to leave nothing undone to give these vessels a full trial to determine their capabilities. It cannot be doubted that the experience to which the iron-clads had been subjected in the attack on Fort McAllister afforded valuable information in relation to their qualities, and several imperfections were detected which could be remedied in other vessels of their class.

The capture of Fort McAllister, in itself, was of no special importance, except, perhaps, to prevent its protecting some other privateer or blockade-runner.

Captain Drayton's opinion was that the fire of the iron-clads was not effective, and that the fort fired more rapidly towards the end than it did at the beginning of the action.

In the demonstration against Fort McAllister it was discovered that the fuses for the shells were not good, and the shells exploded at irregular intervals — a very important matter to ascertain before the grand engagement with the forts at Charleston took place. The Patapsco carried one 15-inch gun, and one 150-pounder rifle. She fired fourteen 15-inch shells and 46 shells from the one 150-pounder rifle — over three to one in favor of the rifle.

The Nahant was not struck by the shells from Fort McAllister, the enemy seeming to concentrate his fire on the Passaic. [373]

Up to the 10th of March was a busy and successful time with the blockaders of Admiral Dupont's squadron. Two large steamers, the Queen-of-the-Wave and the Georgian, loaded with munitions of war for the Confederates, were destroyed, which served to indicate that the blockade was still effective.

As Charleston had taken the lead in the movement for a division of the Union, the government naturally desired that the laws should be vindicated there at as early a date as practicable. and the Navy Department wished to have the honor of bringing about so desirable an end. Therefore, Assistant Secretary Fox, with the approbation of the Secretary of the Navy, directed all his energies towards getting as large a number of iron-clads as possible to Charleston to

Commander (now Rear-Admiral) William E. Le Roy.

enable Admiral Dupont to force his way up to the city.

The harbor of Charleston had been closely guarded and many blockade-runners captured, but the Confederates calculated to strengthen their fortifications and add new ones, so as to hold the hot-bed of secession against all the forces that could be brought to bear.

Besides establishing a close blockade, an attempt had been made by the Federals to obstruct the passage across the bar with sunken vessels, which proved unsuccessful, as the vessels soon disappeared in the quicksands, or the currents washed out new channels. So the blockade-runners, though closely watched, continued to run into Charleston and supply the Confederacy with munitions of war.

Several plans for the reduction of the Confederate stronghold were proposed, but none were thought advisable, and in the absence of a large land force it seemed that the duty must devolve entirely upon the Navy.

This was a most serious task for the Navy to undertake without any support from the Army; but even at that stage of the war the Government had not learned the importance of using large land and naval forces in conjunction when attacking heavily fortified places — attacks which, when conducted with good judgment, seldom or ever failed. The Navy Department was, doubtless, very willing to have the co-operation of the Army, but they were frequently unable to obtain it, and the War Department did not attach the same importance to the capture of Charleston as did the Navy.

Much was expected of the iron vessels by the Navy Department, and their hopes were confirmed by the attacks on Fort McAllister, where none of the vessels were seriously injured, and none of their crew killed. The Department had been abused for expending so much money on these vessels, which their detractors affirmed would perform no effective service, and would founder, as the Monitor had done; not taking into consideration the fact that they were superior to the original Monitor, and that the defects of the latter had been eliminated in these later structures. The Department naturally wanted to show that it had made no mistakes in this instance, and they pushed on the work of preparation regardless of the criticism of those who were in favor of a different class of vessel carrying more guns. Some of these detractors were persons whose plans had been rejected, and who thought there was no other mode but their own of bringing the contumacious city under subjection.

On the other hand, the Department had rather too much faith in these vessels, and was inclined to expect from them more than they could perform, and was. therefore, disinclined to listen to the advice of officers who, by their standing and length of service. were entitled to consideration. Almost everybody admitted the value of the turret-vessels as harbor defences, but many doubted their efficiency against the earthworks of Charleston.

Admiral Dupont was pressed by the Navy Department to attack the batteries, and on the 7th of April, 1863, he determined to attempt what he was far from certain would be a success, in order to carry out the wishes of the government, and meet, if possible, the public expectations.

To understand the harbor of Charleston, with its intricate shoals and channels, requires the study of a chart. In some respects [374] it resembles the harbor of New York, although it is on a much smaller scale. The city of Charleston stands on a neck of land, bounded by two rivers, and projecting into a narrow bay. The bay was protected by Fort Pinkney, Fort Ripley, Fort Moultrie, Fort Beauregard. Fort Sumter, Battery Bee, Battery Gregg, Battery Wagner, etc. These defences were so placed that a vessel attempting to pass Sumter would be under a cross-fire from them all. every fort being armed with the heaviest and most destructive ordnance then known.

After crossing the bar. there were several channels leading into Charleston harbor — the Main-Ship Channel. North Channel and Swash Channel. In taking either of these, a vessel would be under a raking and cross fire. Should she get by Sumter, she would still be subjected to a raking fire from that work and the works on the upper part of Sullivan's Island — from Battery Gregg, Fort Johnson, Fort Ripley and Castle Pinkney, and some smaller batteries. To run past these defences, if there were no obstructions in the channel, would be much easier with a small squadron than to stop and give the forts battle with ironclads. This fact was established during the civil war, and the subject has been ably treated in a work published in 1868 by Lieutenant-Colonel Von Sheliha.

Before proceeding to attack the defences of Charleston, Rear-Admiral Dupont issued the following order:

The bar will be buoyed by the Keokuk, Commander Rhind, assisted by C. O. Boutelle, Assistant United States Coast Survey, commanding the Bibb, by Acting-Ensign Platt, and by the pilots of the fleet.

The commanding officers will, previous to crossing, make themselves acquainted with the value of the buoys.

The vessels, on signal being made, will form in the prescribed order ahead at intervals of one cable's length.

The squadron will pass up the Main Ship Channel without returning the fire of the batteries on Morris Island, unless signal should be made to commence action.

The ships will open fire on Fort Sumter when within easy range, and will take up a position to the northward and westward of that fortification. engaging its left or north-west face at a distance of from 600 to 800 yards, firing low, and aiming at the centre embrasure.

The commanding officers will instruct their officers and men to carefully avoid wasting a shot, and will enjoin upon them the necessity of precision rather than rapidity of fire.

Each ship will be ready to render assistance to any vessel that may require it.

The special code of signals prepared for the ironclads will be used in action.

After the reduction of Fort Sumter, it is probable that the next point of attack will be the batteries on Morris Island.

The line of battle will be in line ahead, as follows:

1. Weehawken Captian John Rodgers.
2. Passaic Captain Percival Drayton.
3. Montauk Captain John L. Worden.
4. Patapsco Commander Daniel Ammen.
5. New Ironsides Captain T. Turner.
6. Catskill Commander G. W. Rodgers.
7. Nantucket Commander D. M Fairfax.
8. Nahant Commander John Downes.
9. Keokuk Commander A. C. Rhind.

A squadron of vessels, of which Captain J. F. Green will be the senior officer, will be formed outside the bar, near to the entrance buoy, consisting of the following vessels: Canandaigua, Housatonic, Huron, Unadilla, Wissahickon, and will be held in readiness to support the iron-clads when they attack the batteries on Morris Island.

S. F. Dupont, Rear-Admiral commanding South-Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

When Admiral Dupont hoisted his flag on board the New Ironsides, he took with him his personal staff, who remained with him during the operations at Charleston. To the officers of the staff he pays the highest encomiums for the assistance they rendered him in the battle and otherwise. They were as follows:

Commander C. R. P. Rodgers, Fleet Captain; Lieutenant S. W. Preston, Flag Lieutenant; Lieutenant A. S. Mackenzie, Ordnance Officer; Ensign M. L. Johnson, Aide and Signal Officer. All these gentlemen are mentioned with that warmth of feeling which distinguished Dupont in cases where officers under him performed their duty faithfully.

On the 7th of April the vessels moved to the attack, the Weehawken leading with a torpedo raft in front. On the way up the Main Ship Channel, the leading vessel passed a number of buoys indicating torpedoes, one of which exploded near the Weehawken, without, however, doing any harm.

At 2 P. M., the squadron approached the obstructions extending across the harbor from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter. These were indicated by several lines of casks, beyond which piles were seen extending “from James Island to the Middle Ground.”

At 2.50 P. M., the guns of Fort Moultrie opened upon the Weehawken, followed shortly after by Fort Sumter, and all the batteries on Sullivan's Island.

Being unable to pass the obstructions, the iron-clads were obliged to turn, which threw the line into confusion. The flagship became entangled with the Monitors, and could not bring her batteries to bear on the enemy without danger of firing into them. The New Ironsides was compelled to anchor twice to prevent going ashore,--on one of these occasions the Monitors and the Keokuk were able to get within easy range of Fort Sumter--at distances varying from 550 to 800 yards--in which position they were subjected to a fire from the batteries on Sullivan's Island, Morris Island and Sumter.

The effect of the concentrated fire of the [375] forts on the Monitors would have been bewildering to officers and men whose nerves were not of the strongest kind. The enemy had been anxiously looking forward to the time when they could get the Federal iron-clads in just such a position, and their only apprehension was that the opportunity would not be offered them. The Confederate engineers felt that it would be impossible for any force of vessels such as the Federals possessed to pass the forts and obstructions to Charleston. Owing to repeated practice at targets, the Confederate officers felt certain of planting two out of three of their heaviest shots on the Monitors' turrets at the rate of sixty shots a minute.

The trial of the Monitors before Fort McAllister afforded no real test of their endurance, for there could be no comparison between such a work as McAllister and the defences of Charleston. The fire on the ironclads was such as an equal number of the heaviest European ships-of-war could not have withstood many minutes.

The severity of the fire was shown by the effect on the Monitors and the sinking of one of their number, and yet the vessels retired from the conflict without confusion.

That attack will always stand the severest criticism from those disposed to be hypercritical; and those capable of judging will admit that it was conducted with skill and judgment. It was very well in those who could sit in their cosy arm-chairs and direct great naval and military movements, who seldom reflect that while undertaking to direct battles from a distance they are meddling with that which properly should be managed by the professional leader, and uselessly sacrificing the lives of officers and men.

Admiral Dupont found it impossible, owing to currents and an unmanageable ship, to place the New Ironsides where he desired, although he was within one thousand yards of Fort Sumter; night was coming on, and the squadron in some disarray. He therefore signalled the vessels to withdraw from action, intending to renew the engagement.

That evening the commanding officers of the iron-clads visited the flag-ship to report the condition of affairs on board their respective vessels, which caused Admiral Dupont to change his mind about renewing the attack next morning, for he was now satisfied that it was impossible to take Charleston with the force under his command.

And here arises the question — Was it wise to undertake so great a task as the capture of Charleston at one blow? It would have been a good beginning to have taken Fort Wagner. To have attacked that place eight hundred yards to the southward would have placed the squadron two and a half miles from the forts on Sullivan's Island and a mile and three-quarters from Sumter. Of course, if the iron-clads could not reduce Wagner, it would be useless to attempt to go up to the city. There was a great desire, on the part of the Northern people, that Charleston should be taken, and the officer who could at that moment have captured the place would have won unbounded popularity. It was certainly the hardest task undertaken by the Navy during the war. In fact, without the co-operation of an army, the taking of Charleston was an impossibility.

Charleston was approached by tortuous channels filled with obstructions, that even without the fortifications would have been formidable to the squadron that went to attack

Commander (now Rear-Admiral) A. C. Rhind.

it. It is difficult to manoeuvre a squadron in a narrow space with strong currents running; how much more difficult must it be, then, when crooked channels are filled with obstructions?

In such a case a Commander-in-chief is entitled to use his own discretion, and not undertake a movement against a place unless he is confident the obstructions are not of a character to impede the progress of his fleet. Had Dupont persevered and entangled his vessels in the contrivances placed in the channels for that purpose, those who urged him on would have put the blame of the necessary failure upon his shoulders. He discontinued the attack in good time, and let us see the result: No ships had been exposed to the severest

General map of Charleston Harbour, South Carolina, showing Confederate defences and obstructions.

[376] fire of the enemy more than forty minutes, yet in that brief period five iron-clads were wholly or partially disabled.

Commander Rhind, in the Keokuk, had been able to fire only three times during the period he was exposed to the guns of the enemy, when he was obliged to withdraw from action to prevent his vessel from sinking, which event did happen on the following morning. The Nahant, Commander Downes, was seriously damaged, her turret so jammed as to prevent its turning, many of the bolts of both turret and pilot house broken, and the latter rendered nearly untenable by flying bolts and nuts. Captain Drayton, in the Passaic, after the fourth fire from her 11-inch gun, found himself unable to use it again during the action. His turret, also, became jammed, although he

Commander (now Rear-Admiral) D. Mc. N. Fairfax.

was finally enabled to get it in motion again. Commander Ammen, of the Patapsco, lost the use of his rifled-gun after the fifth fire, owing to the carrying away of the bolts of the forward cap-square. Commander Fairfax, of the Nantucket, reports that after the third shot from the 15-inch gun, the port-stopper became jammed, several shot striking near the port, driving in the plates and preventing the further use of the gun during the action.

The other iron-clads, although struck many times, were still able to use their guns, but it seems probable that in a short time they would have been placed hors-decombat.

The position of the squadron was simply that of being in a trap, and having to bear the cross-fire of all the forts within a circle of two miles. Only one hundred and thirty shot and shell were fired by the iron-clads during the action, while many hundred were fired by the enemy, the character of which is well described by a contemporary writer. who remarks:

In order to more fully understand the terrible severity of the fire to which these vessels were to be exposed, it is necessary to consider some statements in the circular of the Confederate General Ripley. He mentions three circles of fire which had been prepared for the reception of the fleet. He meant that there were three points beyond each other in passing up the harbor upon which circles the batteries on shore would concentrate their fire as upon a focus, and to these points the range of the guns had been actually adjusted by experimental firing, and the points were marked by guides, buoys and obstructions, so that no shot could miss its mark.

The first focus of fire into which the fleet would come was formed between Sumter and Moultrie. Three obstructions of various kinds were placed in and across the channel, through which it was thought the fleet could not pass, and where the leading vessels being stopped the line would be thrown into confusion, and the Monitors would be huddled together and could be crushed by the concentrating fire of the circle of forts and batteries.

According to the Confederate accounts seventy-six guns bore on this single point, while our own officers placed the number at a hundred. If now it is considered that bearing on this spot were 7-inch, 8-inch, Brooke and Blakely rifles, 10-inch columbiads, for which had been prepared squarehead bolts, with chilled ends, much heavier than the ordinary shot, and guns for hot shot and shells containing moulten iron, an idea may be formed of what these iron-clads were to meet. The enemy's guns, moreover, had been so tried that there could be no random shooting. The Confederate plan of defence lacked nothing which skill, experience and science could suggest.

So far the writer whom we quote pictures in glowing terms the difficulties with which the Monitors would have to contend in an attack on Charleston; but after stating the damages received by the Federal vessels, and quoting the opinions of all the principal officers that a continuation of the attack would have resulted in the destruction of the squadron, the chronicler suddenly changes his course, as if impressed by a new idea, and attempts to show that a prolongation of the struggle would have led to a Union victory, and that the opinions of ten brave and experienced officers were of no account whatever!

There was no officer in the Navy whose reputation stood higher than that of Dupont. He had gallantly won the first naval battle of any importance in the war, and had shown so much ability at Port Royal as to entitle him to the full confidence of the Government, and his opinions should have been preferred in all matters relating to his command to those of any other person. The belief was general at the time that Dupont was not well treated by the Navy Department--a belief which prevails in the Navy to this day.

When the Department commenced building [377] small Monitor-shaped vessels with great rapidity, the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the Navy were unjustly assailed from various quarters for adopting the Monitor system in preference to all others.

In this matter, Mr. Secretary Welles and Mr. Fox showed good judgment, for the Keokuk, which was not a Monitor-built vessel, was shattered so by the enemy's fire at Charleston that in a few minutes she withdrew from action to avoid sinking, and did sink some hours afterwards from the effects of the enemy's shot.

Having prepared these Monitors, the Navy Department were naturally anxious to prove to their detractors that this was the right form of vessel to carry out the ideas of the government; but the Department did not take into consideration that seven Monitors, each with two slow-firing guns, were no match for seventy-six pieces of ordnance of the heaviest calibre then in use. If we further consider that half of the guns in the Monitors were 11-inch, there remained but seven 15-inch guns with which to breach the masonry of Fort Sumter and the thick earth-works of the numerous other fortifications.

The Confederate accounts disagree in the number of their guns, but it is probable that in the aggregate they fell not much short of a hundred.

In their anxiety to triumph over those who had attacked them so unjustly, the Navy Department required of Dupont more than could be accomplished with his small force, and did not pay that deference to his opinion to which his reputation and position entitled him. On Dupont alone would have rested the responsibility of defeat had he entangled his vessels in the meshes prepared to receive them, and rendered them targets for the enemy to destroy at their leisure. In that event there would have been such an outcry at the North against the Monitor system that the Navy Department could not have withstood it. All the blame would have been thrown upon Dupont in the same way that the blame of failing to continue his attack was ascribed to him.

But the Navy did not look upon the action of the 7th of April as a defeat, by any means. It was a prudent withdrawal from engagement with a force more than six times its superior. It must not be forgotten that the Monitors had to take position and get their range under a most terrific fire; and although none were so disabled that they could not have resumed the action next day, they were enough so to be obliged to retire temporarily.

The difficulty lay in having too few vessels to accomplish so great a work — an opinion which was generally acquiesced in by those cognizant of the facts of the case.

It is now an axiom that, no matter how strong you may build an iron-clad, guns can be made that will knock her to pieces in a given space of time. In the case of the Monitors, the enemy had in forty minutes weakened some of them, and an hour longer would perhaps have made it necessary for them to go to the machine-shop.

We do not consider the official report of Chief Engineer A. C. Stimers to the Navy Department as carrying any weight with it, particularly in view of the terrible mistakes made by that officer in the building of a number of light-draft Monitors which were consigned to the scrap-heap as worthless. In his communication to the Navy Department Mr. Stimers says: “In consideration of the vast importance to our country that this stronghold of the rebellion should be reduced, I take the liberty to express to the Department my firm opinion that the obstructions could be readily passed with the means already provided, and our entire fleet of ironclads pass up successfully to the wharves at Charleston, and that the Monitors will retain sufficient enduring power to enable them to pass all the forts and batteries which may reasonably be expected.”

Mr. Stimers also expressed great confidence in the efficiency of the torpedo rafts designed by Mr. Ericsson, for the purpose of removing torpedoes and blowing up obstructions, which the historian of the Navy says “naval officers were unwilling to use”

Mr. Stimers--or any other person in like circumstances — could express what opinion he pleased, as he had no responsibility in the matter and was not likely to have any. The intelligent reader will doubtless attach more importance to the opinion of the Commander-in-chief and his well-tried officers, who always did their duty faithfully in whatever situation they were placed.

To show that the commanding officers of the Monitors did not lose their coolness, and that they were not deficient in courage during the time they were under the fire of so many guns, it is only necessary to state the accuracy of the fire of those vessels. One hundred and twenty-four shots were fired at Sumter, and during the engagement the Monitors had to be kept in position to preserve their range under the storm of shot that was showered upon them.

The Confederate accounts state that fifty-five of the Monitors' shot struck the walls of Sumter, and others struck inside the works, which was excellent practice considering the situation. The firing also showed that the 15-inch shot had a breaking force against masonry that it did not possess against earth-works. [378]

The distance at which the vessels were from the fort is differently stated by the Federal and Confederate officers, the former placing it at 600, the latter at 1,000, yards. As both were liable to error, we will take the mean of the two, or 800 yards, as correct, at which distance both the 15-inch and the 11-inch guns must have great breaching power. Only two of the 15-inch shot passed through the walls of Fort Sumter and exploded--one in a casemate, the other in the parade-ground. Other 15-inch shells exploded against the walls, making deep craters, but not essentially injuring the fort; “embrasures were destroyed, and one shot cracked the masonry for twenty-four feet in length;” “one large shell went over the parapet, demolished the officers' quarters, and damaged several walls.” “Other 15-inch shells and shot and fragments of shells were picked up in and about the fort.” These facts we glean from the Confederate official account.

We quote the historian of the Navy, who is anxious to show that Admiral Dupont and his officers had no idea of the damage they were doing to the fort, otherwise they would have continued the attack. The fact is, if the Monitors had been filled with shot and shell and every one had struck Fort Sumter, they would not materially have injured its powers of resistance unless they could have disabled the guns.

The naval historian says: “That nothing was more certain, in view of what was actually done, than that Sumter could not long have resisted even such a fire as the Monitors delivered that day. The result would have been not such a gradual crumbling of the walls as took place under the long-range firing of the heavy rifles afterwards from the land batteries, but they would have come down with a crash, and the whole interior of the fort would have been torn in pieces by the enormous shells.” In giving such opinions, it is very plain the Naval historian, whom we quote, had never seen a fort after a bombardment, where the ground was strewn with shells and debris, yet remaining in fair fighting condition. He seems not to consider that while the fort is getting battered the iron-clads are at the same time receiving a severe hammering, and that, when the bombardment is continued for a length of time, the iron turrets will be likely to yield to repeated blows, on the same principle that the trunnions of a heavy gun can be broken off by repeated strokes from an ordinary hammer.

There was another argument urged in favor of the Monitors maintaining the fight with Sumter, viz.: “That, in judging of the actual power of these large guns, one very important point must be considered. These guns were novel weapons, and there was an apprehension that they would burst in firing, and consequently were used with a caution which in the light of subsequent experience appears like timidity. The charge of powder was limited to thirty-five pounds. They have since been fired repeatedly and safely with double that amount — with seventy pounds of powder, or one hundred of mammoth powder, which is equal to seventy or seventy-five of common powder. From the results that were actually reached with only thirty-five pounds of powder, it is rendered certain that, if the charges had been suitably increased, every shot and shell striking fairly would have gone through the walls and the fort would have been destroyed, or, at the very least, it would have been so shattered that none would have doubted the propriety of a second attack, for it could be seen that it could easily be destroyed by a second attack.”

Captain (afterwards Rear-Admiral) Thomas Turner.

This kind of “argument” will not stand against the statement of the facts. Its purpose was to throw on Dupont the odium of failure in the attack on Charleston.

All the talk of increasing the charges of the guns to obtain more breaching power was sheer folly, for the charges for the guns were established by the Bureau of Ordnance in the Navy Department, and no officer could take the responsibility of doubling the charges of the guns during an action, for should they burst and kill his own men he would be held blamable.

The Naval historian labors in all this to show that there was wanting the energy in the attack on Sumter which characterized subsequent proceedings; but it must be remembered that Rear-Admiral Dahlgren, who relieved Dupont, with the light of the latter's experience to guide him, [379] accomplished no more than his predecessor. In fact, the historian admits as much, and acknowledges that nothing was effected until Fort Wagner, the key to the situation, was attacked by the Army and Navy at the same time, when, to use his words: “The Monitors and New Ironsides played a most conspicuous part.” In fact, he says, “it does not appear how Wagner could have been taken without their assistance.” The north end of the island was in possession of the Confederates. and, of course, in communication with Charleston and the other forts, and Wagner could at any time be re-inforced, and it would have been just as easy for the Confederates to have advanced by sap towards Gilmore's batteries as for him to approach them. had it not been for the presence of the iron-clads; but the latter

Lieutenant-Commander (now Rear-Admiral) S. B. Luce.

effectually prevented any operations outside the walls of the fort, nor were the enemy even able to make a sortie to check the working-parties of Gilmore, nor use their batteries with effect upon the position, for the men could not stand to their guns under the fire of the Monitors or New Ironsides.

Day by day, and even by night, it was the business of the Monitors to go up and attack the forts, gradually weakening their defence till, on the day when Gilmore expected to make the final assault, Rear-Admiral Dahlgren, the successor of Dupont, reported that he had knocked the fort into sand-heaps under the fire of the land and naval batteries; it was no longer tenable, and that night Morris Island was evacuated.

No one will pretend that Fort Wagner compared in strength to Fort Sumter, which it was expected six Monitors would knock down; the Commander-in-chief of the squadron, indeed, being blamed for not settling it in the first attack; and when we consider all the events at Charleston, from Dupont's first attack until the evacuation of the place on the advance of General Sherman's army, we are confirmed in our idea that Rear-Admiral Dupont was right in saying that “the place can only be taken by a combined attack of the Army and Navy; and attacking the forts with the Monitors and iron-clads alone would never end in any favorable results.”

It was not until after the fall of Morris Island, when General Gilmore could erect batteries armed with heavy rifled-guns, that Fort Sumter began to crumble, day by day, until it became a mere heap of rubbish to outward seeming, although still powerful, even in its crippled condition. and protecting the obstructions from the Monitors and New Ironsides, so that no one could tell any more of their character than was known to Dupont when lie relinquished his command.

To show the Confederate determination to hold Charleston at all hazards, we here insert tile circular of General Ripley. It shows that the Confederates were alive to everything necessary to circumvent an enemy.

Circular.

Headquarters First Military District, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Charleston, December 26, 1862.
In case the proposed attack on this harbor is known beforehand, special directions will be given for the service of the different batteries. As, however, it may happen that a surprise may be attempted, or that the intervening time between the knowledge of the intention and the event may be too short, the instructions hereinafter contained will be carefully attended to.

Each commanding officer of a fort or battery will give his attention immediately to the strengthening of his carriages and the complete preparation of his material. Besides making the proper requisitions on the staff departments, let him endeavor to do as much as possible from his own resources. While staff departments are to a great extent crippled for want of material and workmen, much can be accomplished by ready expedients without their aid. Every carriage must be kept carefully screwed up, and, if any defects, made at least temporarily efficient. All the elevating screws, eccentric wheels, and traversing gear must be put in order and kept so, and especial care must be taken to see that a full supply of small implements is constantly on hand.

Ammunition should be examined, and immiediately apportioned to the several guns, reference being had to the orders heretofore given on that subject; but where the quantity is not sufficient, the greater portion should be given to the heavier guns, as on them principally the success of the defence must depend.

Officers and men of each command must be kept on the alert, and instructions given to go to each battery at once, upon an alarm; and especial care must be taken that each battery is in readiness for instant action as the men arrive at their guns.

It is hoped and believed that most of these things [380] are habitually attended to; but, as constant vigilance is our only security, they cannot be too forcibly insisted upon.

Upon observing a disposition to attack on the part of the enemy, the nearest fort or battery will give the alarm. By day a shotted gun and dipping the flag will communicate the danger to the other fortifications and Headquarters. All commands will go at once to battery, and the circumstances of the alarm communicated to the Headquarters by telegraph or signal.

By night a shotted gun and a rocket will give the intelligence.

In whatever way the attack is made by the enemy, he is to be engaged as soon as possible, to do so effectually, with a few long-range guns from every fort that will bear. The number of guns must be left to the discretion of the commanding officer, who must see that the fire is as accurate as possible. They must not engage too great a number, and be careful not unduly to excite their men, or strain their guns and carriages. While the longrange fire is valuable, if accurate, to annoy the enemy and force him to develop his attack, it is not to be depended on for more. Other things being equal, it will be well that the guns to leeward are first engaged. The remaining guns of the batteries will be trained by battery on different points where the enemy must pass, care being taken to have the fire of each battery concentrated.

As the enemy approaches, let the distance he will be in passing be accurately estimated by the distance-buoys, and the elevation made to correspond, making it too little rather than too great for direct fire. If the vessels are passing rapidly the guns should be discharged by battery, just as the prows of the vessels come across the line of sight.

In the case of wooden vessels, the object will be to hit them near the water line, just abaft the smoke-stack. In the case of iron-clad vessels, to hit the deck or turrets at the intersection with the deck, and especially to let all the shots strike at once.

The first fire will be concentrated upon the leading vessels, and will be continued upon them as long as the guns by battery will bear well, and especially if they become entangled in obstructions, even if certain vessels engage to draw off the attention of the outermost batteries and remain behind.

Should some of the vessels succeed in passing, the action must then pass into the hands of commanding officers of batteries. They will pour in their fire as far as practicable by battery, and as fast as it can be done with accuracy, on whatever vessels of the enemy may be nearest them.

The guns of Beauregard Battery, Fort Moultrie, Battery Bee, and the eastern, north-eastern, and north-western faces of Fort Sumter, will be used to form the first circle of fire to which the enemy must be subjected, the centre being a little to the eastward of a line between the forts and midway. Every effort must be made to crush his vessels and repel his attack within this circle, and especially while he is entangled in the obstructions.

All the mortars of Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie will be trained on the centre above indicated. The fuses will be of the full length, and the shells have large bursting charges, it being better to have the fuses fail than the shells to burst in the air, and the full effect of the explosions being desirable if successful. The mortar batteries will be fired by battery when the enemy's vessels are about two ships' length from the point on which they are trained.

If the fleet is large, the mortars will be kept trained on the same point and fired by battery as rapidly as possible while the fleet is passing. If small, and a portion has passed the first circle of fire, the mortars of Fort Sumter will be trained to operate on the second circle, the centre of which will be at a point about midway between Forts Sumter and Ripley, and to the southward of the middle-ground shoal. It will be formed by the heavy guns of Fort Johnston, Fort Ripley, Castle Pinckney, Battery Bee, the north-western and western faces of Fort Sumter.

The guns of Forts Johnston and Ripley and Castle Pinckney will open on the leading vessels as they come within easy range, care being taken that every shot finds its mark. Those of Fort Sumter and Battery Bee will continue upon the leading vessels as long as they are close; but, if they elongate their distance, the fire will concentrate on the vessels nearest them.

Should any vessel succeed in passing the second circle of fire, the third will be formed and put into action by the guns of White Point Battery and Battery Glover, with such guns of Forts Johnston and Ripley and Castle Pinckney as will bear. Concentration on the leading vessels will be the object, as before.

During the action care will be taken, as far as possible, to prevent the chances of shot from the batteries taking the direction of our. own works. The best way of doing this will be to let none miss the enemy, and when he is between the works most especial accuracy will be striven for.

The vessels of the Confederate navy will engage during the action, and they may often pass our batteries. In this case officers and gunners cannot be too careful to avoid hitting them. The fire by battery, as a general thing, will be discontinued at those vessels of the enemy which our ships engage closely; but, if occasion offers, endeavors will be made to hit the ports of the revolving turrets on the enemy's vessels when turned from our ships, to disarrange and throw out of gear the machinery for closing the ports.

Accurate fire by single guns will be concentrated on the enemy's vessels, if two or more attack one of ours; and should the distance admit, then it will be advisable to pour upon one of them a heavy fire by battery.

The plunging fire from Fort Sumter is expected to be particularly effective, and when single-rifled guns are fired from the barbettes of that fort, it will be well to hit the grated roofs of the turrets with square-headed bolts, followed by shells filled with molten iron.

The square-headed bolts for the 10-inch columbiads and the heavier guns will be fired by battery when the enemy is within close range. Solid shot and bolts will be used generally against iron-clads during the action.

The furnaces for melting iron and heating shot will be kept in heat, and heated projectiles will be used whenever occasion offers advantage.

Should it happen that any of the enemy's vessels become disabled and endeavor to get out of fire, the outermost batteries must pay particular attention to prevent them; and in case other of the enemy's ships come to the assistance of the disabled, let every gun and mortar which will bear be turned upon them by battery.

The great object of the enemy will probably be to run by, and every effort must be made to crush him in each successive circle of fire which he encounters.

Hog Island Channel will be obstructed, and the obstructions must be guarded by the long-range guns of Fort Sumter and the columbiads of Battery Bee nearest it.

It is doubtful whether the enemy will attempt to pass by Folly Channel. If he does, a circle of fire will be formed by the guns of Fort Ripley, Castle Pinckney and White Point Battery.

The position of torpedoes will be communicated to commanding officers, and the effort made to drive the enemy's vessels upon them if he is taking other courses.

The obstructions will also be designated, and [381] under no circumstances will the enemy be permitted to reconnoitre them.

The headquarters of the undersigned will be at Fort Sumter, and directions will be sent by telegraph and signal to different posts, should anything require special directions.

Batteries Marshall and Wagner will be worked to the extent of their capacity for injuring the enemy, by their commanding officers, without unduly exposing their commands.

The directions given above relate, generally, to the defeat of an attack by the enemy's fleet alone Should a combined attack be made by land and water, other orders can be issued, as nothing of that kind can be done by surprise.

The present circular will be studied and reflected upon by all officers who will be engaged in this honorable duty of the coming defence. With careful attention, coolness and skillful gunnery, success is far more than possible.

R. S. Ripley, Brigadier-General Commanding.
Official: Wm. F. Nanee, Acting-Assistant Adjutant-General.

Commander (now Rear-Admiral) John H. Upshur.

We think we have established that Admiral Dupont was right in the conclusions which he submitted to the Navy Department immediately after the engagement of the 7th of April. The public, knowing that he retired from his command directly after this affair, might suppose that some blame was attached to him.

Dupont was too popular an officer to be treated with injustice, and in the course of a month it was seen by the Secretary of the Navy that his views were correct, and that the siege of Charleston by the Navy still continued with no better results than before.

Overtures were then made to the Admiral and he could have had any command he desired, but Dupont was a proud man and would not listen to terms from those whom he thought had censured him for doing his duty and forced him from his command at Charleston. To accept another command, Dupont thought, would imply that he concurred in the views of the Department.

The following letters will explain in a measure the reasons for the misunderstanding between the Secretary of the Navy and Rear-Admiral Dupont. The Secretary's letter is an implied order for Dupont to succeed at all hazards, while the Admiral's undertakes to show the Department how little prospect there was of meeting its expectations:


Secretary Welles to Rear-Admiral Dupont.

Navy Department, April 11, 1863.
Sir — It has been suggested to the Department by the President, in view of operations elsewhere, and especially by the Army of the Potomac, that you should retain a strong force off Charleston, even should you find it impossible to carry the place. You will continue to menace the rebels, keeping them in apprehension of a renewed attack, in order that they may be occupied; and not come North or go West to the aid of the rebels, with whom our forces will soon be in conflict. Should you be successful, as we trust and believe you will be, it is expected that General Hunter will continue to keep the rebels employed and in constant apprehension, so that they shall not leave the vicinity of Charleston. This detention of the iron-clads, should it be necessary, in consequence of a repulse, can be but for a few days.

I trust your success will be such that the iron-clads can be, or will have been, dispatched to the Gulf when this reaches you. There is intense anxiety in regard to your operations.

This day is the anniversary of the assault on Sumter, and God grant that its recurrence may witness the destruction of that fortress by our naval forces under your command.

I am very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy. Rear-Admiral S. F. Dupont, Commanding S. A. B. Squadron, Port Royal, S. C.

President Lincoln was greatly disturbed at the want of success at Charleston, and sent the following communications to Admiral Dupont:

Executive Mansion, Washington, April 13, 1863.
(Telegram.)

Hold your position inside the bar near Charleston; or, if you shall have left it, return to it and hold it till further orders.

Do not allow the enemy to erect new batteries or defences on Morris Island. If has begun it, drive him out. I do not herein order you to renew the general attack. That is to depend upon your own discretion or a further order.


Executive Mansion, Washington, April 14, 1863.
This is intended to clear up an apparent inconsistency between the recent order to continue operations before Charleston, and the former one to remove to another point in a certain contingency. No [382] censure upon you or either of you is intended; we still hope that by cordial and judicious co-operation you can take the batteries on Morris Island and Sullivan's Island and Fort Sumter. But whether you can or not, we wish the demonstration kept up for a time for a collateral and very important object; we wish the attempt to be a real one (though not a desperate one, if it affords any considerable chance of success. But if prosecuted as a demonstration only, this must not become public, or the whole effect will be lost. Once again before Charleston, do not leave till further orders from here; of course, this is not intended to force you to leave unduly exposed Hilton Head, or other near points in your charge.

Yours truly,

P. S.--Whoever receives this first, please send a copy to the other immediately.

A. L.

Commander (now Rear-Admiral) Charles Steedman, commanding flanking division, battle of Port Royal.


Rear-Admiral Dupont to Secretary Welles.

Flag-Ship Wabash, Port Royal Harbor, S. C., April 16, 1863.
Sir — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt this morning, by the Freeborn, of your communication of the 11th instant, directing the maintaining of a large force off Charleston to menace the rebels and keep them in apprehension of a renewed attack in the event of our repulse.

I have also to acknowledge the receipt of a copy of a telegraphic despatch of the 13th instant, from the President of the United States, sent from Fortress Monroe.

The Department will probably have known, on the 12th instant, the result of the attack. In my dispatch of the 11th instant, dated off Charleston, the department was made aware of my withdrawal, with the iron-clads, from the very insecure anchorage inside the bar, and just in time to save the Monitors from an easterly gale, in which, in my opinion and that of their commanders, they would have been in great peril of being lost on Morris Island Beach. Their ground-tackling has been found to be insufficient, and from time to time they have dragged even in close harbors.

I have since been doing all in my power to push forward their repairs in order to send them to the Gulf as directed; but I presume that your dispatch of the 11th instant, and the telegraphic message from the President, revoke your previous order

I shall spare no exertions in repairing, as soon as possible, the serious injuries sustained by the Monitors in the late attack, and shall get them inside Charleston bar with all dispatch, in accordance with the order of the President. I think it my duty, however, to state to the Department that this will be attended with great risk to these vessels from the gales which prevail at this season, and from the continuous fire of the enemy's batteries, which they can neither silence nor prevent the erection of new ones.

The New Ironsides can only cross the bar with certainty at spring-tides, which are twice a month. She is more vulnerable than the Monitors, and at the distance she must necessarily anchor could not elevate her guns sufficiently to reach any batteries of the enemy, while at the same time she would be liable to injury, particularly in her wooden ends, front a fire which she could not return. If this vessel is withdrawn from the blockade and placed inside, the blockade may be raised by the rebel rains coming out of Charleston harbor at night by Maffit's Channel, in which case she could give no assistance to the fleet outside. But for the New Ironsides, the raid of the 31st of January would have been repeated with more serious effect.

The lower and greater part of Morris Island exhibits a ridge or row of sand-hills, affording to the enemy a natural parapet against the fire of shipping and facilities for erecting batteries in very strong position. The upper part of the island is crossed by Fort Wagner, a work of great strength, and covered by the guns of Fort Sumter. The island is in full communication with Charleston, and can, in spite of us, draw fresh re-inforcements as rapidly as they may be required. Shoals extend from the island, which prevent the near approach of the Monitors, and our experience at Fort McAllister does not encourage me to expect that they will reduce well-defended sand batteries, where the damage inflicted by day is readily repaired by the unstinted labor of the night. The ships, therefore,can neither cover the landing nor afterwards protect the advance of the small force of the army available for operations in this quarter, which will meet fresh troops at every sand-hill, and may look also for a reverse fire from the batteries on James Island.

As it is considered necessary to menace Charleston by a demonstration of land and naval forces, North Edisto will afford a better point from which to threaten an advance, and a concentration of troops and ships in that quarter would accomplish the purpose of the Government mentioned in your dispatch of the 11th instant, as it is a military point from which Charleston could be attacked now, James Island being fully occupied by the enemy's batteries.

I have deemed it proper and due to myself to make these statements, but I trust I need not add that I will obey all orders with the utmost fidelity, even when my judgment is entirely at variance with them,such as the order to re-occupy the unsafe anchorage for the iron-clads off Morris Island, and an intimation that the renewal of the attack on Charleston may be ordered, which, in my judgment, would be attended with disastrous results, involving the loss of this coast.

For eighteen months in these waters I have given whatever of professional knowledge, energy and zeal I possess to the discharge of my duties, and to the [383] close study of our military and naval position in the tenure of the sea-coasts within the limits of my colmmand, and I claim to know what best pertains to the disposition of my fleet in carrying out the instructions of the Department.

I know not yet whether the confidence of the Department so often expressed to me has been shaken by the want of success in a single measure which I never advised, though intensely desirous to carry out the Department's orders and justify expectations in which I could not share.

I am, however, painfully struck by the tenor and tone of the President's order, which seems to imply a censure, and I have to request that the Department will not hesitate to relieve me by an officer, who, in its opinion, is more able to execute that service in which I have had the misfortune to fail — the capture of Charleston. No consideration for an individual officer, whatever his loyalty and length of service, should weigh an instant if the cause of his country can be advanced by his removal.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. F. Dupont, Rear-Admiral, Commanding S. A. B. Squadron. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

Captain (now Rear-Admiral) Wm. Rogers Taylor.

After the attack on Charleston, Rear-Admiral Dupont returned to Fort Royal and the blockade continued as before with the wooden gun-boats.

In the latter part of April, Major-General Hunter applied for a gun-boat to assist a land force in an expedition against Buffington, on May River, which town had been the Headquarters of Confederate marauders for some time.

The army force numbering one thousand men, under Colonel Barton, embarked on board the gun-boat Mayflower and a transport, and were landed near Buffington under cover of the guns of the Commodore McDonough, and took possession of the town from which the Confederates had retreated. By order of Colonel Barton the town was destroyed by fire, the church alone being spared. The enemy returned and made several charges on the Federal troops, but were driven back by the shells of the McDonough, which burst in their ranks.

The burning of the town seems to have been an unnecessary act of severity, but such is the tendency of civil war. The inhabitants of a town are held responsible for the acts of lawless guerillas, and punished for aiding and abetting the enemy, when perhaps they may not have been to blame.

While the blockade of Charleston still continued, the Confederates, with the persistent energy by which they were distinguished, were constructing iron-clads at Savannah. They had been for some time past engaged in altering the blockade-runner Fingal into a casemated vessel of the same type as the Merrimac and others so popular in the South.

The fancy for this description of ironclad arose doubtless more from necessity than from anything else. The Confederates had few machine-shops, and it was hardly practicable to roll out a sufficiency of wide plates, but they had a plenty of railroad iron, and of this they made liberal use. The Southern iron-clads were very formidable vessels when brought into conflict with wooden ships-of-war of the old type. It is only necessary to recall to the reader's memory the two small iron-clads which slipped out of Charleston and did such damage to the Federal gun-boats, not to mention other instances, to show the value of the Confederate war machines.

The slanting roof was the Southern idea pitted against the Monitor plan, which was that of the North. These represented the two most powerful types of fighting-ships in existence, and, if the Merrimac had destroyed the Monitor, the former would no doubt have been the type of vessel used for coast and harbor defence the world over.

The Confederates never conceded the Northern claim that the Monitor drove the Merrimac back to Norfolk. The Confederate naval authorities knew how the Federal Navy Department was abused and criticised throughout the North for adopting the Ericsson principle instead of some of the numerous other devices that were offered, and the South took the view of the question which coincided with their own preconceived ideas. They believed in their plan of vessel with rifled guns, and rather derided the Monitors with their slow-moving turrets and short-range guns.

The want of success of the Monitors at Charleston also lowered their prestige, though this was unjust to the vessels, for [384] they certainly showed their endurance at that place sufficiently to prove that they could stand the attack of the Atlanta.

The Atlanta, then called the Fingal, had succeeded in running the blockade and getting into Savannah soon after the capture of Port Royal. She had since been closely watched, and finding it would be almost impossible to get out of port again as a blockade-runner, she was sold to the Confederate Government and converted into an iron-clad, supposed to be one of the best that had been built in the South.

The Weehawken, Captain John Rodgers, and the Nahant, Commander John Downes, were employed blockading the Atlanta at the mouth of Wilmington River.

Early in the morning of June 17th, 1863,

Confederate iron-clad Atlanta, captured in Warsaw Sound.

it was reported to Captain Rodgers that a Confederate iron-clad was coming down the river. The Weehawken was immediately cleared for action, the cable slipped, and the Monitor steamed slowly towards the northeast end of Warsaw Island, then turned and stood up the Sound, heading for the enemy, who came on with confidence, as if sure of victory. Two steamers followed the Confederate iron-clad, filled with people who had come down to see the Union vessels captured or driven away. The Nahant, having no pilot, followed in the wake of the Weehawken.

When the Atlanta was about a mile and a half from the Weehawken she fired a rifled shot which passed across the stern of the later vessel and struck near the Nahant. At this time the Atlanta lay across the channel waiting the attack of the Monitors. Commander William A. Webb, her commanding officer, showed more courage than judgment, as he was not called upon to await the attack of two vessels which together were superior in force.

The Weehawken approached within three hundred yards of the enemy and at 5.15 A. M. opened fire. In fifteen minutes the Atlanta's colors were hauled down and a white flag was hoisted. The Weehawken fired but five shots altogether, but that number was quite sufficient.

As soon as the Confederate steamer struck her colors, Captain Rodgers steamed close to her and ordered a boat to be sent on board the Weehawken. Lieutenant Alexander, of the Confederate Navy, went on board to surrender the Atlanta, which he informed Captain Rodgers was aground on a sand-spit. Soon after, Commander Webb of the Atlanta repaired on board the Weehawken to deliver up his sword, and a prize-crew, under Lieutenant-Commander D. B. Harmony, was sent to take charge of the prize.

The Weehawken received no damage from the Atlanta's shot, the only injury she received was from her consort running foul of her. The Nahant took no part in the battle, which was ended before she could obtain a position to use her guns.

The Atlanta was struck four times by the Weehawken's shot, first on the inclined side by a 15-inch cored shot, which [385] broke through the armor and wood-backing, strewing the deck with splinters, prostrating about forty men by the force of the concussion, and wounding several by splinters and fragments of armor. The second shot-11-inch solid-struck the “knuckle” or edge of the overhang, and did no damage except breaking a couple of plates. The third shot--15-inch--struck the top of the Atlanta's pilot-house, knocking it off, wounding the pilots and stunning the man at the wheel. The fourth shot--11-inch--struck a port-stopper in the centre, breaking it in two and driving the fragments through the port.

The Atlanta had sixteen wounded, one of whom died from the effects of his

Capture of the Confederate ram Atlanta by the monitor Weehawken.

wounds, but there is no mention of any one being killed outright.

The armament of the Confederate vessel was two 6-inch rifles in broadside, and two 7-inch rifles working on pivots, either as broadside or bow and stern guns. The Atlanta had a complement of 145 officers and men, including marines.

The fact that the vessel was aground when she struck her colors does not account for the feeble defence she made after running down so defiantly and engaging two Monitors, whose strength must have been well known to the Confederates. Only two of the shots which struck the Atlanta did any great damage, and the armor and backing, though much shattered, were not penetrated. This confirms what we have before stated, viz., that the 15-inch shot could not penetrate four inches of iron with the ordinary backing at a distance of 800 yards.

The Atlanta was considered by the Confederates the best iron-clad they had built, and in the capture was verified the statement we have made, that either of the Monitor-built vessels, armed with 15-inch guns, could have destroyed the Merrimac in half an hour. The Weehawken defeated a better ship than the Merrimac in half the time mentioned.

It was probably the intention of the commanding officer of the Atlanta to get out where he could have plenty of searoom and choose his distance — which the great speed of the Atlanta would have enabled him to do — and attack the Monitors at long range, which would only have ended in the expenditure of a large amount of ammunition without any result, except that the Atlanta might have escaped to do harm elsewhere.

It seemed to be the fate of all the Confederate iron-clads to be either captured, or destroyed by their officers to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Federals, and the Merrimac was about the only one of them which effected much previous to her destruction.

The Atlanta had a speed of ten knots, and her officers had confidently counted on capturing both the Monitors. From the nautical instruments on board the Confederate [386] vessel, her commanding officer evidently intended to go to sea or cruise along the coast, and her excellent engines and equipments and good model would have justified such an attempt. The 15-inch shot which struck the Atlanta dispelled all these illusions and demoralized the crew, and, although the vessel fired some shots, they all went wide of the mark.

When it was determined to fit the Atlanta as an iron-clad, she was cut down so as to have the deck two feet above the water. Upon this deck was built a casemate with inclined sides similar to the Merrimac, with ports in which to mount four heavy rifle-guns of the Brooke pattern. Her armor was four inches thick, composed of two layers of plates seven inches wide placed horizontally and vertically to each other.

The vessel was two hundred and four feet

Captain (now Rear-Admiral) J. F. Green.

long, forty-one feet breadth of beam, and about sixteen feet draft of water. The bow terminated in an iron beak for ramming, and the vessel carried a torpedo apparatus on the bow, to be used when opportunity offered. The Atlanta was, in fact, an improved Merrimac.

This is a general description of a vessel from which so much was expected and so little realized, and which instead of capturing two Monitors, was captured by one of them in fifteen minutes.

There was a good deal of ingenuity displayed in the construction of the Atlanta, but the question of the superiority of the Monitor type over the flat or angular type of vessel may be considered set at rest by her capture.

Notwithstanding the battle of the original Monitor with the Merrimac, many people declined to believe in the superiority of the turret system. The English, even after the news reached them, commenced building armed ships with plated sides like the Warrior class, judging from the effect of the Monitor's shot on the Merrimac, that they could build vessels with teak or oak backing and four inches of iron that would resist the most powerful American gun. But here was a new and more powerful gun, of which they had taken no account, and which, exceeding in size anything in the ordnance line heretofore manufactured, might smash in the sides of the Warrior class, even if the shot did not pass clear through them.

This fight with the Atlanta, therefore, set Europe to thinking, and convinced the Navy Department it had taken a step in the right direction. If their little floating batteries could not demolish the heaviest fortifications, they could break up and send to the bottom the heaviest ships.

The battle between the Weehawken and the Atlanta satisfied the United States Government that it could safely intimate to the governments of Europe that we would submit to no interference in our domestic concerns so long as we complied with the law of nations. There was established a more hopeful feeling for the speedy suppression of the rebellion, now that we had demonstrated that we could build vessels that were more than a match for the war-ships of Europe.

The news of this engagement was received in Europe with great interest. It was a contest between English and American ideas. The American idea was the Monitor-built vessel with the 15-inch gun; the English idea was the Atlanta with her plated sides and rifled guns. No persons were more interested in the result of the conflict than the Lords of the British Admiralty, ever alive to what might exercise an influence upon their navy. They had commenced the plating system and seemed to cling to the idea, but the success of the Weehawken shattered their faith. The Monitor system remained master of the field and has so continued to this day.

On this occasion the Secretary of the Navy was eloquent in his praise of Captain Rodgers, recognizing in the handsomest manner his services not only on the present occasion, but also on the Mississippi at the commencement of the war and at Drury's Bluff on the James, where Rodgers attacked the enemy's fortifications in the socalled iron-clad Galena. The Secretary also dwelt on the moral courage exhibited by Captain Rodgers in putting to sea in the face of a violent storm to test the sea-going qualities of the Weehawken--one of a class of vessels so unjustly decried by many persons. [387]

For his important services, the Secretary informed Captain Rodgers that he had presented his name to Congress for a vote of thanks, and certainly the distinction was well deserved, for John Rodgers was one of the most gallant officers in the Navy. He had that cool courage which would flinch from no danger, and his capacious mind was ever ready to meet emergencies which might have unnerved many clever officers. All of Rodgers' friends and associates in the Navy felt that his honors were fairly earned, and they were worn with the modesty which distinguished him.

The capture of the Atlanta was the last important event that occurred while the South Atlantic squadron was under the command of Dupont, and he was well pleased to terminate his official communications to the Navy Department with such gratifying intelligence; and on the 4th of July, 1863, at his own request, he was relieved from the command of the squadron by Rear-Admiral John A. Dahlgren.

In the later communications which passed between Rear-Admiral Dupont and the Secretary of the Navy, some asperity may be observed on both sides; but the capture of the Atlanta seemed to have smoothed all this away, and Admiral Dupont's friends hoped on his arrival in Washington he would be appointed to some important command where he could give the country the benefit of his talents and experience. On his retirement from the command of the squadron, Mr. Secretary Welles wrote the Admiral the following letter, which would seem to indicate that if he had ever had any feeling against Dupont he had outgrown it:

Navy Department, June 26, 1863.
Sir-The Department has received your several dispatches announcing the capture of the rebel ironclad steamer Fingal, alias Atlanta, and enclosing the detailed reports of Captain John Rodgers and Commander John Downes of the affair.

I take occasion to express the Department's appreciation of your prompt measures to prepare for the expected appearance of the rebel iron-clad by sending off Savannah two of our own ably commanded ships, and congratulate you on the acquisition of so powerful a vessel, which promises to be of important service on the station.

To your ceaseless vigilance and that of the officers under your command were we indebted some months since for the destruction of the steamer Nashville, which the enemy had armed and fruitlessly endeavored to send out to destroy our commerce, and now to your timely measures and to the efficient means provided do we owe the capture of one of the most powerful iron-clads afloat, a vessel prepared after several months of toil and great expenditure of money, and sent forth with confidence to disperse our blockading fleet and overcome our Monitors.

You may well regard this, and we may with pleasure look upon it, as a brilliant termination of a command gallantly commenced and conducted for nearly two years with industry, energy and ability.

The Department desires you to recommend to it an officer of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron to command the Atlanta.

Very respectfully,

Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy. Rear-Admiral S. F. Dupont, Commanding S. A. B. Squadron, Port Royal, S. C.

South Atlantic Squadron, January, 1863.

List of vessels and officers under Rear-Admiral Samuel F. Dupont.

Captain C. R. P. Rodgers, Captain of the Fleet.

Steam-frigate Wabash, Flag-ship.

Commander, Thomas G. Corbin; Lieutenant-Commander, John Irwin; Lieutenant Alexander S. Mackenzie, Ordnance-Officer; Lieutenant Samuel W. Preston, Flag-Lieutenant; Lieutenants, Lloyd Phenix, John H. Rowland and James P. Robertson; Fleet Surgeon, George Clymer; Assistant Surgeons, Henry F. McSherry and Theoron Woolverton; Paymaster, John S. Cunningham; Chaplain, George W. Dorrance; Acting-Master, Townsend Stiles; Marine Officers: Captain, James Lewis; First-Lieutenant, H. B. Lowry; Ensigns, James Wallace, M. L. Johnson, Philip W. Lowry, La Rue P. Adams and Frederick Pearson; Acting-Master's Mates, Wm. A. Duer, W. F. Horton and Joel R. Hinman; Engineers: Chief, Robert W. McCleery, Acting-Second-Assistant, J. B. Hathaway; Third-Assistants, J. S. Green, Thomas Crummey; Acting-Third-Assistants, J. L. Marshall, J. B. Place and J. T. Dennett; Boatswain, Zachariah Whitmarsh; Gunner, Thomas Stewart; Carpenter, Charles Bordman; Sailmaker, G. T. Lozier

Iron-clad steamer New Ironsides.

Captain, Thomas Turner; Lieutenant-Commander, Geo. E. Belknap; Lieutenant, H. B. Robeson; Surgeon, Marius Duvall; Assistant Surgeons, W. T. Plant and Edward Kershner; Paymaster, Alex. W. Russell; Marine Officers: First-Lieutenant, H. A. Bartlett; Second-Lieutenant, J. B. Young; Acting-Masters, G. W. Domett, J. M. Skillings and J. M. Butler; Acting-Master's Mates, C. W. Howard, G. H. Bradley, S. S. Hand, T. E. Harvey, B. F. Morris and Robert Shepherd; Engineers: Chief, Harmon Newell; First-Assistant, N. B. Littig; Second-Assistants, O H. Lackey, R. L. Harris; Third-Assistants, Edward Battelle, H. C. Beckwith and W. S. Wells; Boatswain, Thomas Bennett; Gunners, Charles Stuart and R. J. Hill; Carpenter, Theodore Bishop; Sailmaker, J. B. Birdsall.

Iron-clad steamer Nantucket. [Jan. 1864.]

Lieutenant-Commander, S. B. Luce; Lieutenant, H. L. Howison; Assistant Surgeon, A. B. Judson; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, L. L. Brigham; Acting-Master, W. H. Maies; Acting-Ensigns, J. T. Otis, C. C. Starr and John Meyers; Engineers: Second-Assistants, Geo. H. White, Isaac McNary; Third-Assistants, W. W. Buckhout, J. K. Smedley and Acting-Third-Assistant A. L. Grow. [Commander Donald McN. Fairfax commanded the Nantucket at Charleston.]

[388]

Iron-clad steamer Catskill. [Jan. 1864.]

Lieutenant-Commander, F. M. Bunce; Assistant-Surgeon, Robert Willard; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, G. F. Barker; Acting-Master, G. W. Parker; Acting-Ensigns, C. P. Walters and George M. Prindle; Engineers: Second-Assistant, G. D. Emmons; Third-Assistant, J. F. Booth; Acting-Third-Assistants, Frank Marsh and James Plunkett; Acting-Master s Mate, Peter Trescott. [Commander George W. Rodgers commanded the Catskill at Charleston.]

Steam-Sloop Powhatan.

Captain, S. W. Godon; Lieutenant-Commander, E. P. Williams; Lieutenants, A. R. McNair and F. J. Higginson; Surgeon, Henry O. Mayo; Assistant Surgeon, Edw. D. Payne; Paymaster, L. J. Brown; First-Lieutenant of Marines, P. C. Pope; Acting-Masters, Jas. Ogilvie, Lothrop Baker, C. R. Wilkins and E. L. Haines; Acting-Ensign, C. P. Walters; Acting-Masters' Mates, W. S. Curtis, Wm. Frost and C. H. Howland; Engineers: Chief, John A. Grier; First Assistant, H. B. Nones; Second-Assistant. Henry Brown; Third-Assistants, W. H. Glading, R. A. Wright, G. W. Carrick, John Franklin and M. Cuthbert; Boatswain, Wm. Long; Gunner, G. W. Omensetter; Carpenter, Amos Chick; Sailmaker, W. S. L. Brayton.

Iron-clad steamer Passaic.

Captain, Percival Drayton; Lieutenant-Commander, Joseph N. Miller; Assistant Surgeon, Edgar Holden; Assistant Paymaster, J. P. Woodbury; Acting-Ensigns, H. B. Baker and L. G. Emerson; Engineers: First-Assistant, G. S. Bright; Second-Assistant, H. W. Robie; Third-Assistants, W. A. Dripps and Joseph Hoops.

Steam Sloop Canandaigua.

Captain, Joseph F. Green; Lieutenant-Commander, J. J. Cornwell; Lieutenant, H. De H. Manley; Surgeon, James Suddards; Paymaster, C. H. Eldredge; Acting-Master, Samuel Hall; Ensign, Benjamin H. Porter; Acting-Ensign, John L. Gifford; Acting-Master's Mates, A. S. Eldridge, J. N. Pease, W. T. Vincent and C. S. McCarty; Engineers: Chief, Wm. S. Stamm; First-Assistant, H. C. Victor; Second-Assistant, G. W. Rogers ; Third-Assistants, Albert Jackson, Alfred Hedrick, Philip Miller and E. S. Phillippi; Boatswain, Thomas Smith; Gunner, John Gaskins; Carpenter, S. N. Whitehouse; Sailmaker, David Bruce.

Iron-clad steamer Weehawken.

Captain, John Rodgers; Lieutenant-Commander, L. H. Newman; Assistant Surgeon, E. M. Stein, Acting-Assistant Paymaster, J. H. Pynchon; Acting-Master, B. W. Loring; Acting-Ensigns, J. C. Cox and Stephen Balles; Engineers: Second-Assistants, J. H. Bailey and David Hardie; Third-Assistants, H. W. Merian and Augustus Mitchell.

Steam-Sloop Housatonic.

Captain, Wm. Rogers Taylor; Lieutenants, M. S. Stuyvesant and E. T. Brower; Surgeon, S. F. Coues; Assistant Paymaster, J. S. Woolson, Acting-Masters, J. W. Congdon and J. K. Crosby; Acting Ensign, Weston Gregory, Acting-Master's Mates, C. D. Bordman, E. A. Butler, G. A. Harriman and B. F. Jacobs; Engineers: Chief, John S. Albert; Second-Assistant, P. A. Rearick; Third-Assistants, I. R. McNary, F. L. Cooper, G. W. Geddes and J. H. Harmany; Boatswain, H. P. Grace; Gunner, Benjamin Roberts.

Steamer Mercedita.

Captain, Henry S. Stellwagen; Lieutenant-Commander, Trevot Abbott; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, C. H. Mason; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, T. C. Stellwagen; Acting-Masters, C. B. Wilder, F. J. Gover and T. J. Dwyer; Master's Mates, Edward Rogers and G. A. Steins; Engineers: Acting-First-Assistant, Alexander Doig; Acting-Third-Assistants, Simon Rockefellow, E. F. Martin and J. A. Munger; Gunner, Jacob Amee.

Steam gun-boat Paul Jones.

Commander, Charles Steedman, Lieutenant, Edward A. Walker; Acting-Masters, Wm. Buckholdt; C. H. Boutelle and J. O. Ormond; Assistant Surgeon, J. H. Hazleton; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, J. A. Berry; Acting-Master's Mates, C. V. Kelly, Jeremiah Potts and Charles Weidenbine; Engineers: First-Assistant, Alexander Greer; Second-Assistant, James Sheriden; Third-Assistants, J. H. Chassmar, W. H. G. West and E. D. Weems; Acting-Gunner, O. B. Holden.

Steamer South Carolina.

Commander, John J. Almy; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, G. A. Bright; Assistant Paymaster, A. S. Kenny; Acting Masters, J. W. Magune, G. A. Crabb, W. H. Garfield and F. W. Baury; Acting-Ensign, C. T. Taylor; Acting-Master's Mates, Eliphalet Holbrook, Wm. C. Nye, A. S. Hitch and S. S. Withington; Engineers: Acting-Second-Assistants, B. B. Carney, B. D. Mulligan and J. H. Rowe; Acting Third-Assistants, Henry Gormley and James Jamison.

Steamer Flag.

Commander, James H. Strong; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, C. W. Sartori; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, Lynford Lardner; Acting-Master, Wm. H. Latham; Acting-Master's Mates, E. G. Welles, G. W. Veacock and C. S. Lawrence: Engineers: Acting-First-Assistant, L. H. Flowry; Acting-Second-Assistants, John Harris, W. W. Tunis and M. Dandreau; Acting-Third-Assistants, J. S. Johnson and Edw. Alin; Acting-Gunner, B. F. Ritter.

Steamer Quaker City.

Commander, James M. Frailey; Lieutenant-Commander, S. Livingston Breese; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, J. J. Brownlee; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, H. J. Bullay Acting Master, H. S. Blanchard; Acting-Ensigns, T. F. DeLuce, A. Delano, Jr., and J. H. Bennett; Acting-Master's Mates, E. H. Dewey and E. W. Hale; Engineers; Acting-First-Assistant, G. W. Farrer; Acting-Third-Assistants, James Barnes, E. F. McGinniss, Henry Wauklin, J. F. King and John Proshero; Gunner, Daniel Dunsmore.

Store-ship Vermont.

Commander, William Reynolds; Surgeon, Charles Eversfield; Assistant-Surgeon, I. H. Hazleton; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, J. S. Isaacs; Second-Lieutenant Marines, Alfred Devereaux; Acting-Masters, Howard Tibbatts and C. C. Kingsbury; Acting-Ensigns, C. A. Pettit and R. T. Westcott; Acting-Master's Mates, W. Van Wyck, O. F. Wixen, J. G. Rose, Sidney Gray, Arthur Taffe and J. S. Griscom; Boatswain, William Winchester; Acting-Gunners, G. W. Allen and J. G. Bills; Carpenter, C. W. Babbitt; Sailmaker, John Joins.

Steamer Keystone State.

Commander, Wm. E. Le Roy; Lieutenant Commander, T. H. Eastman, Assistant Surgeon, J. H. Gotwold; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, J. S. Stimson; Acting-Masters, C. H. Corser, Curtis Redman and L. E. Degn; Acting-Ensign, C. M. Bird; Acting-Master's Mates, J. C. Murphy, J. E. Jones and J. T. Ridgeway; Engineers: Acting-First-Assistant, A. K. Eddowes; Acting-Second-Assistant, James Doran; Acting-Third-Assistants, Wm. F. Warburton, John Smith and Pearson L. Fry; Acting-Gunner, David L. Briggs.

Steamer Cimmerone.

Commander, Maxwell Woodhull; Lieutenant-Commander, B. B. Taylor; Acting-Masters, G. E. Thurston, Edward D. March and Samuel A. Waterbury; Assistant Surgeon, Eugene S. Olcott; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, D. W. Hale; Acting-Master's Mates, John F. Miller, Peter J. Marcoe, Wm. H. [389] Herring and Augustus Lippitt; Engineers: First-Assistant, E. A. C. Du Plaine; Second-Assistant, Reynold Driver; Third-Assistants, G. J. Burnap, George W. Beard and David Jones; Gunner, John Caulk.

Steamer Bienville.

Note.--List of officers not given in the Navy Register.

Iron-clad steamer Montauk.

Commander, John L. Worden; Lieutenant-Commander, C. H. Cushman; Assistant Surgeon, S. N. Brayton; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, S. T. Browne; Acting-Master, Pierre Giraud; Acting-Ensigns, I. J. McKinley and Geo. A. Almy; Engineers: Second-Assistants, Robert Potts and T. A. Stephens; Third-Assistants,D. P. McCartney and Geo. M. Greene.

Steam gun-boat Conemaugh.

Commander, Reed Werden, Lieutenant, B. J. Cromwell; Assistant Surgeon, J. J. Allingham; Paymaster, George Lawrence; Acting-Masters, J. W. Stapleford and J. L. Lee; Acting-Ensigns, W. F. Reading and G. F. Morse; Acting-Master's Mates, J. H. Wainwright, A. R. Bashford, John Brown and G. H. French; Engineers: Second-Assistant, L. J. Allen; Third-Assistants, C. P. Gardner, P. H. Hendrickson, John Lloyd and J. W. Boynton.

Steamer James Adger.

Commander, Thomas H. Patterson; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, R. N. Atwood; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, W. W. T. Greenway; Acting-Master, R. O. Patterson; Acting-Ensigns, C. F. Keith and J. T. Chadwell; Acting-Master's Mates, W. W. Reed, George Couch and Wm. B. Dyer, Jr.; Engineers: Acting-First-Assistant, E. A. Whipple; Acting-Second-Assistant, John Carren; Acting-Third-Assistants, Andrew McTurk, Wm. Moran and W. R. Nutz; Acting-Gunner, J. H. Pennington.

Iron-clad steamer Patapsco.

Commander, Daniel Ammen; Lieutenant, Henry Erben, Jr.; Assistant Surgeon, W. L. Wheeler; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, Daniel Leach, Jr.; Acting-Master, William Hamilton; Acting-Ensigns, J. T. Ross and Henry Kloeppel; Engineers: First-Assistant, B. B. H. Wharton; Second-Assistant, John B. Carpenter; Third-Assistants, J. W. Huxley and G. C. Cook.

Steam-Sloop Pawnee.

Commander, G. B. Balch; Lieutenant, F. M. Bunce; Surgeon, W. T. Hord; Assistant-Paymaster, F. R. Curtis; Acting-Masters, J. C. Champion and J. P. Lindsay; Acting-Ensign, Thomas Moore; Acting-Master's Mates, C. J. Rogers, J. G. Bache and A. A. Franzen; Engineers: Second--Assistant, Alfred Adamson; Third-Assistants, H. D. Sellman, Benjamin Bunce, W. J. Clark, Jr., John G. Brosnahan and Arthur Price; Boatswain, James Brown.

Iron-clad steamer Nahant.

Commander, John Downes; Lieutenant-Commander, D. B. Harmony; Assistant Surgeon, C. E. Stedman; Assistant Paymaster, Edwin Putnam; Acting-Master, Wm. W. Carter; Acting-Ensigns, C. C. Ricker and C. E. Clark; Engineers: First-Assistant, F. J. Lovering; Second-Assistant, T. H. Bordley; Third-Assistants, Abram Michener and W. S. Neal.

Steamer Norwich.

Commander, James M. Duncan; Ensign, A. H. McCormick; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, G. E. Mc-Pherson; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, G. C. Boardman; Acting-Masters, C. F. Mitchell and R. B. Arrants; Acting-Master's Mates, Peter Mookler, A. J. L. Baker and G. M. Smith; Engineers: Acting-Second-Assistant, Nicholas Coyle; Acting-Third-Assistants, A. A. Odell, Benjamin Cobb, Jr., and W. W. Thain.

Steam gun-boat Sebago.

Commander, John C. Beaumont; Lieutenant, H. M. Blue; Assistant Surgeon, John P. Quinn; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, S. G. Thorn; Acting-Masters, Thomas M. Gardner, Wm. C. Mallard and J. F. Anderson; Acting-Ensign, C. B. Dorrance; Acting-Master's Mate, E. D. Martin; Engineers: First-Assistant, S. F. Savage; Third-Assistants, G. E. Tower, W. H. De Hart, O. W. Allison and J. A. Bullard.

Steamer Mohawk.

Lieutenant-Commander, Aaron K. Hughes; Assistant Surgeon, Geo. W. Woods; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, G. H. Andrews; Acting-Masters, G. R. Durand, Anthony Smally and Alex. Tillinghast; Acting-Master's Mates, T. Holland and T. J. Speights; Engineers: Acting-First-Assistant, Alfred Lapoint; Acting-Third-Assistants, William King, Geo. E. Whitney and R. K. Morrison.

Steam gun-boat Huron.

Lieutenant-Commander, Geo. A. Stevens; Assistant Surgeon, C. H. White; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, Charles Stewart; Acting-Masters, J. W. Gill, W. H. Baldwin and Wm. A. Mills; Acting-Master's Mates, Peter O'Conner, Samuel Delano, J. M. Blake and Wm. Henderson; Engineers: Acting-First-Assistant, Wm. Craig; Third-Assistants, Sylvanus McIntyre, J. P. Kelley, John Lowe and F. C. Russell.

Steam gun-boat Unadilla.

Lieutenant-Commander, S. P. Quackenbush; Assistant Surgeon, C. T. Hubbard; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, Geo. B. Tripp; Acting-Masters, Edw. Van Sice, W. L. Tuttle and P. N. Cruse; Acting-Ensign, R. M. Cornell; Acting-Master's Mates, Geo. E. Thomas, C. N. Hall and Wm. Field; Engineers: Second-Assistant, R. S. Talbot; Third-Assistants, R. H. Thurston, Fred'k Bull, Jr., and M. N. Knowlton.

Steamer Flambeau.

Lieutenant-Commander, John H. Upshur; Lieutenant, Fred'k R. Smith; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, J. R. Layton; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, F. V. D. Horton; Acting-Masters, W. B. Sheldon, A. C. Megathlin and Wm. L. Kempton; Acting-Ensign, Gardner Cottrell; Acting-Master's Mate, J. F. Burrows; Engineers: Acting-First-Assistant, A. G. Pemble; Acting-Second-Assistant; Alex. Gillanders; Acting-Third-Assistant, William Richardson.

Steam gun-boat Ottawa.

Lieutenant-Commander, Wm. D. Whiting; Lieutenant, Geo. B. White; Assistant Surgeon, C. O. Carpenter; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, C. H. Noyes; Acting-Master, Samuel Hanes; Acting-Ensigns, J. L. Gamble and B. Mitchell; Acting-Master's Mates, E. M. Dimon, A. W. Tripp and David McKewan; Engineers: Second-Assistant, J. P. Sprague; Third-Assistants, E. W. Koehl, F. C. Prindle and R. B. Hine.

Steam gun-boat Seneca.

Lieutenant-Commander, William Gibson; Lieutenant, Thomas C. Bowen; Assistant Surgeon, J H. Macomber; Assistant Paymaster, G. W. Beaman; Acting-Masters, J. H. Rodgers, Henry Vaughan and G. W. Ewen; Acting-Master's Mates, E. W. Fiske, J. W. Paine and C. E. Culver; Engineers: Second-Assistant, J. W. De Krafft; Third-Assistants, H. H. Burritt, Thomas Lynch and R. T. Bennett.

Steam gun-boat Wissahickon.

Lieutenant-Commander, John L. Davis; Lieutenant, Silas Casey; Assistant Surgeon, Henry Ackley; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, A. W. Kelsey; Acting-Masters, Geo. W. Parker and T. S. Steel; Acting-Ensign, J. W. Hathorn; Acting-Master's Mates, R. B. Crapo, G. E. Senter and A. L. Pendleton; Engineers: Acting-First-Assistant, J. F. Riley; Acting-Third-Assistants, [390] J. J. Newton, C. A. Stuart and H. J. Tarr.

Steam gun boat Marblehead.

Lieutenant-Commander, R. W. Scott; Lieutenant, Geo. C. Remey; Assistant Surgeon, R. H. Kidder; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, J. H. Mulford; Acting-Masters, Geo. Martin and B. Allen; Acting-Master's Mates, D. S. Gross, B. O. Low, G. F. Winslow and Harry West; Engineers: Second-Assistant, Clark Fisher; Third-Assistants, W. L. Nicoll, James Long and H. W. Bulkley.

Steamer water Witch.

Lieutenant-Commander, Austin Pendergrast; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, W. H. Pierson; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, L. G. Billings; Acting-Masters. C. W. Buck and H. S. Kimball; Acting-Ensign, J. M. Forsyth; Acting-Masters' Mates, J. J. Bigley and E. D. Parsons; Engineers: Acting-First-Assistant Samuel Genther; Acting-Third-Assistants, J. P. Cooper, John Hawkins and John Overn.

Steamer Commodore McDonough.

Lieutenant-Commander, George Bacon; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, J. W. Gibson; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, J. F. Quintard; Acting-Ensigns, Wm. Knapp and J. A. Buxton; Acting-Master's Mates, J. K. Winn, J. W. Goodwin and D. B. Hallett; Engineers: Acting-Third-Assistants, T. O. Reynolds, J. T. Booth and S. S. Hetrick.

Steamer Isaac Smith.

Acting-Lieutenant, F. S. Conover; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, G. H. Marvin; Acting-Assistant-Paymaster, F. C. Hills; Acting-Masters, J. W. Dicks and Robert Tarr; Acting-Ensigns, Whitman Chase, F. J. Brenton and H. S. Borden; Engineers: Acting-First-Assistant, Jacob Tucker; Acting-Second-Assistant, J. S. Turner; Acting-Third-Assistants, Wm. Ross and Erastus Barry.

Steamer Dawn.

Acting-Lieutenant, John S. Barnes; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, A. R. Holmes; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, R. C. Pierce; Acting-Masters, James Brown and J. W. Saunders; Acting-Master's Mates, A. Hartshorn, P. W. Morgan and Charles Myers; Engineers: Acting-First-Assistant, N. D. Bates; Acting-Third-Assistants, Samuel Tomlinson, M. V. B. Darling and W. P. Ayres.

Steamer Whitehead.

Acting-Volunteer-Lieutenant, Chas. A. French; Acting-Ensigns, J. M. Holmes and J. R. Dickinson; Acting-Master's Mates, T. E. Quayle and T. M. Nelson; Engineers: Acting-Second-Assistant, Moses Petersen; Acting-Third-Assistants, R. H. Ryan and G. B. McDermott.

Bark Gem-of-the-sea.

Acting-Volunteer-Lieutenant, J. B. Baxter; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, B. G. Walton; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, H. A. Strong; Acting-Masters, P. F. Coffin and H. B. Carter; Acting-Ensign, Samuel Bliss.

Steamer Potomska.

Acting-Volunteer-Lieutenant, William Budd; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, S. C. Smith; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, F. H. Swan; Acting-Masters, R. P. Walter, B. W. Leary and Abner West; Acting-Master's Mates, J. D. Wells and Woodward Carter; Engineers: Acting-Second-Assistant, G. H. Guyer; Acting-Third-Assistants, C. A. Martine, Edwin Vaughan and W. L. McKay.

Steamer Memphis.

Acting-Lieutenant, P. G. Watmough; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, S. H. Brown; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, W. E. Foster; Acting-Master, C. A. Curtis; Acting-Ensigns, E. A. Magone and J. B. Childs; Acting-Master's Mates, N. P. Dickinson, Silas Owens and J. M. Moore; Engineers: Acting-First-Assistant, J. L. Peake; Acting-Second-Assistant, C. H. McCarty; Acting-Third-Assistants, H. L. Churchill, Chas. Hardwick and J. H. Vaile.

Steamer Stettin.

Acting-Master, C. J. Van Alstine; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, J. S. Cohen; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, E. P. Heberton; Acting-Master, G. P. Lee; Acting-Ensigns, G. R. Bailey and Joseph Frost; Acting-Master's Mates, G. E. Short, Marcus Baird and G. N. Ryder; Engineers: Acting-Second-Assistant, J. B. Edwards; Acting-Third-Assistants, P. B. Robinson, Thomas Slater and S. B. Cornell.

Bark Restless.

Acting-Master, Wm. R. Brown; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, J. B. Calkins; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, W. S. Cushman; Acting-Masters, Maurice Digard and J. B. Rogers; Acting-Ensigns, Henry Eason, J. J. Russell and C. N. Hicks; Acting-Master's Mates, J. W. Mackie and Henry Oakley.

Steamer Madgie.

Acting-Master, F. B. Meriam; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, Louis Michel; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, B. Huscull; Acting-Ensign, W. C. Underhill; Acting-Master's Mates, E. H. Vail, E. P. Blague and Jason Ryan; Engineers: Acting-Second-Assistant, G. L. Palmer; Acting-Third-Assistants, A. F. Rockfeller, Maurice McCarty and C. M. Goodwin.

Bark midnight.

Acting-Master, Nicholas Kirby; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, J. G. Bacon; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, F. Miller; Acting-Masters, S. D. Joy and Edwin Coffin; Acting-Ensign, Zera L. Tanner; Acting-Master's Mates, A. K. Noyes, Nicholas Pratt and Thos. Hollins.

Ship Valparaiso.

Acting-Master, A. S. Gardner; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, A. B. C Sawyer; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, Tracy Coit; Acting-Masters, J. W. Godfrey and Wm. Haffords; Acting-Master's Mates, John Blitz and Charles Cooke.

Steamer Uncas.

Acting-Master, William Watson; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, G. H. Van Deusen; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, C. E. Taylor; Acting-Ensigns, Wm. L. Pavy; Acting-Master's Mate, Geo. Newlin; Engineers: Acting-Second-Assistant, C. Dandreau; Acting-Third-Assistant, Paul Dandreau.

Steamer Wamsutta.

Acting-Master, S. C. Gray; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, S. F. Quimby; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, Sam. Jorden; Acting-Master's Mates, G. F. Goodrich, Chas. Crayton and Thomas Kennedy; Engineers: Acting-Third-Assistants, Wm. A. Andress, John Seaman and W. J. Carman.

Ship courier.

Acting-Master, W. K. Cressy; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, W. R. Bonsall, Acting-Assistant Paymaster, M. W. Blake; Acting-Master, W. B. Stoddard; Acting-Ensigns, W. P. O'Brien and Wm. McDermott; Acting-Master's Mates, C. J. Hill and E. H. Shee.

Bark Fernandina.

Acting-Master, Edward Moses; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, S. P. Boyer; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, T. N. Murray; Acting-Masters, R. B. Hines and C. C. Childs; Acting-Ensigns, Wm. H. Thomas; Acting-Master's Mates, J. B. Henderson, W. C. Gibson and Alonzo Townsend.

Bark Kingfisher.

Acting-Master, J. C. Dutch; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, W. H. Westcott; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, A. N. Blakeman; Acting-Ensigns, S. W. Rhodes and T. E. Chapin; Acting-Master's Mates, Tom. Nelson, H. G. Seaman and Frank Jordan.

Bark Braziliera.

Acting-Master, W. T. Gillespie; Acting-Assistant [391] Surgeon, S. N. Fisk; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, C. H. Longstreet; Acting-Masters, J. J. N. Webber and Jeremiah Chadwick; Acting-Master's Mates, W. N. Smith, J. B. F. Smith and W. H. Roberts.

Steamer Columbine.

Acting-Master, J. S. Dennis; Acting-Ensign, C. S. Flood; Acting-Master's Mates, Edwin Daly and F. W. Sanborn; Engineers: Acting-Second-Assistant, W. H. Ogden; Acting-Third-Assistants, E. H. Lawrence and S. C. Clark.

Tug Daffodil.

Acting-Master, E. M. Baldwin; Acting-Master's Mates, Francis Such and S. C. Bishop; Acting-Second-Assistant Engineer, J. P. Rossman; Acting-Third-Assistant Engineer, Geo. Cunningham.

Tug Dandelion.

Acting-Master, A. S. Gardner; Acting-Master's Mate, John Brittingham; Engineers: Acting-Second-Assistant, J. M. Case; Acting-Third-Assistant, E. F. Hedden.

Schooner C. P. Williams.

Acting-Master, S. N. Freeman; Acting-Master's Mates, F. W. Towne, John Gunn and F. E. Daggett.

Schooner Norfolk Packet.

Acting-Ensign, G. W. Wood; Assistant-Surgeon, A. B. Judson; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, T. Merritt; Acting-Master's Mates, Leaken Barnes, Jackson Kingsley and Tim. Ryan.

Schooner hope.

Acting-Master, J. E. Rockwell; Acting-Master's Mates, J. B. Williamson, J. C. Sanborn and Jacob Cocbrane.

Schooner Para.

Acting-Master, E. C. Furber; Acting-Master's Mates, Edward Ryan, John McDonough and W. H. Morse.

Yacht America.

Acting-Master, Jonathan Baker; Acting-Master's Mates, G. H. Wood, August Adler and W. H. Thompson.

Schooner G. W. Blunt.

Acting--Master, J. R. Beers; Acting-Master's Mates, B. D. Reed, A. H. Comstock and G. W. Cleaves.

Steamer rescue.

Acting-Ensign, C. A. Blanchard; Acting-Master's Mate, E. D. Smith; Engineers: Acting-Third-Assistants, M. C. Heath and G. W. Howe.

Tug O. M. Pettit.

Acting-Ensign, T. E. Baldwin; Engineers: Acting-Second-Assistant, Reuben McClenahan; Acting-Third-Assistant, Augustus Wandell.

Iron-clad Keokuk.

Lieutenant-Commander, A. C. Rhind; Lieutenant, Moreau Forrest; Acting-Master, James Taylor; Acting-Ensigns, W. H. Bullis, Ira T. Halstead and Alex McIntosh; Acting-Assistant Surgeon, Geo. D. Slocum; Acting-Assistant Paymaster, John Read; First-Assistant Engineer, Wm. H. King; Second-Assistant Engineer, J. H. Hunt; Third-Assistant Engineers, J. M. Emanuel and H. A. Smith.



Letters relating to the battle of Port Royal and occupation of the Confederate forts.


From Flag-officer Dupont, Commander Steedman, and Lieutenants-commanding C. R. P. Rodgers, Ammen, Stevens and Watmough--Major John G. Reynolds, U. S. M. C.--Commendatory letters of Secretary Welles--General orders, etc

Report of Flag-officer Dupont:

Flag-Ship Wabash, Off Hilton Head, Port Royal Harbor, Nov. 8, 1861.
Sir — I have the honor to inform you that yester day I attacked the enemy's batteries on Bay Point and Hilton Head (Forts Beauregard and Walker), and succeeded in silencing them after an engagement of four hours duration, and driving away the squadron of rebel steamers under Commodore Tatnall. The reconnoissance of yesterday made us acquainted with the superiority of Fort Walker, and to that I directed my especial efforts, engaging it at a distance of, first, eight, and afterwards six, hundred yards. But the plan of attack brought the squadron sufficiently near Fort Beauregard to receive its fire, and the ships were frequently fighting the batteries on both sides at the same time.

The action was begun on my part at twenty-six minutes after 9, and at half-past 2 the American ensign was hoisted on the flag-staff of Fort Walker, and this morning at sunrise on that of Fort Beauregard.

The defeat of the enemy terminated in utter rout and confusion. Their quarters and encampments were abandoned without an attempt to carry away either public or private property. The ground over which they fled was strewn with the arms of private soldiers, and officers retired in too much haste to submit to the encumbrance of their swords.

Landing my marines and a company of seamen, I took possession of the deserted ground, and held the forts on Hilton Head till the arrival of General Sherman, to whom I had the honor to transfer its occupation.

We have captured forty-three pieces of cannon, most of them of the heaviest calibre and of the most improved description.

The bearer of these dispatches will have the honor to carry with him the captured flags and two small brass field-pieces, lately belonging to the State of South Carolina, which are sent home as suitable trophies of the day. I enclose herewith a copy of the general order, which is to be read in the fleet to-morrow morning at muster. A detailed account of this battle will be submitted hereafter.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

Your most obedient servant,

S. F. Dupont, Flag-Officer, Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.
P. S.--Bearer of dispatches will also carry with him the first American ensign raised upon the soil of South Carolina since the rebellion broke out.

S. F. D.


General order no. 2.

Flag-Ship Wabash, Hilton Head, Port Royal Bay, Nov. 8, 1861.
It is the grateful duty of the Commander-in-chief to make a public acknowledgment of his entire commendation of the coolness, discipline, skill and gallantry displayed by the officers and men under his command in the capture of the batteries on Hilton Head and Bay Point, after an action of four hours duration. [392]

The flag-officer fully sympathizes with the officers and men of the squadron in the satisfaction they must feel at seeing the ensign of the Union flying once more in the State of South Carolina, which has been the chief promoter of the wicked and unprovoked rebellion they have been called upon to suppress.

S. F. Dupont, Flag-Officer, Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.


Report of Flag-officer Dupont.

United States Flag-Ship Wabash, Port Royal Harbor, S. C., Nov. 11, 1861.
Sir — I have the honor to submit the following detailed account of the action of the 7th of November:

From the reconnaissance of the 5th we were led to believe that the forts on Bay Point and Hilton Head were armed with more than twenty guns each, of the heaviest calibre and longest range, and were well constructed and well manned, but that the one on Hilton Head was the strongest. The distance between them is two and two-tenths nautical miles-too great to admit of their being advantageously engaged at the same time, except at long shot. I resolved, therefore, to undertake the reduction of Hilton Head (or, as I shall hereafter call it, Fort Walker) first, and afterwards to turn my attention to Fort Beauregard--the fort on Bay Point. The greater part of the guns of Fort Walker were presented upon two water-fronts, and the flanks were but slightly guarded, especially on the north, on which side the approach of an enemy had not been looked for.

A fleet of the enemy — consisting of seven steamers, armed, but to what extent I was not informed further than that they carried rifle-guns — occupied the northern portion of the harbor, and stretched along from the mouth of Beaufort River to Scull Creek.

It was high water on the 7th instant at 11h. 35m. A. M. by the tables of the Coast Survey.

These circumstances — the superiority of Fort Walker and its weakness on the northern flank, the presence of the rebel fleet, and the flood-tide of the morning — decided the plan of attack and the order of battle.

The order of battle comprised a main squadron ranged in line ahead, and a flanking squadron, which was to be thrown off on the northern section of the harbor, to engage the enemy's flotilla and prevent them taking the rear ships of the main line when it turned to the southward, or cutting off a disabled vessel.

The main squadron consisted of the frigate Wabash, Commander C. R. P. Rodgers, the leading ship; the frigate Susquehanna, Captain J. L. Lardner; the sloop Mohican, Commander S. W. Godon; the sloop Seminole, Commander J. P. Gillis; the sloop Pawnee, Lieutenant-Commander R. H. Wyman; the gun-boat Unadilla, Lieutenant-Commander N. Collins; the gun-boat Ottawa, Lieutenant-Commander T. H. Stevens; the gun-boat Pembina, Lieutenant-Commander J. P. Bankhead; and the sailing sloop Vandalia, Commander F. S. Haggerty, towed by the Isaac Smith, Lieutenant-Commander J. W. A. Nicholson.

The flanking squadron consisted of the gun-boat Bienville, Commander Charles Steedman, the leading ship; the gun-boat Seneca, Lieutenant-Commander Daniel Ammen; the gun-boat Curlew, Lieutenant Commanding P. G. Watmough; the gun-boat Penguin, Lieutenant Commanding T. A. Budd; and the gun-boat Augusta, Commander E. G. Parrott, the closing ship of that line.

The plan of attack was to pass up mid-way between Forts Walker and Beauregard (receiving and returning the fire of both) to a certain distance, about two and a half miles north of the latter. At that point the line was to turn to the south around by the west, and close in with Fort Walker, encountering it on its weakest flank, and at the same time enfilading, in nearly a direct line, its two waterfaces. While standing to the southward the vessels were head to tide, which kept them under command, whilst the rate of going was diminished.

When abreast of the fort, the engine was to be slowed and the movement reduced to only as much as would be just sufficient to overcome the tide, to preserve the order of battle by passing the batteries in slow succession, and to avoid becoming a fixed mark for the enemy's fire. On reaching the extremity of Hilton Head and the shoal ground making off from it, the line was to turn to the north by the east, and, passing to the northward, to engage Fort Walker with the port battery nearer than when first on the same course. These evolutions were to be repeated. The accompanying plan will explain the preceding description.

The captains of the ships had been called on board and instructed as to the general formation of the lines and their own respective places.

At 8 o'clock the signal was made to get under way. At 8h. 10m. the ship, riding to the flood, tripped her anchor; and at 8h. 30m. the ship turned, and was headed in for the forts. At 9 the signal was made for close order. At 9h. 26m. the action was commenced by a gun from Fort Walker, immediately followed by another from Fort Beauregard. This was answered at once from this ship, and immediately after from the Susquehanna. At 10 o'clock the leading ship of the line turned to the southward, and made signal to the Vandalia (which ship, in tow of the Isaac Smith, was dropping astern, and was exposed, without support, to the fire of Fort Beauregard) to join company. At 10h. 15m. the signal was made for closer action, the Wabash slowly passing Fort Walker at a distance, when abreast, of eight hundred yards. At 11 the signal was made to get into and preserve stations, and at 11h. 15m. to follow the motions of the Commander-in-chief.

Standing to the northward, nearly in the line shown in the diagram, the ship's head was again turned to the southward, and she passed the guns of Fort Walker at a distance less than six hundred yards (the sights were adjusted to five hundred and fifty yards). At 11h. 30m. the enemy's flag was shot away.

The second fire with the starboard guns of the Wabash, and Captain Lardner, in the Susquehanna, my second in command, who always kept so near as to give me the entire support of his formidable battery, seems at this short distance to have discomforted the enemy. Its effect was increased by the shells thrown from the smaller vessels at the enfilading point. It was evident that the enemy's fire was becoming much less frequent, and finally it was kept up at such long intervals and with so few guns as to be of little consequence.

After the Wabash and Susquehanna had passed to the northward, and given the fort the fire of their port battery the third time, the enemy had entirely ceased to reply and the battle was ended.

At 1h. 15m. the Ottawa signalled that the works at Hilton Head were abandoned. This information was, a few minutes later, repeated by the Pembina. As soon as the starboard guns of this ship and the Susquehanna had been brought to bear a third time on Fort Walker, I sent Commander John Rodgers on shore with a flag of truce. The hasty flight of the enemy was visible, and was reported from the tops. At twenty minutes after two Captain Rodgers hoisted the flag of the Union over the deserted post. At forty-five minutes after two I anchored and sent Commander C. R. P. Rodgers on shore with the marines and a party of [393] seamen to take possession and prevent, if necessary, the destruction of public property.

The transports now got underway, and came rapidly up, and by nightfall Brigadier-General Wright's brigade had landed and entered upon the occupation of the ground.

I have said, in the beginning of this report, that the plan of attack designed making the reduction of Fort Walker the business of the day. In passing to the northward, however, we had improved every opportunity of firing at long range on Fort Beauregard. As soon as the fate of Fort Walker was decided, I dispatched a small squadron to Fort Beauregard to reconnoitre and ascertain its condition, and to prevent the rebel steamers returning to carry away either persons or property.

Near sunset it was discovered that the flag upon this fort was hauled down, and that the fort was apparently abandoned.

At sunrise the next day the American ensign was hoisted on the flag-staff at Fort Beauregard by Lieutenant-Commander Ammen.

The Pocahontas, Commander Percival Drayton, had suffered from the gale of Friday night so badly as not to be able to enter Port Royal until the morning of the 7th. He reached the scene of action about 12 o'clock, and rendered gallant service by engaging the batteries on both sides in succession.

Lieutenant-Commander H. L. Newcomnb, of the R. B. Forbes, which vessel had been employed in towing in the Great Republic, arrived in time to take good part in the action.

And, finally, the tug Mercury, Acting-Master Martin commanding, employed his single Parrott gun with skill and effect.

After congratulating you upon the success thus far of our expedition, which had its origin in the counsels of the Department, and which the Department has fostered and labored to render efficient, the gratifying duty remains to be performed of according to each and all their due share of praise for good conduct in their encounter with the enemy. This duty, though most welcome, is still delicate.

I am well aware that each one did his part in his place, and when I discriminate it is in cases that necessarily fell under my own immediate observation. I have no doubt that all would have embraced and improved the same opportunities of distinction; and in noticing those who were made prominent by their stations, or who were near me during the action, I aim showing no invidious preference.

The General Order No. 2, already forwarded to the Department, expressed in general terms my commendation of the gallantry and skill of the officers and men.

The reports of the commanding officers of the several ships, herewith enclosed, do justice to those under them; while the results speak for the commanding officers themselves. The names of the latter are mentioned in the beginning of this dispatch. I refer with pleasure to them again. They (lid their duty to my satisfaction, and I am most happy to bear testimony to their zeal and ability.

The officers of this ship, to whom I am deeply indebted, will be mentioned by her commander, C. R. P. Rodgers, in his special report.

It affords me the highest gratification to speak of the manner in which this ship was handled during the engagement, owing, in a great measure, to the professional skill, the calm and rapid judgment and the excellent management of Commander C. R. P. Rodgers. His attention was divided between this duty and the effective service of the guns, which involved the estimation of distances, the regulation of fuses and the general supervision of the divisions. His conduct and judicious control of everything within the sphere of his duty, though no more than was to be expected from his established reputation, impressed me with a higher estimation than ever of his attainments and character.

I had also an opportunity to remark the admirable coolness and discrimination of the first-lieutenant, T. G. Corbin. The good order, discipline and efficiency, in every respect, of this ship are, to a great extent, the results of his labors as executive officer, and they were conspicuous on this occasion. Acting-Master Stiles, acting as pilot, was devoted and intelligent in the performance of his duties; and the third-assistant engineer, Missieveer, who attended the bell, was prompt and always correct.

Acting-Master S. W. Preston, acting as my flag-lieutenant, displayed throughout the day an undisturbed intelligence and a quick and general observation, which proved very useful. His duties as signal-officer were performed without mistake. This gentleman and the young officers--Mr. R. H. Lamson, Mr. J. P. Robertson and Mr. J. H. Rowland, who were also under my eye, in immediate command of the pivot-guns and spar-deck divisions — sustained the reputation and exhibited the benefits of the Naval Academy, the training of which only could make such valuable officers of such young men.

Commander John Rodgers, a passenger in this ship, going to take command of the steamer Flag, volunteered to act upon my staff. It would be difficult for me to enumerate the duties he performed, they were so numerous and varied, and he brought to them all an invincible energy and the highest order of professional knowledge and merit. I was glad to show my appreciation of his great services by allowing him the honor to hoist the first American flag on the rebellious soil of South Carolina.

My secretary, Mr. Alexander McKinley, was by my side throughout the engagement, making memoranda under my direction. He evinced the same cool bravery which he once before had an opportunity of showing under fire in a foreign land. It gives me pleasure to mention him here as a gentleman of intelligence, of great worth, and of heartfelt devotion to his country.

I have yet to speak of the chief of my staff and fleet-captain, Commander Charles H. Davis. In the organization of our large fleet before sailing, and in the preparation and systematic arrangement of the duties of our contemplated work — in short, in all the duties pertaining to the flag-officer--I have received his most valuable assistance. He possesses the rare quality of being a man of science and a practical officer, keeping the love of science subordinate to the regular duties of his profession. During the action he watched over the movements. of the fleet, kept the official minutes, and evinced that calmness in danger, which, to my knowledge, for thirty years has been a conspicuous trait in his character.

I have the honor to be, sir, respectfully,

Your most obedient servant,

S. F. Dupont, Flag-Officer, Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.


Report of Lieutenant-Commander C. R. P. Rodgers.

United States Steamer Wabash, Port Royal, Nov. 10, 1861.
Sir-Although I know that the conduct of the officers and crew of the Wabash are warmly commended by you in the action of the 7th instant, yet, in obedience to your demand for a special report, I respectfully submit the following:

The men did their duty, as became American [394] seamen, with calmness, precision and resolute earnestness. They fought their guns with energy, and pointed them with admirable coolness.

The three gun-deck divisions of 9--inch guns, under Lieutenants Luce, Upshur and Barnes, were commanded by those officers in a manner which illustrated the highest power of both men and guns, and exhibited the greatest effect of manhood and training. I beg leave to commend these officers in terms of the warmest praise, both for skill and conduct; and also Lieutenant Irwin, who, in command of the powder division, did everything that a brave and earnest man could do to make his ship efficient.

Acting-Masters Lamson, Rowland and Robertson, in command of the spar-deck guns, followed the example of their seniors on the gun-deck, and did honor to the Naval School, which had, at their early age, trained them to do such efficient service in battle.

Acting-Masters W. H. West, Rockwell, Gregory and Palmer, stationed at the various divisions, evinced patriotic zeal and courage.

Mr. Coghlan, the boatswain, not only did his duty in the sixth division, but also skillfully served the rifled boat-guns, with which he did good service.

The gunner, Mr. Stewart, in the magazine, and the carpenter, Mr. Boardman, with his shot-plugs, did their duty manfully.

The engine and steam, during the whole action, were managed with consummate skill, which did great credit to Chief Engineer King and his assistants. Third-Assistant Engineer Missieveer, who stood upon the bridge by my side during the action, impressed me very favorably by his cool intelligence and promptness.

All the other officers, in their various departments, did their whole duty faithfully.

Acting-Master Stiles rendered most valuable service by his careful attention to the steerage and soundings of the vessel, and by his skill and vigilance in keeping the ship clear of the shoals. I desire to commend him especially to your notice.

My clerk, Mr. Blydenburgh, acted as my aide, and did prompt and good service.

The two oldest seamen in the ship, John Dennis and Henry L. Coons, both quartermasters — the one at the wheel and the other at the signals — well represented the gallantry of their class and generation.

The marines were used as a reserve, and, whenever called upon, rendered prompt assistance at the guns, with the good conduct that has always characterized their corps.

It only remains for me to speak of the executive officer, Lieutenant Corbin, who has filled that post since the Wabash was commissioned. The admirable training of the crew may, in a high degree, be attributed to his professional merit; and his gallant bearing and conspicuous conduct throughout the whole action were good illustrations of the best type of a sea-officer.

At the close of the action the Wabash was engaged with Fort Walker at a distance of six hundred yards or less, and her officers and men may well feel satisfied with the precision of their aim and the overwhelming power of their rapid fire. Eight hundred and eighty shells were fired from her guns, chiefly with 5-second fuses Some grape was fired with good effect from the 10-inch gun, in the latter part of the action.

I have to thank that most brave and distinguished officer, Captain C. H. Davis, the captain of the fleet, for the aid he gave me when not engrossed by the important duties of his special station; and I desire to pay the same tribute to Commander John Rodgers, who, being a passenger on board, had volunteered to serve on your staff, and never failed to give me most valuable assistance. Nor must I fail to bear witness to the gallant bearing and striking coolness of your young flag-lieutenant, Mr. Preston. I thank you, sir, in the name of the officers and men of your flag-ship, for the example you gave us.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

C. R. P. Rodgers, Lieutenant-Commander U. S. Steamer Wabash. Flag-Officer S. F. Dupont, Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.


Report of Commander Charles Steedman.

United States Steamer Bienville, Port Royal Harbor, Nov. 8, 1861.
Sir — I have the honor to report that in the action of yesterday with the forts this vessel was struck several times, one shot passing through and through her, another striking bulwarks, forward, unfortunately mortally wounding two men, Patrick McGuigan and Alexander Chambers (since dead), and slightly wounding three others, Peter Murphy, Alexander Finey and William Gilchrist, while gallantly fighting at their guns.

The other shots did but little damage. It affords me the utmost gratification to bring to your notice the excellent conduct of the officers and men. It would be impossible to particularize the bearing of any one officer or man, such was their gallant conduct.

During the engagement, we fired from this vessel eighty-four 32 solid shots, thirty-nine 32-pound shell, and sixty-two rifle-shell.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Charles Steedman, Commander. Flag-Officer S. F. Dupont, Commander-in-Chief of Naval Forces, etc., etc.


Report of Lieutenant-Commander Daniel Ammen.

United States Gun-Boat Seneca, Port Royal, S. C., Nov. 15, 1861.
Sir-In obedience to your order of this date, I nave the honor to make the following report:

On Monday, the 4th, this vessel entered Port Royal, and sounded the channel until within three miles of Bay Point, when we were signalled from the Ottawa to return and anchor, which we did at 4 P. M., near her, about a mile further out and a cable's length nearer the batteries. The fleet generally, at this time, was standing in and anchoring. An hour later, three rebel steamers approached us and opened fire with rifled guns, but at a distance which proved ineffective. The Ottawa, Pembina and this vessel got underway, and, standing in at an angle, allowing our heavy guns to bear, drove them before us. At sunset we returned, and anchored as before.

At daylight on Tuesday several rebel steamers again attacked us. We got underway, and, obeying signals from the Ottawa, accompanied her, with the Pembina, Curlew, Isaac Smith, and afterwards the Pawnee, drove them until we were within a cross-fire of the batteries of Hilton Head and Bay Point, both opening upon us. No material damage was sustained. A heavy shell — or shot, probably — struck the vessel on the port-side, but I have been unable to find it, and probably will not until we get in a sea-way. Our rigging was struck three times. The object being effected — that of ascertaining the strength of the rebel batteries — we returned and anchored, as before, about half-past 8.

Two or three hours after, the rebel steamers again approached us, and, finding that they were within range, I had the satisfaction of firing an 11-inch shell at the flag-ship, which was seen from aloft, as well as by several persons on deck, to strike just abaft the starboard wheel-house. The vessel put into Bay Point, and on returning, or rather showing [395] herself, in the afternoon, had a large white plank forward of the port wheel-house, probably where the shell went out. On the morning of the 7th, obeying signal, we took position assigned us in the line, and, passing up, delivered our fire at Bay Point, and on arriving out of fire of the batteries, made chase — as directed by instructions — to the rebel steamers. They, being river boats, soon left us, and I had the chagrin of having wasted several shells at them at ineffective distance.

Returning to the attack on Hilton Head, we passed so near to the shore as to be fired upon by riflemen, who kept quiet on being fired on by our Parrott 20-pounder. From an enfilading position we began with 10-second fuses, and, closing up, found ourselves within effective 5-second range. As to the latter part of the action, we were within howitzer range, and were using both howitzers effectively, as well as 11-inch gun and Parrott 20-pounder.

During the engagement we fired sixty-three 11-inch shells, 9 with 15-second fuses, 28 with 10-second fuses and 26 with 5-second fuses. Thirty-three projectiles from the Parrott-gun were also fired, and twelve 24-pounder shrapnel.

I am sorry to say that the Parrott shell appears defective; its flight was wild and range short. As I fired once myself, I know they were not to be depended on, and the captain of the gun was much disappointed at his results.

During the engagement an officer was kept at the mast-head, whose duty it was to report our firing, by which we were governed. I have, therefore, reason to believe that our fire was effective.

Few of our crew have served before in a vessel-of-war, and as we went into commission only three weeks before the engagement, Mr. Sproston, the first-lieutenant of the vessel, fired nearly all the 11-inch shells with his own hands. Of him, as well as of the officers and crew generally, I have to express my warmest commendations, and my surprise that amidst such a shower of shot and shells we received no damage.

I am, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Daniel Ammen, Lieutenant-Commander Seneca. Flag-Officer Samuel F. Dupont, Conmmanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.


Report of Lieutenant-Commander T. H. Stevens.

United States Gun-Boat Ottawa, Off Hilton Head, Nov. 8, 1861.
Sir — I have the honor to report that, as soon as the Ottawa, under my command, could take up her position in the order of battle, I weighed anchor, following in the wake of our leading vessel. When abreast of Bay Point battery, finding that our 11-inch gun was doing good execution. I stopped the engine to engage it, and threw about a dozen shells in and about the fortifications. Discovering, however, that we were under a cross-fire, I steamed up to take distance, in the order assigned. About this time a 32-pound shot struck the Ottawa in the port-waist, just abaft the pivot-gun (11-inch), wounding severely Mr. Kerne, one of the acting-masters who subsequently lost his leg by amputation), one other man seriously, and four others slightly, and doing considerable damage to the deck of the vessel, the coamings of the forward coal-bunker hatch, and splitting two of the upperdeck beams.

Discovering, as we ranged up with the fort on Hilton Head, that we occupied an enfilading position, I continued to occupy it until the enemy deserted their batteries, when, being nearest to them, I signalized the same to the flag-ship and stopped firing, about 500 yards from the fort. While engaging at a distance of about 1,000 yards, and when within 300 yards of the beach of Hilton Head, some of the riflemen of the enemy commenced firing upon us, when we opened with the howitzers charged with shrapnels, and quickly dispersed them.

It only remains for me to notice the good conduct, coolness and gallantry of both officers and men upon the occasion, who behaved with the steadiness of veterans, and to commend them to your favorable notice, and the notice of the Department, as worthy supporters of the cause we have espoused.

Very respectfully,

T. H. Stevens, Lieutenant-Commander, U. S. N. Flag-Officer S. F. Dupont, Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.


Order for Unadilla and other ships to take possession of Beaufort, S. C.

Flag-Ship, Wabash, Port Royal Harbor, Nov. 10, 1861.
Sir-It has been reported to me by Lieutenant-Commander Ammen that, on taking possession of the town of Beaufort, under my orders of the 8th instant, he found that most of the white inhabitants had abandoned the town, and that the negroes were committing excesses and destroying private property.

You will proceed with the most convenient dispatch in the gun-boat Unadilla, under your command, to Beaufort, where you will find the gun-boat Pembina (Lieutenant-Commander Bankhead), and the gun-boat Curlew (Lieutenant-Commander Watmough), and assume command of the station.

You will employ your forces in suppressing any excesses on the part of the negroes; and you will take pains to assure the white inhabitants that there is no intention to disturb them in the exercise of their private rights, or in the enjoyment of their private property.

Acting on this principle of conduct, you will pursue any other measures that may tend to create confidence, to bring back the people to their houses and to re-establish order.

You will please send Lieutenant-Commanding Watmough to report to me to-morrow morning in person upon the actual state of things, and upon the steps you may have found it expedient to take.

Any information you may have it in your power to collect, concerning the state of the surrounding country, will be valuable.

S. F. Dupont, Flag-Officer, Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Lieutenant Napoleon Collins, U. S. N., United States Gun-boat Unadilla, Port Royal harbor.


Letter commending the officers of the Curlew by Acting-Lieutenant-Commander Watmough.

United States Gunboat Curlew, Port Royal, S. C., Nov. 17, 1861.
Sir-It affords me great pleasure to speak with praise of the general gallantry, coolness, and cheerfulness of the officers and men under my command during the several actions with the rebel squadron and batteries on the 4th, 5th, and 7th instants. Master H. E. Mullan, acting executive officer, rendered efficient service by his readiness and zeal. Acting-Master C. A. Curtis, in charge of the battery of 32s, is deserving of all praise for the spirit he instilled the men with, and effectualness and accuracy [396] of the divisional firing. Acting-Master Spavin's steadiness at the wheel merits commendation. Acting-Master H. N. Parish, who had charge of the Parrott pivot-gun, disabled early in the action of the 7th by the enemy's shot, afterwards assisted with his crew at the broadside battery.

The paymaster, Wm. A. A. Kerr, acting as signal-officer, by his coolness and watchfulness was of material assistance; he also kept a careful record of the incidents of the several actions. Messrs. Emory, Swasey, McConnell and Lloyds, engineers of the vessel, with great difficulties to contend against, in the general unfitness of the engine, boilers and condensing apparatus for such rough service, managed to carry us through the action, for which I was thankful.

Fortunately, the readiness of our medical officer, Mr. Perucer, was not called upon. Master's Mate Duncan, acting as gunner, provided a bountiful supply of ammunition for the battery.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

Pen. G. Watmough, Acting-Lieutenant-Commander. Flag-Officer S. F. Dupont, Commanding South Atlantic Squadron.
Respectfully forwarded,

S. F. Dupont, Flag-Officer.


Commendatory letter to Flag-officer Dupont.

Navy Department, November 16, 1861.
Sir-It is with no ordinary emotion that I tender to you and your command the heartfelt congratulations and thanks of the Government and the country for the brilliant success achieved at Port Royal. In the war now raging against the Government in this most causeless and unnatural rebellion that ever afflicted a country, high hopes have been indulged in the Navy, and great confidence reposed in its efforts.

The results of the skill and bravery of yourself and others have equalled and surpassed our highest expectations. To you and your associates, under the providence of God, we are indebted for this great achievement by the largest squadron ever fitted out under that flag, which you have so gallantly vindicated, and which you will bear onward to continued success. On the receipt of your dispatches announcing the victory at Port Royal, the Department issued the enclosed general order, which, with this letter, you will cause to be read to your command.

I am, respectfully, etc.,

Gideon Welles. Flag-Officer Samuel F. Dupont, Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.


General order.

Navy Department, November 13, 1861.
The Department announces to the Navy and to the country its high gratification at the brilliant success of the combined Navy and Army forces, respectively commanded by Flag-officer S. F. Du-Pont and Brigadier-General W. T. Sherman, in the capture of Forts Walker and Beauregard, commanding the entrance of Port Royal harbor, South Carolina.

To commemorate this signal victory, it is ordered that a national salute be fired from each Navy Yard at meridian on the day after the receipt of this order.

Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.


Flag-officer Dupont's report concerning the Marine battalion, Nov. 15.

Flag-Ship Wabash, Port Royal Harbor, S. C., Nov. 15, 1861.
Sir — I avail myself of the first moment of leisure to transmit to you the report of Major John George Reynolds, commanding the battalion of marines attached to my squadron, in which he relates all the circumstances attending the loss of the chartered steamer Governor, and the rescue of himself and his command by the frigate Sabine, Captain Ringgold.

The Department will find this report exceedingly interesting, and will be gratified to learn that the conduct of the officers and of nearly all the men of the battalion was such as to command Major Reynolds' approval, as it will, I doubt not, receive the favorable notice of the Department. The established reputation and high standing of Major Reynolds might almost dispense with any observations of my own upon the bravery and high sense of honor which he displayed in disputing with Mr. Weidman (though not a seaman) the privilege of being the last to leave the wreck.

I have the honor to be, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. F. Dupont, Flag-Officer, Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.


Report of Major John Geo. Reynolds, U. S. M. C.

United States Ship Sabine, At Sea, November 8, 1861.
Sir — I have the honor to report that the marine battalion under my command left Hampton Roads on transport steamboat Governor, on the morning of Tuesday, the 29th of October, with the other vessels of the fleet, and continued with them, near the flag-ship Wabash, until Friday, the 1st of November.

On Friday morning, about 10 o'clock, the wind began to freshen, and by 12 or 1 blew so violently that we were obliged to keep her head directly to the wind, and thereby leave the squadron, which apparently stood its course. Throughout the afternoon the gale continued to increase, though the Governor stood it well till about 4 o'clock. About this time we were struck by two or three heavy seas, which broke the port hog-brace in two places, the brace tending inward. This was immediately followed by the breaking of the hog-brace on the starboard side. By great exertions on the part of the officers and men of the battalion, these braces were so well stayed and supported that no immediate danger was apprehended from them. Up to this time the engine worked well. Soon after, the brace-chains, which supported the smoke-stack, parted, and it went overboard. Some three feet of it above the hurricane-deck remained, which enabled us to keep up the fires. Soon after the loss of the smoke-stack, the steam-pipe burst. After this occurrence we were unable to make more than fourteen pounds of steam, which was reduced, as soon as the engine commenced working, from three to five pounds. The consequence was, we had to stop the engine frequently in order to increase the head of steam. At this period the steamer was making water freely, but was easily kept clear by the pump of the engine, whenever it could be worked. About 5 o'clock we discovered a steamer with a ship in tow, which we supposed to be the Ocean Queen. To attract attention, we sent up rockets, which signals she answered. When our rockets, six in all, were gone, we kept up a fire of musketry for a long time, but the sea running high and the wind being violent, she could render us no assistance. She continued on her course, in sight the [397] greater part of the night. About 3 o'clock Saturday morning the packing around the cylinder-head blew out, rendering the engine totally useless for some time. The engine was finally put in running order, although it went very slowly. The rudderchain was carried away during the night, the water gaining constantly on us, and the boat laboring violently. At every lurch we apprehended the hogbraces would be carried away, the effect of which would have been to tear out the whole starboard-side of the boat, collapse the boiler, and carry away the wheel-house. Early in the morning the rudderhead broke, the engine was of very little use — the water still gaining on us rapidly — and we entirely at the mercy of the wind. It was only by the untiring exertions of our men that we were kept afloat. Nearly one hundred of them were kept constantly pumping and bailing, and the rest were holding fast to the ropes which supported the hogbraces. Towards morning, the weather, which during the night had been dark and rainy, seemed to brighten and the wind to lull. At daybreak two vessels were seen on our starboard-bow, one of which proved to be the United States steamer “Isaac P. Smith,” commanded by Lieutenant J. W. A. Nicholson, of the Navy. She descried our signal of distress — which was ensign half-mast, union down — and stood for us. About 10 o'clock we were hailed by the Smith, and given to understand that, if possible, we would all be taken on board. A boat was lowered from her, and we were enabled to take a hawser. This. through the carelessness of Captain Litchfield, of the Governor, was soon cut off or unavoidably let go. The water was still gaining on us. The engine could be worked but little, and it appeared our only hope of safety was gone. The Smith now stood off, but soon returned, and by 1 o'clock we had another hawser from her, and were again in tow. A sail (the propeller-bark Young Rover , which had been discovered on our starboard-bow during the morning, was soon within hailing-distance. The captain proffered all the assistance he could give, though at the time he could do nothing, owing to the severity of the weather. The hawser from the Smith again parted, and we were once more adrift. The Young Rover now stood for us again, and the captain said he would stand by us to the last, for which he received a heartfelt cheer from the men. He also informed us a large frigate was ahead, standing for us. He then stood for the frigate, made signals of distress, and returned. The frigate soon came into view, and hope once more cheered the hearts of all on board the transport. Between 2 and 3 o'clock the United States frigate Sabine (Captain Ringgold) was within hail, and the assurance given that all hands would be taken on board. After a little delay, the Sabine came to anchor. We followed her example, and a hawser was passed to us. It was now late in the day, and there were no signs of an abatement of the gale. It was evident that whatever was to be done for our safety must be done without delay. About 8 or 9 o'clock the Sabine had payed out enough chain to bring her stern close to our bow. Spars were rigged out over the stern of the frigate, and every arrangement made for whipping our men on board, and some thirty men were rescued by this means. Three or four hawsers and an iron stream-cable were parted by the plunging of the vessels. The Governor, at this time, had three feet of water, which was rapidly increasing. It was evidently intended by the commanding officer of the Sabine to get the Governor alongside, and let our men jump from the boat to the frigate. In our condition this appeared extremely hazardous. It seemed impossible for us to strike the frigate without instantly going to pieces. We were, however, brought alongside, and some forty men succeeded in getting on board the frigate; one was crushed to death between the frigate and the steamer in attempting to gain a foot-hold on the frigate.

Shortly after being brought alongside the frigate, the starboard quarter of the Sabine struck the port-bow of the Governor, and carried away about twenty feet of the hurricane-deck from the stein to the wheel-house. The sea was running so high, and we were being tossed so violently, it was deemed prudent to slack up the hawser and let the Governor fall astern of the frigate with the faint hope of weathering the gale till morning. All our provisions and other stores — indeed, every movable article — were thrown overboard, and the water-casks started, to lighten the vessel. From half-past 3 till daylight the Governor floated in comparative safety, notwithstanding the water was gaining rapidly on her. At daybreak, preparations were made for sending boats to our relief, although the sea was running high, and it being exceedingly dangerous for a boat to approach the guards of the steamer; in consequence, the boats laid off, and the men obliged to jump into the sea and then hauled into the boats. All hands were thus providentially rescued from the wreck, with the exception, I am pained to say, of one corporal and six privates, who were drowned or killed by the crush or contact of the vessels.

Those drowned were lost through their disobedience of orders in leaving the ranks or abandoning their posts. After the troops were safely re-embarked, every exertion was directed to securing the arms, accoutrements, ammunition and other property which might have been saved after lightening the wreck. I am gratified in being able to say nearly all the arms were saved and about half the accoutrements. The knapsacks, haversacks and canteens were nearly all lost. About ten thousand rounds of cartridges were, fortunately, saved, and nine thousand lost. Since being on board this ship every attention has been bestowed by Captain Ringgold and his officers towards recruiting the strength of our men, and restoring them to such condition as will enable us to take the field at the earliest possible moment. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the officers and men under my command — all did nobly. The firmness with which they performed their duty is beyond all praise. For forty-eight hours they stood at ropes and passed water to keep the ship afloat. Refreshments in both eating and drinking were passed to them at their posts by non-commissioned officers. It is impossible for troops to have conducted themselves better under such trying circumstances. The transport continued to float some hours after she was abandoned, carrying with her when she sunk, I am grieved to say, company books and staff returns. In order to complete the personnel of the battalion, I have requested Captain Ringgold to meet a requisition for seven privates, to which he readily assented. I considered this requisition in order, as I have been informed by Captain Ringgold it is his intention, or orders were given, for his ship to repair to a Northern post, in which event he can be easily supplied, and my command, by the accommodation, rendered complete, in order.to meet any demand you may make for our services.

Under God, we owe our preservation to Captain Ringgold and the officers of the Sabine, to whom we tender our heartfelt thanks for their untiring labors while we were in danger, and their unceasing kindness since we have been on board the frigate.

This report is respectfully submitted.

I am, Commodore, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

John Geo. Reynolds, Commanding Battalion Marines, Southern Division. Flag-Officer Samuel F. Dupont, Commanding United States Naval Expedition, Southern Coast, U. S. N. America.


[398]

The capture of Tybee Island, Georgia.

Flag-Ship Wabash, Port Royal Harbor, Nov. 25, 1861.
Sir — I have the honor to inform the Department that the flag of the United States is flying over the territory of the State of Georgia.

As soon as the serious injury to the boilers of the Flag had been repaired, I dispatched Commander John Rodgers to Tybee entrance, the mouth of Savannah River, to report to Commander Missroon, the senior officer, for a preliminary examination of the bars, and for the determination of the most suitable place for sinking the proposed obstructions to the navigation of the river.

Captain Rodgers was instructed to push his reconnoissance so far as to “form. an approximate estimate of the force on Tybee Island, and of the possibility of gaining access to the inner bar;” and further, “if the information acquired by this reconnoissance should be important, to return and communicate it to me immediately.”

I was not surprised when he came back and reported that the defences on Tybee Island had probably been abandoned. Deeming it proper, however, to add the Seneca, Lieutenant Commanding Ammen, and Pocahontas, Lieutenant-Commander Balch, to his force, I directed him to renew his approaches with caution, and, if no opposition was met with, to occupy the channel.

I am happy now to have it in my power to inform the Department that the Flag, the Augusta, and the Pocahontas, are at anchor in the harbor abreast of Tybee beacon and light, and that the Savannah has been ordered to take the same position.

The abandonment of Tybee Island, on which there is a strong Martello tower, with a battery at its base, is due to the terror inspired by the bombardment of Forts Beauregard and Walker, and is a direct fruit of the victory of the 7th inst.

By the fall of Tybee Island, the reduction of Fort Pulaski, which is within easy mortar distance, becomes only a question of time.

The rebels have themselves placed sufficient obstructions in the river at Fort Pulaski, and thus by the co-operation of their own fears with our efforts, the harbor of Savannah is effectually closed.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

S. F. Dupont, Flag-Officer, Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy,

Note.-The reports of the other commanding officers do not contain any statements of historical interest, being general in their character, and are therefore omitted.

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Charleston (South Carolina, United States) (88)
Hilton Head (South Carolina, United States) (67)
Land's End, South-carolina (South Carolina, United States) (25)
Port Royal (South Carolina, United States) (21)
Morris Island (South Carolina, United States) (16)
Fort McAllister (Georgia, United States) (13)
United States (United States) (12)
South Carolina (South Carolina, United States) (11)
Washington (United States) (10)
Tybee Island (Georgia, United States) (10)
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Europe (6)
Beaufort River (South Carolina, United States) (6)
Sumterville (South Carolina, United States) (5)
Sullivan's Island (South Carolina, United States) (5)
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Tybee River (Georgia, United States) (4)
Ogeechee (Georgia, United States) (4)
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Georgia (Georgia, United States) (3)
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North America (2)
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Tunisia (Tunisia) (1)
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Fortress Monroe (Virginia, United States) (1)
Fort Royal (1)
Florida (Florida, United States) (1)
Donaldsonville (Louisiana, United States) (1)
Bermuda (1)

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