river on a reconnoissance, went seven miles above Legareville
without getting sight or sound of an enemy; but, when 6 miles on her way back, was opened upon in a bend by three masked batteries, which had not been observed before, and thereby speedily crippled and captured.
The Com. McDonough
went to her assistance; but arrived too late, and could do nothing.
Several months thereafter, the Rebels
attempted to run the Isaac Smith
out of Charleston harbor
; when she was sunk1
by the gunboat Wissahickon
The morning after their capture of the Smith
was signalized by the Charleston Rebels
by a far bolder and more significant exploit.
At 4 A. M., favored by a thick haze, their iron-clads Palmetto State
, Capt. D. N. Ingraham
, and Chlicora, Com'r Tucker
, with three steamboats as tenders, stole upon our blockading fleet, lying off the bar, while the Powhatan
and the Canandaigua
, our two largest men of war, were at Port Royal
, coaling; and, first nearing the Mercedita
, Capt. Stellwagen
, the Palmetto State
ran into her amidships with full force, and fired into her side at close range a 7-inch shell, which passed through her condenser and steam-drum, blowing a hole through her farther side, scalding several of her men, and completely disabling her. Stellwagen
, unable either to fight or fly, surrendered.
, leaving her to sink if she would, forthwith attacked the Keystone State
, Capt. Leroy
; lodging a shell in her forehold, which set her on fire.
sheered off, until the fire was got under; when, having a full head of steam, he attempted to run his assailant down; but, as he approached at full speed, another shot was sped through both his vessel's steam-chests, utterly disabling her; ten rifled shells striking her, and two of them bursting on her quarter-deck.
By this time, it was growing light, and our fleet had been thoroughly aroused.
, Quaker City
, and Housatonic
, went in; the Memphis
taking in tow the Keystone State
--which had one-fourth of her crew disabled, mainly by scalding — and drawing her out of the enemy's fire; when the Rebel
gun-boats turned homeward, and took refuge behind the shoals in the Swash channel
; thence making their way back to Charleston
, and issuing there a bulletin declaring the blockade raised and the port open;2
consul at Charleston
and the commander of H. B. M. ship Petrel
corroborating the statement; and the foreign consuls in the Confederacy
were officially notified of the alleged fact in a circular from J. P. Benjamin
, Confederate Secretary of State
, “for the information of such vessels of your nation as may choose to carry on commerce with the now open port of Charleston
The “vessels” thus