whether it had been hauled down or shot away but, white flag having been displayed over the stern, our fire was reserved.
Two minutes hid not more than elapsed before she again opened on us with the two guns ont he port side.
This drew our fire again; and the Kearsarge was immediately steamed ahead and laid across her bows for raking.
The white flag was still flying.
and our fire was again reserved.
Shortly after this, her boats were seen to be lowering, and tn officer in one of then came alongside, and informed us that the ship had surrendered and was fast sinking.
In twenty minutes from this time, the Alabama went down: her mainmast, which had been shot, breaking near the head as she sunk, and her bow rising high out of the water as her stern rapidly settled.
— a virtual ally and swift witness for Semmes
— who was close at hand, watching every motion with intense interest, in his log of the fight, dispatched to The Times
that evening, when he arrived in his yacht at Cowes
, with Semmes
and such of his crew as he had snatched from the water and their captors-clearly refutes Semmes
he says :--
At 12, a slight intermission was observed in the Alabama's firing; the Alabama making head-sail, and shaping her course for tile land, distant about nine miles.
At 12:30, observed the Alabama to be disabled and in a sinking state.
We immediately made toward her, and, in passing the Kearsarge, were requested to assist in saving the Alabama's crew.
At 12:50, when within a distance of 200 yards, the Alabama sunk.
We then lowered our two boats, and, with the assistance of the Alabama's whale-boat and dingy, succeeded in saving about 40 men, including Capt. Semmes and 13 officers.
At 1 P. M., we steered for Southampton.
had 9 killed and 21 wounded, including Semmes
Two of the wounded were drowned before they could be rescued.
had three men badly wounded, one of them mortally;1
but neither would go below to be treated till the victory was won.
The triumph of the Kearsarge
is doubtless in part due to the superior effectiveness of her two 11-inch guns, but in good part also to the cool deliberation and excellent aim of her gunners.
As to her being iron-clad, this is Semmes
At the. end of the engagement, it was discovered, by those of our officers who went alongside the enemy's ship, with the wounded, that her midship section on both sides was thoroughly iron-coated; this having been done with chain constructed for the purpose, placed perpendicularly from the rail to the water's edge, the whole covered over by a thin outer planking, which gave no indication of the armor beneath.
This planking had been ripped off in every direction by our shot and shell, the chain broken and indented in many places, and forced partly into the ship's side.
She was most effectually guarded, however, in this section, from penetration.
Now let us hear Capt. Winslow
on this point:
The Alabama had been five days in preparation.
She had taken in 350 tons of coal, which brought her down in the water.
The Kearsarge had only 120 tons in; but, as an offset to this, her sheet-chains were stowed outside, stopped up and down, as an additional preventive and protection to her more empty bunkers.