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[514] length we were close up with St. Philip, when we opened with grape and canister. Scarcely were we above the line of fire, when we found ourselves attacked by the rebel fleet of gunboats. This was hot, but more congenial work. Two large steamers now attempted to board at our starboard bow; the other astern, a third on our starboard-beam. The eleven-inch Dahlgren being trained on this fellow, we fired at a range of thirty yards. The effect was very destructive. She immediately steered in shore, run aground, and sunk. The Parrott gun on the forecastle drove off the one on the bow, while we prepared to repel boarders, so close was our remaining enemy about this time. Boggs and Lee came dashing in, and made a finish of the rebel boats, eleven in all.

In the grey of the morning we discovered a camp, with the rebel flag flying; opened with canister at five A. M.; received the sword and flag of Colonel Szymanski, and his command of Fire companies, arms, and camp equipage.

While engaged at this point, observed the Varuna in conflict with a number of gunboats. She had been butted by one of them and sunk; but, with his forward guns still above water, he was bravely maintaining the fight, driving off his enemies, and saving his crew. Informing Captain Lee, of the Oneida, who had also been engaged with the enemy, of the Varuna's situation, he instantly steamed up, and made a finish of the rebel boats.

The remainder of the fleet now came up. The Mississippi had been detained below with the Manassas and another iron-clad. After this everything passed under your observation.

The pleasant duty now remains of speaking of the Cayuga and her brave officers and crew. From first to last Lieut. Commanding Harrison displayed ability in steering his vessel past the Forts, under a hurricane of shot and shell, and afterwards in manoeuvring and fighting her among the gunboats. I cannot say too much for him. He was gallantly sustained by Lieut. George H. Perkins and Acting Master Thomas H. Martin. These officers have my unbounded admiration.

I must, in conclusion, express the pleasure which I experience in witnessing the seaman-like manner in which all the ships were handled. The reports of divisional captains will inform you of the particular part borne by each ship.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. Bailey, Captain Commanding Division of the Red. To Flag-Officer D. G. Farragut, Commander-in-Chief, etc.


General report of Captain Bailey.

United States gunboat Cayuga, at sea, May 7, 1862.
Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy:
sir: Having found it impossible to get the Colorado over the bars of the Mississippi, I sent up a large portion of her guns and crew, filling up deficiencies of both in the different vessels, and with my aid, Acting Midshipman Higginson, steward and boat's crew, followed up myself, hoisting, by authority of the flag-officer, my Red, distinguishing flag as second in command, first on the Oneida, Com. Lee, and afterward on the Cayuga.

That brave, resolute and indefatigable officer, Com. D. D. Porter, was at work with his mortar-fleet, throwing shells at and into Fort Jackson, while Gen. Butler, with a division of his army, in transports, was waiting a favorable moment to land.

After the mortar-fleet had been playing upon the Forts for six days and nights, without perceptibly diminishing their fire, and one or two changes in programme, Flag--Officer Farragut formed the ships into two columns, “line ahead” --the column of the Red, under my orders, being formed on the right, and consisted of the Cayuga, Lieut. Commanding Harrison, bearing my flag, and leading the Pensacola, Capt. Morris; the Mississippi, Com. M. Smith; Oneida, Com. S. P. Lee; Varuna, Com. C. L. Boggs; Katahdin, Lieut. Commanding Preble; Kineo, Lieut. Commanding Ransom, and the Wissahickon, Lieut. Commanding A. W. Smith.

The column of the Blue was formed on the left, heading up the river, and consisted of the flagship Hartford, Coin. R. Wainwright, and bearing the flag of the Commander-in-Chief, Farragut; the Brooklyn, Captain T. T. Craven; the Richmond, Com. Alden; the Scioto, bearing the divisional flag of the fleet, Capt. H. H. Bell, followed by the Iroquois, Itasca, Winona and Kennebec.

At two A. M., on the morning of the twenty-fourth, the signal “to advance” was thrown out from the flag-ship. The Cayuga immediately weighed anchor, and led on the column. We were discovered at the boom, and a little beyond both Forts opened their fire. When close up with St. Philip, we opened with grape and canister, still steering on. After passing this line of fire, we encountered the “Montgomery flotilla,” consisting of eighteen gunboats, including the ram Manassas, and iron-battery Louisiana, of twenty guns. This was a moment of anxiety, as no supporting ship was in sight. By skilful steering, however, we avoided their attempts to butt and board, and had succeeded in forcing the surrender of three, when the Varuna, Capt. Bogg, and Oneida, Capt. Lee, were discovered near at hand. The gallant exploits of these ships will be made known by their commanders.

At early dawn discovered a rebel camp on the right bank of the river. Ordering Lieut. Commanding N. B. Harrison to anchor close along, I hailed and ordered the Colonel to pile up his arms on the river-bank and come on board. This proved to be the Chalmetto regiment, commanded by Col. Szymanski. The regimental flag, tents, and camp equipage were captured.

On the morning of the twenty-fifth, still leading and considerably ahead of the line, the Chalmetto batteries, situated three miles below the city, opened a cross-fire on the Cayuga. To this we responded with our two guns. At the end of


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