Doc. 69.-accident to the Mississippi.
Commander Glisson's report,
Mississippi, from Boston, for Ship Island, (Miss.,) having Major-Gen. B. F. Butler and fourteen hundred troops on board. I approached her cautiously, sending a boat, in charge of Acting-Master Henry S. Strange, to sound between us and the Mississippi. At half-past 3 P. M., we were enabled (though at a great risk to this vessel) to anchor sufficiently near to send a hawser to the steamer. We steamed ahead, and succeeded in running her about half her length ahead, and in hauling her head off about two points, but at about five o'clock we found this vessel's head paying off broadside on to the shoal, and was compelled to let go the hawser. Her head still paying off, we let go the starboard anchor to get the vessel's head to the wind and sea. She then struck heavily on the shoal three times, and we were obliged to slip the cable and steam ahead to clear the shoal. In steaming on east the low rope of the shipped cable got foul of the propeller, and we had to stop the engine and cut it, thereby losing the starboard bow-anchor and fifteen fathoms of chain-cable, but saving the ship. I sent Acting-Master Henry L. Stringer on board the Mississippi, to assist in getting her off. She was leaking badly in the forward compartment, being filled with water up to the berth-deck, in spite of the bailing of the troops, which was continued through the night. They kept throwing overboard provisions and other heavy articles to lighten the ship, and all of our boats were kept assisting those of the Mississippi in transporting the troops to this ship; and, further, I received Mrs. Gen. Butler and her attendant on board this vessel. At about seven P. M., when we had received about three hundred troops on board, we had the pleasure of seeing the Mississippi come off the shoal. I immediately weighed anchor, and proceeded very cautiously into deep water, displaying lights to guide the other vessel. At midnight both vessels anchored off Baldhead Lighthouse. This morning we transferred the troops to the Mississippi; also Mrs. Gen. Butler and attendant. I am thankful to be able to report to you that we were instrumental in saving the noble ship, with her large number of passengers. It also affords me much gratification to have to inform you that every officer and man under my command exerted himself to his utmost abilities in this noble cause. The damage and loss sustained by this vessel is trivial, when compared with the saving of the lives of fourteen hundred persons who were on board the Mississippi. Your obedient servant,