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Doc. 112.-capture of the Princess Royal.

Rear-Admiral Du Pont's report.

flag-ship Wabash, Port Royal, S. C., January 31, 1863.
sir: I have the honor to report the capture, on the morning of the twenty-ninth instant, of the [401] screw-steamer Princess Royal, while attempting to run the blockade into Charleston.

The following are the circumstances connected with her capture:

After standing in a mile and a half, Lieut. Commander Quackenbush observed a steamer standing along the land, in the direction of Charleston. He fired two shots toward her, when her course was altered toward the beach, and she was run ashore. Two officers, and an armed boat's crew, were immediately sent to take possession. She proved to be the iron steam propeller Princess Royal, last from Bermuda, four days out, and laden, as far as he could learn, with rifled guns, arms, ammunition, steam-engines for the iron-clads, and an assorted cargo. On taking possession, it was ascertained that the Captain, supercargo, pilot, and some of the petty officers, and a passenger, had left the ship when she struck, and escaped to the shore, which fact was substantiated by the Chief Mate, under supercargo, and Chief-Engineer, as well as by seeing the two missing boats lying on the beach deserted.

By the active exertions of Acting Master E. Van Size, and Acting Ensign R. W. Cornell, of the Unadilla, assisted by a boat's crew from the United States steamers Housatonic and Augusta, and schooners Blunt and America, aided by two of the engineers of the prize, she was got off without sustaining any injury.

There not being sufficient coal on board the Princess Royal to send her North, she was ordered, by the senior officer, to this port, to obtain a supply. No papers pertaining to the ship or cargo, were found on board of her at the time, except the shipping-articles and a log-book; but after her arrival here, Acting Master Van Size, of the Unadilla, the officer in charge of the prize, discovered, accidentally, in looking over the side, certain papers which had lodged in the fender, in the attempt to throw them overboard. These refer principally to the cargo, and with the papers before mentioned, (which were all that were found on board,) will be forwarded to the United States District Judge, at Philadelphia.

The under supercargo, Hoxley; the Chief Mate, Shaw; the Captain's clerk, a young man named Hacksley, whose father is said to be interested in the cargo, two of the engineers, and several of the firemen, go North in the prize. The rest of the crew will be sent by the first opportunity.

I desire to call the attention of the department to the fact that in this prize are two complete engines, said to be of great power, and intended for iron-clads.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. F. Du Pont, Rear-Admiral Com'g South-Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

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S. F. Du Pont (2)
Gideon Welles (1)
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E. Size (1)
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January 31st, 1863 AD (1)
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