the range, and soon succeeded in striking her with eleven-inch and fifteen-inch shells. The other gunboats maintained a fire from an enfilading position upon the battery and the Nashville at long-range. I soon had the satisfaction of observing that the Nashville had caught fire from the shells exploding in her, in several places; and in less than twenty minutes she was caught in flames forward, aft, and amidships. At twenty minutes past nine A. M., a large pivot-gun, mounted abaft her foremast, exploded from the heat; at forty minutes past nine her smoke-chimney went by the board; and at fifty-five minutes past nine her magazine exploded with terrific violence, shattering her in smoking ruins. Nothing remains of her. The battery kept up a continuous fire upon this vessel, but struck her but five times, doing no damage whatever. The fire upon the other gunboats was wild, and did them no damage whatever. After assuring myself of the complete destruction of the Nashville, I, preceded by the wooden vessels, dropped down beyond the range of the enemy's guns. In so doing, a torpedo exploded under this vessel, inflicting, however, but little injury. I beg leave, therefore, to congratulate you, sir, upon this final disposition of a vessel which has so long been in the minds of the public as a troublesome pest. I am, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
Account by a participant.
U. S. Steamer Montauk, Big Ogeechee River, Ga., Friday, February 27, 1863.As you are aware, the object of the blockading fleet at Ossabaw was to prevent the escape of the Nashville to sea again. Little more than two weeks ago she came from her position near the railroad bridge of the Savannah and Florida Railroad, which is about twelve miles up the river Ogeechee, and took a new position under the guns of Fort McAllister, intending to take advantage of the high spring-tides which were prevailing at that time, and seizing the first opportunity to slip out. But we have been watching for this very movement. One night she came down to Hardee's Cut, one and a half miles from the Fort, hoping by that way to get into the Little Ogeechee and elude the blockaders, but one of the vigilant gunboats was there, ready to receive her if she had come through, which she did not, as the bottom of the “cut” or river was too near the surface. Despairing of getting out so, she went a little way above the Fort, where there is a bight or bend in the river, in which she is entirely out of sight. The Savannah papers said she had again slipped out to sea. We saw through the game and remained here, and as we expected, she came again to the Fort. Since that time she has been trying to get up the river again; but a mile and a half above the Fort is a shoal spot, and she can get over this only at a very high tide. She has been up to the shoal and back to the Fort a number of times. Last Sunday afternoon she came in sight of us, went up to the shoal, and again returned to the Fort. The Big Ogeechee is very crooked, and a point of woods a mile or more above us, hides the Fort and the river and region in that vicinity from us. This afternoon, at three o'clock and fifteen minutes, the United States steamer, Wissahickon, lying three miles below us, signalled that there was a strange sail up the river. No strange sail could be in that vicinity except the Nashville, and we bent our eyes eagerly toward the point of woods, and from behind the trees we saw black smoke ascending as from a steamer's smoke-stack. In fifteen or twenty minutes the column of smoke began grow — in blacker and thicker, and to move rapidly by the trees. Intently we watched the point, and in a moment, from behind the trees, came the foremast, then the smoke-stack, then the mainmast, and there indeed, with the thick black smoke arising from her funnel and filling the atmosphere, and steaming rapidly, was the famous blockade-runner, the rebel pirate Nashville. She steamed a short distance by the point, and then very suddenly stopped, and we saw that in endeavoring to cut her way through the shoal she had brought up aground hard and fast. Immediately we went to quarters, and the United States steamer Seneca, by permission from Capt. Worden, steamed up the river to reconnoitre. She went to within two miles of the Nashville, and by way of trial threw four or five shell at her, but doing no harm, and in half-an-hour came to her anchorage again. In the mean time, the smoke increased from the Nashville, coming up into the air from her funnel, and rolling and curling into great black clouds, and telling us, how plainly, that they were struggling to get away. But it was of no use. She did not move an inch; the tide at the ebb when she ran aground, was now falling, and her condition was every moment becoming worse and worse. Captain Worden would have moved up to attack her if he had thought it judicious, but he saw she could not get off until morning. Night was fast coming on, and he chose to wait. At dusk, very little smoke, mingled with steam, was rising in thin clouds from her funnel. We plainly saw with glasses, men on her deck, at her mast-heads, and in the rigging, and we supposed that during the night she would be lightened, if possible, and every expedient resorted to, to get her afloat. The night is mild and hazy, the moon obscured by passing clouds, yet no light is seen in the direction of the steamer, nor indeed in any other direction; not even the usual rebel signal-lights, seen almost every night on the river above, at Coffee Bluff battery, and at Beulah battery. But we are confident they are working at her, and we are preparing to make a demonstration in the morning, anxiously hoping that the bird we saw so nicely caught this afternoon, may be still fast at to-morrow's dawn.