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[218] spared the loss of any one life, whereas in the case of the Alabama, the carnage, I learn, was dreadful.

The ships were about equal in match, the tonnage being the same. The Alabama carrying one one hundred pounder rifle, with one heavy sixty-eight pounder, and six broadside thirty-two pounders. The Kearsarge carrying four broadside thirty-two pounders, two eleven-inch, and one twenty-eight pounder rifle-one gun less than the Alabama.

The only shot which I fear will give us any trouble, is one one hundred pound rifle, which entered our stern-post, and remains at present unexploded.

It would seem almost invidious to particularize the conduct of any one man or officer, in which all had done their duty with a fortitude and coolness which cannot be too highly praised; but I feel it due to my Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Thornton, who superintended the working of the battery, to particularly mention him for an example of coolness and encouragement of the men while fighting, which contributed much toward the success of the action.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

John A. Winslow, Captain. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

United States steamer Kearsarge, Cherbourg, France, afternoon, June 19, 1864.
sir: I report the following casualties resulting from the engagement this morning with the steamer Alabama:

John W. Dempsey, quarter-gunner, compound comminuted fracture of right arm, lower third, and fore-arm. Arm amputated.

William Gowin, ordinary seaman, compound fracture of left thigh and leg. Seriously wounded.

James Macbeth, ordinary seaman, compound fracture of left leg. Seriously wounded.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

John M. Browne, Surgeon United States Navy. Captain John A. Winslow, Commanding U. S. Steamer Kearsarge, Cherbourg.


Letter from the Secretary of the Navy.

Navy Department, July 6, 1864.
sir: Your very brief despatches of the nineteenth and twentieth ultimo, informing the department that the piratical craft Alabama, or 290, had been sunk on the nineteenth of June, near meridian, by the Kearsarge, under your command, were this day received. I congratulate you on your good fortune in meeting this vessel, which had so long avoided the fastest ships, and some of the most vigilant and intelligent officers of the service; and for the ability displayed in this combat you have the thanks of the department.

You will please express to the officers and crew of the Kearsarge the satisfaction of the Government at the victory over a vessel superior in tonnage, superior in number of guns, and superior in the number of her crew. The battle was so brief, the victory so decisive, and the comparative results so striking, that the country will be reminded of the brilliant actions of our infant navy, which have been repeated and illustrated in this engagement.

The Alabama represented the best maritime effort of the most skilled English work-shops. Her battery was composed of the well-tried thirty-two pounders of fifty-seven hundred weight, of the famous sixty-eight pounder of the British navy, and of the only successful rifled one hundred pounder yet produced in England. The crew were generally recruited in Great Britain, and many of them received superior training on board her Majesty's gunnery ship, the Excellent.

The Kearsarge is one of the first gunboats built at our navy-yards at the commencement of the rebellion, and lacks the improvements of vessels now under construction. The principal guns composing her battery had never been previously tried in an exclusively naval engagement, yet in one hour you succeeded in sinking your antagonist, thus fully ending her predatory career, and killed many of her crew, without injury to the Kearsarge, or the loss of a single life on your vessel. Our countrymen have reason to be satisfied that in this, as in every naval action of this unhappy war, neither the ships, the guns, nor the crew have been deteriorated, but that they maintain the abilities and continue the renown which ever adorned our naval annals.

The President has signified his intention to recommend that you receive a vote of thanks, in order that you may be advanced to the grade of commodore.

Lieutenant Commander James S. Thornton, the Executive Officer of the Kearsarge, will be recommended to the Senate for advancement ten numbers in his grade, and you will report to the department the names of any others of the officers or crew whose good conduct on the occasion entitles them to especial mention.

Very respectfully,

Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy. Captain John A. Winslow, U. S. N., Commanding U. S. Steamer Kearsarge, Cherbourg, France.

United States steamer Kearsarge, Cherbourg, France, June 21, 1864.
sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith reports of the executive officer, chief-engineer, boatswain, and gunner of this vessel, with a copy of log-book containing minutes of the action.

I fully coincide in the recommendations of the executive officer, and such cases as deserve special reference to will be subject of further communication.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

John A. Winslow, Captain. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

United States steamer Kearsarge, Port of Cherbourg, June 21, 1864.
sir: I have the honor to forward you the reports of the damage sustained in the different departments


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