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[219] of this vessel during the recent action with the Alabama.

In connection with this engagement, I take great pleasure in informing you officially that the conduct of both men and officers equalled in every respect my most sanguine expectations. In the gun divisions the utmost coolness prevailed throughout the action; the details of the manual of exercise being as carefully attended to as if in ordinary exercise, and to this cause may be attributed the excellent condition of the guns and gear after a rapid firing of an hour's duration. The powder division received my particular attention, and important service was promptly and thoroughly rendered. The circumstances under which the battle was fought afforded no opportunity of displaying special acts of individual heroism; but, while every man and boy in the ship displayed the utmost coolness, zeal, and courage, there were some who, by their position and peculiar duties, attracted special attention and deserve special mention.

The marines fought the rifle-gun upon the topgallant forecastle, under the charge of Acting Master's Mate Charles H. Danforth. The action on our part was commenced by this gun, and its fire was rapid and effective throughout. The high reputation of their service was nobly sustained by the marine guard of this ship. The boatswain, James C. Walton, was observably active and efficient. Gunner F. A. Graham's duties were all performed efficiently, and merit commendation. The carpenter's mate, Mark G. Ham, is well known to you, sir, as a faithful and competent man. His conduct in the battle was distinguished by the cool and intelligent performance of his duties. It is unnecessary for me to call your attention to the officers commanding the gun or master's divisions, as their duty was performed under your own eye. I am happy to commend Acting Master's Mate Ezra Bartlett, in charge of the shell supply, for his coolness and efficiency.

In the surgeon's department every arrangement that experience or humanity could suggest was made for the comfort of the wounded.

Fortunately, we have but three of our own crew in that condition; but after the action, the wounded of the enemy, numbering fifteen persons, were consigned to the care of Surgeon J. M. Browne, who was entirely without professional assistance. The duties of his department were thereby rendered extremely arduous, but were coolly and successfully performed.

William Gowin, ordinary seaman, was severely wounded by the explosion of a shell. He dragged himself to the forward hatch, refusing to allow the men to leave his gun for the purpose of assisting him. His cheerful willingness to sacrifice his life for victory's sake was expressed in terms that animated and encouraged others. John W. Dempsey, quarter-gunner, wounded at the same time, losing an arm, displayed similar heroism. James McBeth, ordinary seaman, another of the wounded men, displayed both courage and patience. All the men on the sick-list voluntarily went to their quarters and rendered such service as they were able to perform.

The engineer's division was admirably and efficiently conducted, under the command of Chief-Engineer W. H. Cushman. Sidney L. Smith and Henry McConnell, third assistant engineers, were stationed on deck, and their conduct came immediately under my observation. It was distinguished by coolness and vigilance. The other assistants, Mr. W. H. Badlam and Mr. F. L. Miller, were on duty in the engine and firerooms, and, judging from the prompt manner in which the orders from the deck were executed, I know that their duties were creditably performed. The ship is indebted to Paymaster J. A. Smith for efficient service during the action. His clerk, Mr. D. B. Sargent, performed his duty on deck in the third division. The Orderly Sergeant, C. T. Young, the Master-at-Arms, Jason R. Watrous, also deserve special mention for admirable performance of their duty. I will hand you the names of those men specially mentioned by divisional officers, as soon as I receive them.

In conclusion, sir, let me congratulate you on the success of your plan of battle, and compliment you on the skill and judgment displayed in its execution.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

James S. Thornton, Lieutenant Commander and Executive Officer. John A. Winslow, Captain, Commanding U. S. Steamer Kearsarge.

United States steamer Kearsarge, Cherbourg, June 21, 1864.
sir: I respectfully report that the only injury received in the engine department during our engagement with the Alabama on the nineteenth instant was to the smoke-pipe, which was perforated through both sections by a one hundred pound rifle-shell, which exploded as it was coming through, tearing out a ragged hole of about three feet in diameter, carrying away three of the chain-guys; and to the top of the engine-room hatch, which was cut completely through and across by a shell. I would further report that all the assistant engineers, and the firemen and coal-heavers, behaved with perfect coolness, and were attentive to their duty during the action; and that, to the self-possession and attention of Second Assistant Engineer William H. Badlam in the management of the engines, Third Assistant Engineer Frederick L. Miller, in charge of the boilers, Third Assistant Engineer Sidney L. Smith, on deck, at the fire and hot-water hose, and Third Assistant Engineer Henry McConnell, at the engine signal-bell, the efficiency of the engine department is to be attributed. I would also mention first-class fireman Joseph Dugan for his coolness and competency in assisting Mr. Miller in fire-room; first-class firemen Jerry Young, William Smith, Benjamin H. Blaisdell, William H. Donnelly, in assisting Mr. Badlam in charge of the engines; and first-class fireman True W. Priest, for quickness and attention in charge of


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