The number of the crew of the Kearsarge, including officers and sick men, was one hundred and sixty-three; and her battery numbered seven guns--two eleven-inch, one thirty-pounder rifle, and four light thirty-two pounder guns. The battery of the Alabama numbered eight guns--one heavy sixty-eight, of nine thousand pounds; one one hundred and ten pounder rifle; and six heavy thirty-two pounder guns. In the engagement the Alabama fought seven guns and the Kearsarge five, both exercising the starboard battery, until the Alabama winded, using then her port side with one gun, and another shifted over. The collateral events connected with this action have already been laid before the department. I inclose a diagram showing the track which was described during the engagement by the rotary course of the vessels. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Armament and complement of the Alabama.
Alabama's armament, and complement of officers and men, and also of the proceedings of the Deerhound, has been received. I have the honor to inform the department that, according to a memorandum handed to me by American captains who were prisoners in the Alabama, that she carried into Cherbourg a crew, officers and men, of either one hundred and forty-seven or one hundred and forty-nine; but what number joined her there I have no means of ascertaining. Several persons were prevented by the police at Cherbourg from going on board; but it appears that Mr. Sinclair (lieutenant) was one of those who succeeded in joining her. The rebel officers state their crew (officers and men) to have been about one hundred and fifty. I have no means of either falsifying or verifying these statements; but the American captains who were prisoners report that thirteen men had been left at one port, and four at another, before the arrival of the vessel at Cherbourg, and her complement, therefore, when filled, was about one hundred and seventy all told. The statement of some of the prisoners is, that a number of men came on board at Cherbourg, and the night before the action, that boats were going to and fro from the Alabama to the Deerhound, and in the morning of the action they saw strange men who were made captains of guns, who were supposed to be naval reserve men brought in the Deerhound. In my despatch of the nineteenth ultimo I informed the department that the battery of the Alabama consisted of one one hundred pounder rifled1 pivot, one heavy sixty-eight pounder, (nine thousand pounds;) and six thirty-two pounder guns. My despatch of the twenty-first ultimo informed the department of the proceedings of the Deerhound yacht, her gradual edging to the leeward, leading us to suppose she was seeking men who were drifting in the current, and then taking advantage of the hazy weather to make off, while our boats were out busy in rescuing the larger part of the prisoners who were struggling in the water. It was my mistake at the moment that I could not recognize an enemy who, under the garb of a friend, was affording assistance. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Letter from Surgeon J. M. Browne.
Alabama. The gun's crews were instructed in the application of tourniquets made for the occasion, and an ample supply furnished each division. Cots for the transportation of the wounded were in convenient positions, yet neither were brought into use. This has explanation from the fact that the wounded refused assistance from their comrades, concealing the severity of injury, and one (Gowin, ordinary seaman) dragged himself from the after pivot-gun to the fore-hatch, unwilling to take any one from his station. While I should ever make similar preparations on the eve of contest, the example of the one in question would teach me that, under the excitement of battle, little reliance could be placed upon the fulfilment of my instructions. This vessel is exceedingly deficient in provision of conveniences for wounded men; there is no appropriate place for the performance of operations. Acting upon my recommendation, Lieutenant Commander Thornton, Executive Officer, caused the fore-hold to be arranged for the accommodation of six wounded, after the application of temporary dressings, that they might have immunity from the exposure subjected to while upon the berth-deck. The action continued for eighteen minutes without casualties. Then a sixty-eight pound Blakeley shell passed through the starboard bulwarks below main rigging, exploded upon the quarter-deck, and wounded three of the crew of the pivot gun. One, William Gowin, ordinary seaman, received a compound fracture of left femur at lower and middle third and tibia, and fibula upper third, complicating the kneejoint. No fragments of shell were found in the wounds. The hemorrhage was profuse, chiefly venous. Suitable dressings and stimulants were employed.