instant, the Columbine started on her return; she stopped at Wilatka, a landing place above Horse Landing, about half an hour, and then proceeded down the river. At four P. M., when near Horse Landing, called all hands to quarters, and commenced shelling the woods, and when opposite the landing fired two more rounds; the rebels opened fire from a battery distant not more than thirty yards, the forward gun being struck and knocked around, the carriage being injured, but not so as to render the gun useless; and the wheel-ropes being shot away, endeavors were made to repair the wheel-ropes, but before this could be done she was aground. We continued firing; Captain Sanborn had given orders to hook her on, with the object of endeavoring to run by the battery, but she was aground; directions were given by Captain Sanborn to shift the forward gun over to the starboard side, to bring it to bear on the battery; this was done, and fire opened again on the battery. The Captain (Sanborn) fired every gun, and this continued till about six P. M., steady firing. Many were killed by the rebel fire, as also many wounded; estimates the total killed and wounded at twenty, (20.) Captain Daniels, commanding detachment of thirty-fifth United States colored troops, was wounded; saw many lying in the gangway killed and wounded; I saw five drowned, four being soldiers, and the other belonged to the Columbine, William Moran, (landsman,) colored. At about six P. M. Captain Sanborn. showed a white flag, and surrendered. The rebels hailed and told him to send a boat ashore; boat was riddled with shot; did not send a boat. The rebels sent off three boats; when nearly alongside, I jumped overboard and swam to the east side of the river, and escaped to the woods. Here I met three soldiers of the Thirty-fifth United States colored troops, who had also jumped overboard; together we made our way to St. Augustine, which place we reached in five days. I hereby certify that the above statement is true and correct.
Certified to as the statement of Drover Edwards, (landsman,) late of the Columbine.
June 12, 1864.
George B. Balch, United States Navy.
List of officers and men captured.
flag-steamer Philadelphia, Port Royal harbor, June 27, 1864.Sir: I herewith enclose, for the information of the department, list of the officers and men of the United States steam-tug Columbine, captured by the enemy May twenty-third, 1864, and have the honor to be, Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Prisoners captured May 23, 1864.
F. Sanborn, acting ensign; J. H. Johnston and George Whitney, third assistant engineers; W. D. Spencer, master's mate; G. F. Allison, quarter-master's cook; John Smith and George Walsh, quartermasters; Nicholas Fierny, Robert Haddon, and J. H. Ellis, firemen; John McDonald, Michael Noe, Patrick Kelly, and Mike Drilly, coal-heavers; Wiley Bloom, A. Mills, J. Hastings, A. Lewis, George Hall, W. Austin, T. Wiggins, W. Wyatt, W. Hampton, J. Jenkins, W. Hart, and J. Harrison, sailors; H. Pearson, cook,--total, twenty-seven. I certify that the above is a correct abstract from the list furnished by Major-General Anderson, commanding Confederate forces in Florida.
Report of Acting Ensign Sanborn.
United States steamer Columbine, under my command, in the St. John's River, on May twenty-third, 1864. On the twenty-second of May, at four A. M., I received orders by the army transport Charles Houghton to report to Lieutenant-Commander L. L. Breese, commanding the United States steamer Ottawa. I reported to him at five A. M., and assisted her in reaching Pilatka. From this place I was by him ordered to proceed to Volusia, and convey such orders as I might receive from General Gordon, to whom he ordered me to report. Reporting to General Gordon at a landing opposite Pilatka, I received orders from General Gordon to receive on board a detachment of the Thirty-fifth United States infantry, (colored,) under command of Captain Daniels, as a guard, and verbal orders to be communicated to the commandant of the post of Volusia, fifty miles farther up the river. Leaving Pilatka and the Ottawa, with orders to return immediately, at six P. M. I reached Volusia bar, five miles from Volusia, at half past 11 P. M., when I dropped anchor. In the morning, owing to the low state of the tide, I found it impossible to safely cross the bar with the Columbine. I therefore despatched Acting Master's Mate W. B. Spencer with an armed boat's crew to convey General Gordon's orders to the commandant of the post at Volusia, and return immediately. He was successful in so doing, and returned to the vessel at half past 11 A. M. of the twenty-third. Immediately after his return, I weighed anchor and commenced my return. I stopped at Rembert's and Welaka on my return, at which latter place I obtained the particulars of the capture of a detachment of the Seventeenth Connecticut volunteer infantry, under command of one Captain Hovey. This was part of my orders.