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[219] drifted the Sassacus out of action, I cannot but hope and believe that her struggle with the ironclad ram at such close quarters, and the act of running her down, were productive of great good. If we ever hear from the shots delivered when alongside of the ram, it will be consoling to us, as I am convinced they did some execution in the port. Yet I am forced to think that the Albemarle is more formidable than the Merrimac or Atlantic, for our solid one hundred-pounder rifle shot flew into splinters upon her iron plates. I have to report that the signal-books of this vessel were thrown overboard, and sunk, at the time the boiler was struck, and the ship enveloped in suffocating steam. It was appalling for a few moments, and the devotion with which the officers and men of the Sassacus stuck to and worked the guns fills me with professional pride. After anchoring, I sent the army steam-tug to bring the gunboat Bombshell, which had surrendered to us before we struck the ram under our guns. I then put a prize crew aboard, pumped her out, started her fires, and got up steam on her. She is now ready to move. I took her prisoners from the Ceres, where they had been temporarily placed. The injuries to the Sassacus will be found in the report of officers of different departments, which I herewith enclose, as also the surgeon's report of scalded and wounded. I would respectfully report the Sassacus as disabled for active operations until she can be repaired, and would request a survey upon her when it is convenient to grant it. In this unequal conflict of the wooden gunboats against an iron-clad, it gives me special pleasure to speak of the gallant and devoted bearing of officers and men. The maintenance of the fight with their guns, after the frightful disaster of the boiler, was worthy of the proudest day of our naval history. The divisional officers were cool, and I must note that Acting Ensign Mayer, at the forward rifle, one hundred-pounder, when loading and firing, almost muzzle to muzzle with the enemy's gun, was beautiful in his cool courage. I take great pleasure in testifying to the fine conduct of Acting Masters A. W. Muldaur and C. A. Boutelle. These officers were as cool and fearless as if at a general exercise. I respectfully recommend each for promotion to the grade of Lieutenant, deserved for good behavior and ability before the enemy in battle. I also respectfully recommend Acting Master's Mate O'Hara for examination for promotion to the grade of Ensign. Acting Assistant Paymaster G. De F. Barton acted as Aid and signal officer to me, and I take pleasure in acknowledging his coolness and attention to duty, while under a hot fire, where he voluntarily placed himself.

To the heroism and devotion of First Assistant Engineer J. M. Hobby, the government is probably indebted for the preservation of the Sassacus from a worse disaster. While every one who could, was forced to seek safety by flight from the scalding clouds of steam, Mr. Hobby stood at his post by the machinery, and though fearfully scalded himself, he cared for his machinery until the engine finally stopped. If it were possible to promote this officer, I earnestly and devoutly beg it may be done, for I consider that it has been amply and professionally won.

I am, Sir, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

F. A. Roe, Lieutenant-Commander. Captain M. Smith, Com'dg Naval Forces in Sounds of North Carolina.

Report of Engineer J. M. Hobby.

United States steamer Sassacus, Albemarle Sound, North Carolina, May 5, 1864.
Sir: I respectfully report the following damage sustained by the machinery of this ship during the engagement with the rebel ram Roanoke on the fifth instant:

At six P. M. a six-inch rifled solid shot came through the starboard side of the ship about five feet above the berth deck; it passed through the forward bunker into the starboard boiler, seven feet from the front and fourteen inches from the top, cutting T-iron braces and dry pipe; thence through the after end of the boiler, cutting away Wordworth pump, steam and exhaust pipes, through engine-room; cutting a stanchion, thermometer, and exhaust unhooking gear between main cylinder and condenser; thence through bulkhead into the ward-room. The starboard wheel is badly knocked out of shape by coming in contact with the ram's stem as we passed her. The escape of steam was so great as to reduce the pressure in the boiler to nothing almost instantaneously. The steam so filled the engine and fire-rooms that it was with the greatest exertions on the part of the engineers that the fires were hauled. The division of firemen were all scalded and one instantly killed.

We will be able to finish the repairs by to-morrow sufficiently well as to steam under one boiler.

I am, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

J. M. Hobby, First Assistant Engineer, in charge. Lieutenant-Commander F. A. Roe, Commanding U. S. Steamer Sassacus.


Agawam, May 16, 1864.
The attention of the Navy Department is respectfully called to the gallant conduct of Lieutenant-Commander Roe, and that of the officers whom he recommends for promotion.

S. P. Lee, Acting Rear-Admiral.

Report of Lieut.-Commander Queen.

United States steamer Wyalusing, Albemarle Sound, off Roanoke River, May 6, 1864.
Sir: In obedience to your signal, at three o'clock P. M. of fifth, we immediately got under way, taking our station in line astern of the Sassacus, the Mattabesett leading, and stood up the sound in close order.

Signals were made by you soon afterwards that

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