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[223] the ram, as I judged from the appearance of the plating on her, when viewed through a glass.

Keeping the ram on my starboard beam, I ran ahead of and across her bows, making a circuit about her.

Notwithstanding the heavy fire which was concentrated on the rebel iron-clad by our vessels, she succeeded, under the cover of approaching darkness, to make good her escape up the Roanoke River. Having ceased firing at 7.30 P. M., we came to anchor off the mouth of the river, at eight, with the fleet. I have no casualties to report. Ammunition expended, seventeen solid shot, rifle one hundred-pounder, and one hundred and seventy pounds common powder.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. W. Barrett, Acting Ensign, commanding. Captain Melancton Smith, Senior Naval Officer, Sounds of N. C.

Additional reports of Lieut.-Com. Roe.

United States steamer Sassacus, James River, June 24, 1864.
Sir: I respectfully request that the enclosed communication may be appended to my report of May sixth, on the engagement with the iron-clad Albemarle.

This paper is a duplicate of one sent to Captain Smith, at the time of its date, and I furnish it under the apprehension that the original may not have reached you.

I am, Sir, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

F. A. Roe, Lieutenant-Commander. Admiral S. P. Lee, Com'ding N. A. B. Squadron, James River, Va.

United States steamer Sassacus, Albemarle Sound, N. C., May 7, 1864.
Sir: My attention being called by you to that portion of my report of the Sassacus, in the engagement of the fifth instant, in relation to the capture of the Bombshell, it will be observed that the Sassacus was second in line astern of the Mattabesett, and was totally ignorant of what the latter vessel had done.

The Sassacus, seeing the Bombshell approach her, as she was coming around to attack the ram, ordered her to surrender, and go below and anchor, which was done.

I merely narrated the facts which occurred in this vessel, and the Mattabesett may have done precisely what the Sassacus did, without the latter knowing it.

I trust this will explain any apparent contradictions that may seem to exist in the reports of the two vessels.

I was not aware that she had already surrendered to the Mattabesett, as you state she had. Upon questioning Captain Hudgins, who commanded the Bombshell, and who is now a prisoner of war on board this ship, he replied, He surrendered his vessel to the second vessel in line; that his flag had not been hauled down to the first, and that no surrender had been made of his vessel until ordered by the second vessel in the line to do so, when he struck.

He did not, nor does he know the name of the vessel to whom he surrendered, but that it was to the second vessel in line.

I am, Sir, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

F. A. Roe, Lieutenant, commanding. Captain M. Smith, Commanding Naval Forces, Sounds of North Carolina.

Additional report of Captain Smith.

United States steamer Mattabesett, Albemarle Sound, N. C., June 4, 1864.
Sir: Your order of May seventeenth, through Rear-Admiral Lee, directing a full report to be furnished of the collision of the Sassacus with the rebel ram Albemarle, together with a diagram showing the position of the two vessels, is received, and I have the honor to make the following report:

One report from Lieutenant-Commander Roe has already been forwarded to Admiral Lee, and I retained two--one from himself, and the other from his executive officer — to avoid multiplying testimony that appeared to me to be much exaggerated; but both reports are now enclosed.

Lieutenant-Commander Roe states that he “struck the ram Albemarle fairly, just abaft his beam, at about nine or ten knots' speed. The blow jarred and careened her so much that the water flowed freely over her decks.” His executive officer states that “we had a start of three or four hundred yards, and were making about eleven knots when we struck her with our prow at right angles on the starboard quarter, at the junction of her after casemate with the hull, forcing her side under water two or three feet.”

It is my impression that the Sassacus, when within five hundred yards of the ram, had stopped her engines, and when fairly pointed, commenced steaming towards him, making it apparent that she intended to try the effects of ramming. I remarked to Captain Febiger at that time, “How slow she moves;” and in a few moments she struck, as represented, fairly, and nearly at right angles, causing the water to flow over the deck aft.

I subsequently called Lieutenant-Commander Roe's attention to the statement made by him in reference to the rate of speed, which he evidently estimated by the number of revolutions, without considering the short distance he had to run, from a dead stand, to reach the ram; but as he was not disposed to make the correction, although I had taken the report on board for that purpose, as well as to examine his injuries, I forwarded it as it was.

I should judge, from the slight injury the vessel sustained, and the short distance that the Sassacus was from the ram when heading for him, that her speed did not exceed five knots. The Albemarle, as I have since learned, did not sustain the slighest injury from the collision.

Lieutenant-Commander Roe also states, “I put three rifle shot into her port, and the muzzles ”

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