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[225] to receive her, and she received four tremendous shocks by the heaviest vessels running into her at full speed; soon after which I received an order from you in person to stand for Fort Morgan, as it had been reported by the acting chief-engineer that the ship was leaking rapidly. At this time it was reported to me that the wheel-chain had been carried away, and, ordering the relieving tackles to be used, I made a personal examination of the broken chain to ascertain if it could be repaired. This was found to be impossible without sending men outside of the shield to expose themselves several minutes to the fire of the enemy's vessels, by which the after-deck over which the chains lead was closely watched and constantly swept until the close, of the action. Returning to the pilot-house for the purpose of observing more closely the movements of the enemy, I soon received a report that you had been wounded; when I went aft to see you, and while there, learned that the after-port cover had been struck by a shot, which instantly killed a man engaged in removing the pivot bolt upon which it revolved, and wounded yourself and one of the gun's crew, the latter mortally. I then learned that the two quarter-port covers had been so jammed by the fire of the enemy as to render it impracticable to remove them; and the relieving tackles had been shot away, and the tiller unshipped from the rudder-head. The smoke-pipe having been completely riddled by shot, was knocked down close to the top of the shield by the concussion of vessels running into the ship. At the same time the three monitors were using their eleven and fifteen-inch solid shot against the after end of the shield, while the largest of the wooden vessels were pouring in separate broadsides at the distance of only a few feet; and I regret to say that many favorable opportunities of sinking those vessels were unavoidably lost by failure of our gun-primers. The bow-port cover was struck by a heavy shot, as also the cover of the forward port on the port side; and two of the broadside-port covers were entirely unshipped by the enemy's shot. The enemy was not long in perceiving that our steering gear had been entirely disabled, and his monitors and heaviest vessels at once took position at each quarter and stern, from whence they poured in their fire without intermission for a period of nearly half an hour, while we were unable to bring a single gun to bear, as it was impossible to change the position of the vessel, and the steam was rapidly going down as a natural consequence of the loss of the smoke pipe. Feeling it my duty to inform

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Fort Morgan (Alabama, United States) (1)

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