General D. H. Maury's report of the exploits of the torpedo-boat St. Patrick.
Headquarters District of the Gulf, Mobile, Ala., February 3d, 1865.General,--I have the honor to report that on the 24th ultimo, Commodore Farrand, C. S. navy, transferred to me the torpedo-boat “St. Patrick,” built by a man named Halligan, under a contract with the government. Halligan having shown himself deficient in nerve or capacity to attack the enemy, I removed him from command of the St. Patrick and assigned to her Lieutenant Walker, C. S. navy, a young officer of great gallantry and merit, whom Commodore Farrand kindly placed at my disposal. Mr. Walker diligently applied himself to preparation for immediate action, and although Halligan had removed from the boat several essential parts of her machinery, he was enabled to recover them and get under way on the night of the 27th ultimo. At 1 o'clock, A. M., he struck the enemy's flag-ship Octarora, abaft the wheel-house. The torpedo missed fire. The greatest consternation and confusion were occasioned on the ship, so that the fire of artillery and musketry, which was directed against the St. Patrick, failed to strike her, and she returned with her crew to the protection of our batteries. Some portion of her machinery was damaged during the expedition, but Mr. Walker is confident that he will be ready to go out again by the next dark moon. I take pleasure in reporting to the war department the fine conduct of Lieutenant Walker, and in recommending him, through you, to the favorable notice of the navy department. I remain, very respectfully, General, Your obedient servant,