head of the naval forces.
During the year the Savannah
; an armored ship, was completed, and the Milledgeville was launched.
After the abandonment of the attacks on Fort McAllister
, Ossabaw sound
was usually guarded alone by the Federal
, a famous side-wheel steamer which had taken part in the Paraguay
war of 1855, and fought against Commodore Hollins
in the Mississippi
detailed 7 boats, 5 officers and 11 7 men to attempt the capture of this vessel, under Lieut. Thomas P. Pelot
, on May 31st.
They could not find the Waterwitch
that night, but hearing the next day of her presence in Little Ogeechee river
, they renewed the search and came alongside in the midst of a thunderstorm on the night of June 3d.
On being hailed, Lieutenant Pelot
answered, ‘We are rebels,’ and immediately gave the command, ‘Board her!’
Though the Waterwitch
had steamed up and was at once put in motion, the port and starboard columns of attack, headed by Lieutenant Pelot
and Lieut. Joseph Price
, got on board, and a desperate fight with pistols and cutlasses at once ensued, which lasted for some ten minutes. The enemy's fire with small-arms was very effective while the boats were coming alongside, and while the boarding netting was being cut through.
was the first to gain the deck, and was engaged in a combat with swords with Lieutenant Pendergrast
The latter was laid upon the deck by his antagonist, but at that moment the paymaster of the Waterwitch
, catching a glimpse of Pelot
by the glare of lightning, fired upon and instantly killed him. Then Lieutenant Price
took command and the boarders pressed forward with such vigor that the ship was soon surrendered.
Besides Lieutenant Pelot
lost in killed Moses Dallas
(colored), Quarter-gunner Patrick Lotin
, Seamen W. R. Jones
, James Stapleton
, Lieutenant Price
, Midshipman Minor
and Boatswain Seymour
; and Steward