headquarters 176TH regiment Pennsylvania Militia, St. Helena Sound, S. C., February 21. 1863.Sir: Having seen a proclamation issued by General Beauregard and Commodore Ingraham to the effect that upon the morning of the 31st ult. they had, by force of arms, succeeded in dispersing the blockading fleet which was lying off Charleston Harbor, and also a statement purporting to have come from the English Consul for that port, and the commanding officer of the English man-of-war Petrel, that they had gone out to a point five miles beyond the usual anchorage of the blockading fleet, and that not a single vessel could be seen, even with the aid of powerful glasses, and that, consequently, the blockade had been most effectually raised, and knowing, as we do, the above statement to be utterly false in every particular, we feel constrained to tender our evidence as corroboratory of that already furnished. On the evening of January 29th, the One Hundred and Seventy-sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Militia (with which we are connected) left Morehead City, N. C., on board steamer Cossack, destined for Port Royal. Upon the morning of the 31st, when near Charleston, could hear firing distinctly. Upon our arrival off the harbor, which was at about 8.30 A. M., found lying there the blockading squadron, some of which were at anchor, and also the prize steamer Princess Royal. The distance from land at which they were was estimated to be from four to five miles; and although the morning was somewhat hazy, yet the land could be plainly seen on each side of the harbor. Vessels could be seen in the inlets, and by the aid of a glass a fort, said to have been Sumter, was visible. We were right in the midst of the fleet, so near as to be able to carry on a conversation with the Housatonic—were boarded by officers from it and the Quaker City. We remained there until about nine o'clock. Shortly after we departed, the Princess Royal followed. Being thus near the site of the engagement, and so soon after it came off, we do not hesitate in the least to pronounce the statement that the blockade was raised not only absurd, but utterly and wilfully false in every particular. And the statement of the English Consul and the commander of the Petrel, that the squadron could not be seen even with the aid of powerful glasses is one equally false, and one that impels us to conclude that it would require a powerful glass, truly, to be able to discover one particle of truth or honesty in the composition of these gentlemen.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : condition of the Navy at the beginning of the war.
Chapter 2 : the Port Royal expedition .
Chapter 3 : strategic Reconnoissances.
Chapter 4 : raid of the Confederate ironclads off Charles -Ton.—attack on Fort M'Allister .
Chapter 5 : naval attack on Charleston .
Chapter 6 : the Monitor class of vessels.
Chapter 7 : operations against Charleston .
Chapter VIII Hatteras Inlet — Roanoke Island .
Chapter 9 : reduction of Newbern —the Albemarle .
Chapter 10 : Fort Fisher
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