day. At early dawn she was discovered coming down Wilmington River
, accompanied by a propeller and a side-wheel steamer.
slipped their cables and steamed outward for the northeast end of Wassaw Island
; the ram and hers consorts steamed down rapidly, apparently thinking them in retreat.
After preparations were completed and broad daylight had come, at 4.30 the Weehawken
turned and stood up to meet their adversary.
At a distance of a mile and a half the Atlanta
fired a rifle shell, which passed over the stern of the Weehawken
and struck near the Nahant
.. She then laid across the channel and awaited an attack.
At a distance of about three hundred yards the Weehawken
opened fire, and after an engagement of fifteen minutes, at 5.30 A. M., having fired but five shots, the Atlanta
hauled down her flag.
had not the opportunity of delivering a single shot, although close aboard and ready to support her consort.
had gone aground after the action was over.
A rising tide soon enabled her to be got afloat and sent with a prize crew to Port Royal
. Four shots had struck her. A Xv-inch cored shot had struck the casemate at an angle of about fifty degrees with the keel, broken in the armor and wood backing, covered the deck with splinters, and from the concussion and debris prostrated 40 men. Another of the same size struck the top of the pilot-house, knocking it off, wounding the pilots, and stunning the men at the wheel.
An Xi-inch solid shot struck the edge of the overhang, breaking the plating; the fourth, supposed to be of the same size, struck a port-stopper in the centre, breaking it in two, and driving many of the fragments into the casemate.
The crew was composed of 21 officers and a complement of 121 enlisted men, 16 of whom were wounded.
The captured officers estimated her speed at ten knots, and regarded the