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The boat was commanded by Lieutenant Glassell, formerly of the navy. He was taken prisoner, and stated that the explosion threw a column of water which put out the fires and left the boat without motive power.

The marine guard and musketeers on the spar-deck of the Ironsides saw a small object, at which a very severe fire was kept up until it drifted out of sight, when two of the monitors passed near; then it disappeared. Two boats were sent and made an unsuccessful search. The prisoner stated that he, Engineer Toombs, and a pilot, were compelled to abandon the vessel, and provided with life preservers, swam for their lives. Glassell hailed a coal schooner as he was drifting past, and was taken on board. Confederate reports say the boat and remainder of crew came back to Charleston.

The naval operations before Charleston were now only of blockade, and although the channel was certainly very limited the blockade-runners came and departed, but ‘the Navy Department was not informed of the fact.’1 The monitors were being patched up where they had been battered, and were beached at high water and the sides were scraped at low water, and when afloat again, the flat floor was cleaned by divers. Their speed even then would not exceed four knots with all the revolutions their enginery could make.

On October 26th the army again opened on Sumter from the nearest attainable points on Morris Island, and were aided by the cross-fire of 150-pounder rifles on board of the Patapsco and Lehigh. This seemed wholly a work of supererogation, as Sumter was in appearance and in reality only a mass of ruins, without a gun mounted upon it.

1 The Secretary of the Navy appeared before the ‘Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War’ and assumed that because ‘the Department was not informed of the fact’ no vessels ran the blockade; actually twenty-one vessels ran in after the ruin of Sumter until the evacuation of Charleston.

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