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[87] guns, regardless of the white flags still flying at their mastheads, gradually crept off. As soon as this was seen I sent a swift express on horseback to General Scurry, directing him to open fire on them. This was done with so much effect that one of them is reported to have sunk near the bar and the Owasco was seriously damaged.

I forward a correspondence on this subject between Commodore Bell and myself. In this correspondence Commodore Bell states that the truce was violated by the firing of cannon and small-arms by our men on the shore, as he has been informed. This is an error. Not a gun or small-arm was discharged during the stipulated period, or until the enemy's vessels were discovered to be creeping off out of the harbor. Commodore Leon Smith fired a heavy gun at the retiring ships, with effect, from the Harriet Lane. Jumping on board the steamer Carr, he proceeded to Bolivar channel and captured and brought in, in the immediate presence of the enemy's armed vessels, the two barks and schooner before spoken of. As soon as it was light enough to see, the land force surrendered to General Scurry.

We thus captured one fine steamship, two barks and one schooner. We ran ashore the flagship of the commodore, drove off two war steamers and sunk another, as reported, all of the United States navy and the armed transports, and took 300 or 400 prisoners. The number of guns captured was fifteen, and, being found on Pelican Spit, a large quantity of stores, coal and other material also was taken. The Neptune sank; her officers and crew, with the exception of those killed in battle, were saved, as were also her guns. The loss on our side was 26 killed and 117 wounded. Among the former was the gallant Captain Wier, the first volunteer for the expedition. The alacrity with which officers and men, all of them totally unacquainted with this novel kind of service, some of whom had never seen a ship before, volunteered for an enterprise so extraordinarily and apparently desperate in its character, and the bold and dashing manner in which the plan was executed, are certainly deserving of the highest praise.

Although it may appear invidious to make distinctions, I nevertheless regard it as a duty to say that too much credit cannot be bestowed on Commodore Leon Smith, whose professional ability, energy and perseverance,

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Leon Smith (2)
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