Maj. Daniel D. Shea, commanding this post, I have the honor to make, for the information of the general commanding this district, the following report of an engagement between the Federal steamers and the batteries at this point: On the morning of October 31st two Federal steamers appeared in sight, evidently steering for this place. About 11 a. m. they arrived within a short distance, when they cast anchor. At 1 p. m. they sent a flag of truce on shore, which was met by Major Shea, accompanied by four of the citizens of the town. A short interview succeeded,, during which a demand was made for the surrender of the town. They were answered by the commanding officer that he was there to defend it, and should do so to the best of his ability with all the means he had at hand. A demand was then made for time to remove the women and children and sick persons from town. The officer in charge of the flag replied that one hour was the time he was authorized to grant, but in consideration of the fact that an epidemic (yellow fever) was still raging in the town, he would extend the time to one hour and a half; at the expiration of which period they moved up abreast the town and opened fire from both steamers upon both the town and batteries. At this time there were many women and children still in the place, they having been unable, for want of time, to leave. Our batteries promptly returned the fire. Capt. John A. Vernon commanded one of the batteries, assisted by Lieut. T. D. Woodward; and Capt. J. M. Reuss, assisted by Lieuts. O. L. Schnaubert and G. French, the other, and nobly did both officers and men perform their duty, working their guns as coolly as though on inspection, while a perfect storm of shot and shell rained around them; and this, although yellow fever had decimated their ranks, and that many of the men who manned the batteries had but partially recovered from the fever, entitles them to the highest praise. The steamers were struck several times, and one of them partially disabled as they immediately steamed off out of range of our batteries, where
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