Report of Lieutenant Commander J. E. Jouett.
U. S. S. Metacomet, Bay of Mobile,Aug. 8, 1864.sir: Agreeably to your order of the seventh instant, I have the honor to make the following report of the successful passage of the forts and the capture or dispersion of the rebel fleet inside the bay. At half-past 4 A. M. of the fifth, I ran alongside of the Hartford and lashed on her port side. At fifty minutes after six the Tecumseh hoisted her colors and fired a gun. Fort Morgan replied. In a short time the action became general between the Fort, iron-clads, Brooklyn, Hartford, and Richmond. At this time the rebel fleet took their stations across the channel, delivering a raking fire upon our line. Thirty-five minutes past seven, amidst the hottest of the fire, the Tecumseh was blown up. I immediately sent a boat to her assistance in charge of Acting Ensign H. C. Nields, who pulled to the spot when she sank, and succeeded in saving one acting ensign, eight men, and a pilot. It is unnecessary for me to comment upon what he did; you know the situation under which he gallantly performed this duty; he delivered the men to the Winnebago, and then joined the Oneida, and asked for some duty. When the Oneida anchored he rejoined me up the bay. At forty minutes past seven the Brooklyn backed down the line, when the Hartford shot ahead, leading the fleet in past the forts. At this time a shell from the rebel gunboat Selma passed through this vessel into the forward store-room, killing one man and wounding another, and setting the ship on fire. By prompt action on the part of Acting Ensign G. E. Wing, in charge of powder division, we succeeded in extinguishing it. At five minutes past eight cast off from the Hartford and steamed for the three rebel gunboats, who were annoying the fleet by a raking fire. They steamed up the bay, engaging us with their stern guns, of which they had three each. At half-past 8 the Gaines retreated under cover of the fort in a crippled condition. At nine the Morgan hauled off to starboard, and at ten minutes past nine the Selma struck her flag to this ship. I immediately despatched a boat, in charge of Acting Master N M. Dyre to take charge of the prize, and to send her Captain and First Lieutenant on board. He hoisted the American flag, and reported Captain Murphy wounded and First Lieutenant killed. He transferred fifty of her crew to this vessel, and at fifty minutes past nine Captain P. N. Murphy came on board and surrendered his sword and vessel. She had five killed and ten wounded, including the Captain, two of which have since died. The dead and wounded were attended to. The remainder of her crew and officers were sent to the Port Poyal. Put engineers and firemen on board and steamed to the fleet, reporting the capture of the confederate steamer Selma, which vessel mounted two nine-inch Dahlgren smooth bore, one six and a half inch rifle, and one eight and a half inch smooth bore, all on pivot, with a crew all told of ninety-four men. I am much indebted to the executive officer, H. T. Sleeper, for his cool, prompt, and officer-like conduct; he is a valuable officer. For the efficient handling of the vessel, I am much indebted to Acting Master N. M. Dyre, who had permission to go North on leave, but volunteered to remain to assist in the attack upon the forts. Acting Ensign John White was cool and deliberate, working his rifle-gun with good effect. Acting Master's Mates Goodwin and Miller performed their duties with promptness and zeal, making good shots with their nine-inch guns. Acting Third Assistant-Engineer King, who was much exposed at the engine-bell, never failed to pull the proper bell; and to the efficient arrangement of the Engineer department and the prompt answer to the bells, I am indebted to First Assistant-Engineer Atkin. The gunner, Mr. Lamen, attended in both shell-rooms and magazines, forward and aft, and kept the guns more than supplied. I cannot close this long report without calling your attention to Assistant-Surgeon Payne of this vessel. By his report we had one killed and two wounded. That evening there were placed on board this vessel some sixty badly wounded officers and men, to be conveyed to Pensacola. He was untiring in his attention, watching and tending them at all times. He deserves especial mention for his great and successful exertions. This ship was struck eleven times, doing but little damage, shots mostly above the hull. I herewith submit the reports of the Executive Officer and Surgeon. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Metacomet, August fifth, 1864: Twenty-five charges powder, (ten pounds,) one-hundred pounder; fifteen shell, percussion, one-hundred pounder; ten shell, long five-second one-hundred pounder; twenty charges powder, (ten pounds,) nine-inch gun; five shell, five-second nine-inch gun; ten shell, ten-second, nine-inch gun; five shot, grape, nine-inch gun; two shot, solid, nine-inch gun; six shot, solid, (thirty-two pounds;) one hundred primers, cannon; five charges powder, (one pound,) howitzer; five shell, percussion, howitzer; five fixed ammunition howitzer; four shrapnel, howitzer; to shell, fixed ammunition, howitzer. I do certify that the above is a correct statement of the ammunition consumed on the fifth day of August, 1864. Very respectfully,
James Lamen. Acting Gunner.Report of damages sustained by the U. S. S. Metacomet during the engagement of the fifth instant. One shell through starboard-bow, exploding in the store-room; one shell on port bow; one shot through foremast, cutting two forward shrouds, port side; one cutting off heads of fire-room ventilators; one through smoke-stack; one through escape-pipe;