Loss of the monitor Tecumseh.
Report of rear-admiral D. G. Farragut.
flag-ship Hartford, W. G. B. Squadron, Mobile Bay, August 27, 1864.sir: I have the honor to forward herewith (marked No. 1) a copy of a report made to me by Acting Masters C. F. Langley and Gardner Cottrell, two of the survivors of the iron-clad Tecumseh, and in which are given the names of six men who were saved in the same boat, namely: S. S. Shinn, Gunner's Mate; Jno. Gould, Quarter-Gunner; Frank Commins, seaman; Richard Collins, seaman; and Peter Parks, seaman. These officers are certainly in error in their statement that a row of buoys stretched from the shore a distance of one to two hundred yards. We now know, that the channel adjacent to the shore was entirely clear of torpedoes, and that the latter were placed between the two large buoys, to which I have referred in my reports. In addition to the persons named in this report as saved, the boat from the Metacomet, under Acting Ensign Nields, rescued Acting Ensign John P. Zetlich, Chauncey V. Dean, Quartermaster; Wm. Roberts, Quartermaster; James McDonald, seaman; Geo. Major, seaman; James Thorn, seaman; Chas. Packard, ordinary seaman; Wm. Fadden, landsman; and Wm. C. West, coal-heaver — with the pilot of the Tecumseh, John Collins. Four others also swam to the beach, and were taken prisoners at Fort Morgan and immediately sent away. This information was received when communicating by flag of truce with the Fort. none of them, we were told, were officers. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Joint report of Acting masters C. F. Langley and G. Cottrell.
U. S. Ship Potomac, Pensacola, August 6, 1864.sir: Believing that we are the only surviving officers of the U. S. Monitor Tecumseh, we feel it our duty to report the circumstances attending her loss, and of the safety of a boat's crew. When nearly abreast of Fort Morgan, and about one hundred and fifty yards from the beach, a row of buoys was discovered stretching from the shore, a distance from one to two hundred yards. It being reported to Captain Craven, he immediately gave the vessel full speed, and attempted to pass between two of them. When in their range, a torpedo was exploded directly under the turret, blowing a large hole through the bottom of the vessel, through which the water rushed in with great rapidity. Finding that the vessel was sinking, the order was given to leave our quarters, and from that moment every one used the utmost exertions to clear himself from the wreck. After being carried down by the vessel several times, we were picked up in a drowning condition by one of our boats, manned by the following men: S. S. Shinn, Gunner's Mate; John Gould, Quarter-Gunner; Frank Commens, seaman; Richard Collins, seaman; and Peter Parkes, landsman, all of whom are now on board this ship. Captain Craven was seen in the turret by Mr. Cottrell, just before the vessel sunk, and as he had a life-preserving vest on, we have hopes that he reached the shore. Not recovering from our exhausted condition until the boat was abreast of the Hartford, and knowing that an attempt to board one of the attacking fleet would cause the loss of her position, we pulled for the Buckthorn, from which vessel we were sent to the Tennessee, and afterward, by Captain Grafton's order, sent to this ship. There was no opportunity of making a report to Captain Grafton, otherwise it would have been done in person. Hoping that the course pursued by us will meet your approval,we are, very respectfully, etc.,