A gentleman in New Orleans, writing to a friend in this city, speaks as follows of this engagement, and of the officer who may be fairly considered the hero of it:
"No doubt before this you have seen in the papers full accounts of the affair of the 12th.
It was a very bold and well-executed enter-prise, and the "hero" of the party is Lieut. Warley
, of South Carolina
He commanded the steam ram (which the people of New Orleans have christened 'Manassas
' or 'Bull Run
') that ran into the Richmond
at four A. M. This, with the four ships, constituted such a novel style of warfare, and spread such consternation among the enemy, that all their ships, four or five in number, slipped their cables and fled down the river.
The suspense of those on board the other vessels for the fate of their brave companions was for some time very painful; but when daylight came, and they saw that the enemy had fled, their joy was complete.
They all pursued him down the river, and on the bar (S. W.) had quite a spirited cannonade with vastly superior forces.
They are now all out of the river, (Oct, 16th.) but we cannot flatter ourselves, owing to their superior numbers.
that they will not be back before long.
The Richmond was much injured, but to what extent we know not, though she cannot fail to need repairs, after such a smash
as the Ram
gave her. What must have been the consternation of all on board, when they were awakened at the dead hour of 4 A. M. the weather being as dark as pitch, by such an awful blow such a crushing of timbers, and such yells of the victors!
It was indeed enough to frighten them, especially considering that their enemy was almost invisible.--The city is all agog about the success of the expedition.
They will make a great fuss over Warley
; but he is too much of a true hero
to be spoiled by it. He is one of the coolest and bravest men I ever knew, and none deserves to be praised more than he. The deed required the greatest nerve and decision, and three long hours before the hazard could be determined.
Not an act in naval history stands on or deserves a brighter page than this hold and successful exploit of Warley
's. And how near a failure!
or rather, what a narrow escape he had!
One of his engines broke in the collision, and with the remaining one he had barely power to escape.
The darkness alone saved him. The fire-rafts — both commanded by Virginians
— acted well their part, and added much to the consternation of the enemy."