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Doc. 3.-attack on the defences of Mobile.

Report of rear-admiral Farragut.

flag-ship Hartford, Mobile Bay, Aug. 5, 1864.
sir: I have the honor to report to the Department that this morning I entered Mobile Bay, passing between Forts Morgan and Gaines, and encountering the rebel ram Tennessee and gunboats of the enemy, namely, Selma, Morgan, and Gaines.

The attacking fleet was under way by forty-five minutes past five A. M., in the following order: The Brooklyn, with the Octorara on her port side; Hartford, with the Metacomet; Richmond, with the Port Royal; Lackawanna, with the Seminole; Monongahela, with the Tecumseh; Ossipee, with the Itasca, and the Oneida with the Galena.

On the starboard of the fleet was the proper position of the monitors or iron-clads. The wind was light from the south-west, and the sky cloudy, with very little sun. Fort Morgan opened upon us at ten minutes past seven o'clock, and soon after this the action became lively. As we steamed up the main ship channel, there was some difficulty ahead, and the Hartford passed on ahead of the Brooklyn. At forty minutes past seven the monitor Tecumseh was struck by a torpedo and sunk, going down very rapidly, and carrying down with her all the officers and crew, with the exception of the pilot and eight or ten men, who were saved by a boat that I sent from the Metacomet, which was alongside of me.

The Hartford had passed the forts before eight o'clock, and finding myself raked by the rebel gunboats, I ordered the Metacomet to cast off and go in pursuit of them, one of which — the Selma — she succeeded in capturing.

All the vessels had passed the forts by half-past 8, but the rebel ram Tennessee was still apparently uninjured in our rear. [99]

Signal was at once made to all the fleet to turn again and attack the ram, not only with guns, but with orders to run her down at full speed. The Monongahela was the first that struck her, and though she may have injured her badly, yet she did not succeed in disabling her. The Lackawanna also struck her, but ineffectually. The flag-ship gave her a severe shock with her bow, and as she passed poured her whole port broadside into her of solid nine-inch shot and thirteen pounds of powder, at a distance of not more than twelve feet. The iron-clads were closing upon her, and the Hartford and the rest of the fleet were bearing down upon her, when, at ten A. M., she surrendered. The rest of the rebel fleet — namely, the Morgan and Gaines — succeeded in getting back under the protection of Fort Morgan.

This terminated the action of the day.

Admiral Buchanan sent me his sword, being himself badly wounded with a compound fracture of the leg, which it is supposed will have to be amputated.

Having had many of my own men wounded, and the surgeon of the Tennessee being very desirous to have Admiral Buchanan removed to the hospital, I sent a flag of truce to the commanding officer of Fort Morgan, Brigadier-General Richard L. Page, to say that if he would allow the wounded of the fleet, as well as their own, to be taken to Pensacola, where they can be better cared for than here, I would send out one of our vessels, provided she would be permitted to return, bringing back nothing she did not take out.

General Page consented, and the Metacomet was despatched.

The list of casualties on our part, as far as ascertained, is as follows:

Flag-ship Hartford--Nineteen killed, twenty-three wounded.

Brooklyn--Nine killed, twenty-two wounded.

Lackawanna--Four killed, two wounded.

Oneida--Seven killed, twenty-three wounded.

Monongahela--Six wounded.

Metacomet--One killed, two wounded.

Ossipee--One killed, seven wounded.

Galena--One wounded.

Richmond--Two wounded.

In all, forty-one killed and eighty-eight wounded.

On the rebel ram Tennessee were captured twenty officers and about one hundred and seventy men. The following is a list of the officers: Admiral F. Buchanan; Commander Joseph D. Johnson; Lieutenants Wm. D. Bradford, A. P. Wharton, E. J. McDennert; Masters J. R. De Moley, H. W. Perron; Fleet-Surgeon R. C. Bowles; Engineers G. D. Leneng, J. O'Connell, John Hays, O. Benson, W. B. Patterson; Paymaster's Clerk, J. H. Conen; Master's Mates W. A. Forrest, Beebe, and R. M. Carter; Boatswain, John McCudie; Gunner, H. S. Smith.

On the Selma were taken ninety officers and men. Of the officers I have only heard the names of two, namely, Commander Peter U. Murphy, and Lieutenant J. H. Comstock. The latter was killed.

I will send a detailed despatch by the first opportunity.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. G. Farragut, Admiral Commanding W. G. B. Squadron. To Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.

List of killed and wounded on board U. S. S. Hartford in the action with the rebel Fort Morgan and fleet, August fifth, 1864:

Killed — David Morrow, quarter-gunner; Wm. Osgood, ordinary seaman; Thos. Baine, ordinary seaman; Benjamin Harper, seaman; Wm. Clark, boy; Charles Schaffer, seaman; Frank Still well, nurse; George Walker, landsman; John C. Scott, ordinary seaman; Thomas Wilde, ordinary seaman; Wm. Smith, boy; Wm. Andrews, captain after-guard; Frederick Munsell, captain after-guard; Lewis McLane, landsman; Peter Duncan, landsman;----Smith, fireman; Thomas Baines, fireman; Thomas Stanton, fireman;----Cannel, fireman. Total, nineteen.

Wounded--Lieutenant Adams, slightly; Acting Third Assistant-Engineer McEwan, amputation arm; Acting Master's Mate R. P. Herrick, slightly; Acting Ensign W. H. Heginbotham, severely, (since dead;) Wilder Venner, landsman, leg; Adolphus Pulle, seaman, severe flesh wounds, legs; Hiram Elder, seaman, right leg; R. Dumphery, coal-heaver, both arms; Wm. Thompson, ordinary seaman, one leg; E. Johnson, boy, contusion, side; Walter Lloyd, boy, leg; M. Forbes, captain mizzen-top, contusion, side; Wm. Stanley, seaman, contusion and on leg; C. Stevenson, boy, contusion; F. Campbell, seaman, contusion; Wm. Doyle, boy, contusion, side; Auguste Simmons, landsman; Peter Pitts, boy; Michael Fayal, landsman; David Ortin; Wm. Trask, left leg; Charles Dennis, both arms; Thomas O'Connell, right hand off. Total, twenty-three.

Congratulatory letter to rear-admiral Farragut.

Navy Department, Washington, August 15, 1864.
sir: Your despatch of the fifth instant, stating that you had, on the morning of that day, entered Mobile Bay, passing between Forts Morgan and Gaines, and encountering and overcoming the rebel fleet, I had the satisfaction to receive this day. Some preliminary account of your operations had previously reached us through rebel channels.

Again it is my pleasure and my duty to congratulate you and your brave associates on an achievement unequalled in our service by any other commander, and only surpassed by that unparalleled naval triumph of the squadron under your command in the spring of 1862, when, proceeding up the Mississippi, you passed Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and, overcoming all obstructions, captured New-Orleans, and restored unobstructed navigation to the commercial emporium of the great central valley of the Union.

The Bay of Mobile was not only fortified and guarded by forts and batteries on shore, and by [100] submerged obstructions, but the rebels had also collected there a formidable fleet, commanded by their highest naval officer — a former captain in the Union navy — who, false to the government and the Union, had deserted his country in the hour of peril, and levelled his guns against the flag which it was his duty to have defended. The possession of Mobile Bay, which you have acquired, will close the illicit traffic which has been carried on by running the blockade in that part of the Gulf, and gives point and value to the success you have achieved.

Great results in war are seldom obtained without great risks, and it was not expected that the possession of the harbor of Mobile would be secured without disaster. The loss of the gallant Craven and his brave companions, with the Tecumseh, (a vessel that was invulnerable to the guns of Fort Morgan,) by a concealed torpedo, was a casualty against which no human foresight could guard. While the nation awards cheerful honors to the living, she will ever hold in grateful remembrance the memory of the gallant and lamented dead, who perilled their lives for their country and died in her cause.

To you and the brave officers and sailors of your squadron, who participated in this great achievement, the Department tenders its thanks, and those of the Government and country.

Very respectfully, etc.,

Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy. Rear-Admiral David G. Farragut, Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron, Mobile Bay.

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