Dauphin Island Alabama During the Civil War

Dauphin Island Alabama During the Civil War

The following correspondence was obtained from
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. 
These official documents tell the story of Dauphin Island During the Civil War.


Off Mobile, August 2, 1864. CAPTAIN: General Granger was here and dined with me yesterday; expects to be able to land his forces to-morrow in the sound; so you must all hurry up. Send Mr. Shock out in one of the vessels coming out immediately. One of the turrets jams, and must be eased at once. The whole three are in a very snug harbor. I visited them yesterday, and am going again this morning. I wish you would try and find two thimble blocks, 9 or 10 inches long, for one of the runout tables to Perkins’ XI-inch guns.

Hurry out everybody as fast as possible after they have filled up their coal. Very truly and respectfully,


Rear-Admiral. Captain T. A. JENKINS,

Senior Afloat, Pensacola.

Order of Rear-Admiral Farragut, U. S. Navy, to Captain Jenkins, U. 8. Navy.

[AUGUST 2, 1864.] DEAR JENKINS: The admiral thinks we had better draw fires and save coal. This will also give a chance of cleaning up below. Yours,

P. DRAYTON. P. S.—The general wants your signal men for a day or two.

P. D.

Order of Rear-Admiral Farragut, U. S. Navy, to Lieutenant-Commander Howison, U. S. Navy commanding U. S. S. Bienville, to tow the U. 8. monitor Tecumseh from Pensacola.



Off Mobile, August 3, 1864. SIR; Proceed at once with the Bienville to Pensacola and take the Tecumseh in tow as soon as she is ready and bring her out to me here.

If it is possible, she must be got off early to-morrow morning, otherwise she will be of no use to me in my operations. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Rear-Admiral. Lieutenant-Commander H. L. HowISON,

U.S. S. Bienville, off ‘Mobile

Order of Commander Mullany, U. 8. Navy, to Lieutenant Howison, U. 8. Navy, to assume temporary command of the U. S. S. Bienville.


USS Bienville was a 1,558 long tons (1,583 t) (burden) wooden side-wheel paddle steamer acquired by the Union Navy early in the American Civil War. She was armed with heavy guns and assigned to the Union blockade of the waterways of the Confederate States of America.


Off Mobile Bar, Ala., August 3, 1864. SIR: Agreeably to instructions received by me from the admiral commanding, you will assume command of this ship for the present, during my temporary absence. I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Commander. Lieutenant H. L. Howison, • Executive Officer, U. S. S. Bienville, off Mobile Bar.

Order of Captain Drayton, U. S. Navy, to Captain Jenkins, U. S. Navy, regarding the hastening of the U. S. monitor Tecumseh.


USS Hartford, a sloop-of-war, steamer, was the first ship of the United States Navy named for Hartford, the capital of Connecticut. Hartford served in several prominent campaigns in the American Civil War as the flagship of David G. Farragut, most notably the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864. She survived until 1956, when she sank awaiting restoration at Norfolk, Virginia.


August 3, 1864. MY DEAR JENKINS: As the Tennessee has come out, and we must have the Metacomet, Tecumseh or no Tecumseh, we send in the Bienville. If you can get the Tecumseh out to-morrow, do so; otherwise I am pretty certain that the admiral won’t wait for her. Indeed, I think a very little persuasion would have taken him in to-day, and less to-morrow. The army are to land at once, and the admiral does not want to be thought remiss.

You had better come out if you want to be sure of a place in the fight. Don’t send out any XV-inch that the vessels can not conveniently stow below water.

We want the Philippi, with the ammunition for Octorara, but nothing else. Yours, truly,


U.S. S. Richmond.

Report of Rear-Admiral Farragut, U. 8. Navy, regarding the arrival off Mobile of U. S. monitors Winnebago and Chickasaw.



USS Winnebago was a double-turret Milwaukee-class river monitor, named for the Winnebago tribe of Siouan Indians, built for the Union Navy during the American Civil War. The ship participated in the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864, during which she was lightly damaged, and the bombardments of Forts Gaines and Morgan as Union troops besieged the fortifications defending the bay. In early 1865, Winnebago again supported Union forces during the Mobile Campaign as they attacked Confederate fortifications defending the city of Mobile, Alabama. She was placed in reserve after the end of the war and sold in 1874.

Off Mobile, August 3, 1864. SIR: I am happy to inform the Department that the two monitors, Winnebago and Chickasaw, have arrived from New Orleans and are now anchored inside of Sand Island. They came around without the slightest accident, and worked finely. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. G. FARRAGUT, Rear-Admiral, Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Hon. GIDEON WELLES,

Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. 0.

USS Chickasaw was an ironclad Milwaukee-class river monitor built for the United States Navy during the American Civil War. The ship participated in the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864, during which she was lightly damaged, and the bombardments of Forts Gaines and Morgan as Union troops besieged the fortifications defending the bay. In March–April 1865, Chickasaw again supported Union forces during the Mobile Campaign as they attacked Confederate fortifications defending the city of Mobile, Alabama.

Letter from Rcar-Admiral Farragut, U. S. Navy, to Major-General Grangor, U. S. Army, advising a landing at Fort Gaines.



Off Mobile, August 3, 1864. GENERAL: I think you will find them unprepared for you at Fort Gaines. They appear to think only of the peninsula, and are doing everything to get ready for you in that quarter. I hope, if we are so fortunate as to get inside the bay, that you will then find force enough to land there also. . I received the signal officers to-day by Captain Marston. Very respectfully,

D. G. FARRAGUT, Rear-Admiral, Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Major-General GORDON GRANGER,

Commanding U. S. Forces, Dauphin Island.

begun to cean the sixth anecumseh would be my operations

Letter from Rear-Admiral Farragut, U. S. Navy, to Captain Jenkins, U. S. Navy, expressing regret at the delay caused by the nonappearance of the U. S. monitor Tecumseh.



: Off Mobile, August 3, 1864. CAPTAIN: I have lost the finest day for my operations. I confidently supposed that the Tecumseh would be ready in four days, and here we are on the sixth and no signs of her, and I am told has just begun to coal. I could have done very well without her, as I have three here without her, and every day is an irretrievable loss.

The soldiers, by agreement, are landing to-day back of Dauphin Island, and could I have gone in this morning, we would have taken them by surprise. Four deserters came off from Gaines last night, and they say they do not expect any landing there; but they are working like beavers on Morgan.

I have consented to let Alden go ahead, as he has four chase guns and a cowcatcher or torpedo catcher. I send the Bienville to tow the Tecumseh. Send out the Metacomet and come out yourself to-morrow morning. I can lose no more days. I must go in day after to-morrow morning at daylight or a little after. It is a bad time, but when you do not take fortune at her offer you must take her as you can find her. I have had the wind just right, and I expect it will change by the time I can go in. Very truly, yours,


Rear-Admiralo Captain T. A. JENKINS,

Senior Officer.

Order of Rear-Admiral Farragut, U. S. Navy, to Commander Stevens, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Winnebago, in view of the attempt of the enemy to reinforce Fort Gaines.



Off Mobile, August 4, 1864. SIR: Go up toward Fort Gaines and try and drive off the enemy’s boats that are landing troops and supplies. You had better not ap

proach the fort nearer than a mile, but exercise your judgment. Get back to your anchorage before night. If you can signalize any information or open communication with our troops by signal, do so.

We go in a little after daylight in the morning, so do not use up your crew too much. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Rear-Admiral. Commander T. H. STEVENS,

U. S. S. Winnebago, off Mobile.

Instructions from Rear-Admiral Farragat, U. S. Navy, to Commander Stevens, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Winnebago, regarding the service expected of the monitors.



Off Mobile, August 4, 1864. Sir: As the monitors are slower than the wooden vessels, I desire that as soon as a signal is made from this vessel in the morning, or if a signal can not be seen, you perceive any movement wnich shows that tne fleet is about moving, you will get underway and proceed toward the fort, endeavoring to keep at about a mile distance until we are coming up and begin to fire, when you can move nearer, so as to make it certain that when abreast of the fort we have our ironclads as an offset to those of the enemy, which otherwise might run us down.

The service that I look for from the ironclads is, first, to neutralize as much as possible the fire of the guns which rake our approach; next to look out for the ironclads when we are abreast of the forts, and, lastly, to occupy the attention of those batteries which would rake us while running up the bay.

After the wooden vessels have passed the fort, the Winnebago and Chickasaw will follow them. The commanding officer of the Tecumseh and Manhattan will endeavor to destroy the Tennessee, exercising their own judgment as to the time they shall remain behind for that purpose. Very respectfully,

D. G. FARRAGUT, Rear-Admiral, Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Commander T. H. STEVENS,

U. S. S. Winnebago, off Mobile.

Diagram of line of battle.
Diagram to supersede the previous one.


FLAGSHIP HARTFORD, August 4, 1864. Brooklyn and Octorara,


Tecumseh Hartford and Metacomet,

Manhattan Richmond and Port Royal,

Winnebago Lackawanna and Seminole,

Chickasaw Monongahela and Kennebec, Ossipee and Itasca, Oneida and Galena,

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The above diagram will be observed by the vessels in forming line of battle to-morrow morning, or whenever the fleet goes in.



Report of Rear-Admiral Farragut, U. 8. Navy, regarding the battle of Mobile Bay,

August 5, 1864. No. 335.]



Mobile Bay, August 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 the gunboats of the enemy, viz, Selma, Morgan, and Gaines.

The attacking fleet was underway by 5:45 a. m., in the following order:

Brooklyn with the Octorara on her port side, Hartford with the Metacomet, Richmond with the Port Royal, Lackawanna with the Seminole, Monongahela with the Kennebec, Ossipee with the Itasca, and Oneida with the Galena.

On the starboard of the fleet was proper position of the monitors or ironclads.

The wind was light from the southward and westward; the sky cloudy with very little sun.

Fort Morgan opened upon us at six minutes past 7, 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 7 the monitor Tecumseh was struck by a torpedo and sank, going down very rapidly and carrying with her all of her officers and crew with the exception of the pilot and 8 or 10 men, who were saved by a boat that I sent from the Metacomet alongside of me.

The Hartford had passed the forts before 8 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 8:30 o’clock, but the rebel ram Tennessee was still apparently uninjured in our rear.

Signal was at once made to all the fleet to turn again and attack the ram, not only with the 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 did not succeed in disabling her. The Lackawanna also struck her, but ineffectually, and the flagship gave her a severe shock with her bow, and as she passed poured her whole port broadside into her, solid IX-inch shot and 13 pounds of powder, at a distance of not more than 12 feet. The ironclads were closing upon her and the Hartford and the rest of the fleet were bearing down upon her when, at 10 a. m., she surrendered. The rest of the rebel fleet, viz, Morgan and Gaines, succeeded in getting back under the protection of the guns 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 ram Tennessee being very desirous to have Admiral Buchanan removed to a 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 could be better cared for than here, I would send out one of our vessels, provided she would be permitted to return bringing back nothing that she did not take out. General Page assented, and the Metacomet was dispatched about — o’clock.

The list of casualties on our part as far as yet ascertained are as follows:

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On the rebel ram Tennessee were captured 20 officers and about 170 men. The list of the former is as follows: Admiral F. Buchanan, Commander James D. Johnston, Lieutenant Wm. L. Bradford, Lieutenant A. D. Wharton, Lieutenant E. J. McDermett, Master J. R. Demahy, Master H. W. Perrin, Fleet Surgeon D. B. Conrad, Assistant Surgeon R. C. Bowles, First Assistant Engineer G. D. Lining, Second Assistant Engineer J. [C.) O’Connell, Second Assistant Engineer John Hayes, Third Assistant Engineer O. Benson, Third Assistant Engineer W. B. Patterson, Paymaster’s Clerk J. H. Cohen, Master’s Mate W. S. Forrest, Master’s Mate M. J.) Beebee, Master’s Mate R. M. Carter, Boatswain John McCredie, Gunner H. S. Smith.

On the Selma were taken about 90 officers and men. Of the officers I have only heard the names of two, viz, Commander Peter U. Murphey, Lieutenant and Executive Officer J. H. Comstock, who was killed.

I will send a detailed dispatch by the first opportunity. Enclosed is a list of killed and wounded on board the Hartford. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. G. FARRAGUT, Rear-Admiral, Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Hon. GIDEON WELLES,

Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

Detailed reports of casualties.

No. 338.]



Mobile Bay, August 8, 1864. Sır: In my dispatch No. 335, written on the evening of the engagement of the 5th instant, the casualties then reported were 41 killed and 88 wounded.

More detailed reports since received make the casualties 52 killed and 170 wounded, viz:




Hartford… Brooklyn… Lackawanna .. Oneida……. Monongahela. Metacomet… Ossipee. Richmond.. Galena ….. Octorara… Kennebec…

I forward herewith the report of the surgeons of these vessels, giving the names of the killed and wounded and the character of the wounds. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. G. FARRAGUT, Rear-Admiral, Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Hon. GIDEON WELLES,

Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

Report of killed and wounded, U.S. S. Hartford, August 5, 1864.

KILLED. 1. Wm. H. Heginbotham, acting ensign. 13. Wm. E. Andrews, captain afterguard. 2. Chas. Shaeffer, ordinary seaman.

14. Fredk. Munsell, landsman. 3. Wm. Smith, landsman.

15. Geo. Walker, landsman. 4. Louis McLane, landsman.

16. Thos. Wildes, landsman. 5. Benj. Harper, seaman.

17. Geo. Stillwell, nurse. 6. Jas. B. Osgood, ordinary seaman. 18. David Morrow, quarter gunner. 7. Adolphus Pulle, seaman.

19. Peter Duncan, coal heaver. 8. Thos. Bayne, ordinary seaman.

20. And. E. Smith, coal heaver. 9. John C. Scott, ordinary seaman.

21. Francis Campbell, second-class fireman. 10. Thos. Stanton, seaman.

22. Chas. Stevenson, second-class boy. 11. Jas. Alexander, landsman.

23. David Curtin, landsman. 12. Henry Clark, first-class boy.

SEVERELY WOUNDED. 1. Wilder Verner, landsman.

11. Chas. Dennis, colored, landsman. 2. M. C. Forbes, captain top.

12. Aug. Simmons, ordinary seaman. 3. Michael Fahya, landsman.

13. Wm. Thompson, first, ordinary seaman. 4. Jas. L. Geddis, landsman.

14. Peter Pitts, colored, landsman. 5. Wm. G. Trask, ordinary seaman. 15. R. D. Dumphy, coal heaver. 6. Wm. A. Stanley, seaman.

16. Wm. Doyle, first-class boy. 7. Thos. O’Connell, coal heaver.

17. Wm. Eldin, seaman. 8. Jas. R. Garrison, coal heaver.

18. Walter Lloyd, first-class boy. 9. E. E. Johnson, first-class boy.

19. R. P. Herrick, acting master’s mata. 10. Geo. E. Fleke, first-class boy.

20. Wm. [G.] McEwan, act. third asst, engr.

SLIGHTLY WOUNDED. 1. L. P. Adams, lieutenant.

5. Michael English, second-class fireman, 2. Robt. Dixon, boatswain.

6. Jas. F. Brown, landsman. 3. Wm. A. Donaldson, seaman.

7. Jas. Anderson, seaman. 4. Geo. A. Wightman, landsman.

8. Stephen H. Jackson, first-class boy.


Killed…………. ::: :::::: :
Wounded severely and transferred to hospital at Pensacola….
Wounded slightly, remaining on board……




Surgeon. Captain P. DRAYTON, U. S. NAVY,

Commanding U.S. S. Hartford, Mobile Bay.


In the Bay of Mobile, August 6, 1864. SIR: In addition to the list of casualties resulting from the action with the rebel forts and fleet yesterday I have to report 13 more to-day, some of which were overlooked in the haste of making out the list and others failed to report themselves. You will observe this addition of 13 to the list of wounded makes a total of 54 instead of 43, the number reported yesterday. I also submit the name, rate, and remarks in each case.



Splinter wound of both thighs and legs.

The left hand carried away.
Left shoulder and arm badly lacerated.
Left half of head carried away.
Upper half of head carried away.
Spine and ribs carried away.
Back part of chest and head carried away.
Right leg and half of the pelvis carried away.
Struck by a shot and knocked overboard.
Back part of chest carried away. Compound fracture left leg.
Abdomen and chest opened by shell.
Left side of abdomen carried away.



Flesh wound of right leg; slight.
Wound of scalp; slight.
Contusion of right forearm; severe.
Wound of face.
Compound fracture of left hand; severe.
Wounds in right arm; severe.
Compound fracture of rib; wound of scalp;

8. Rufus Brittell. 9. Patrick Duggin. 10. John McPherson.. 11. John Dunn… 12. Charles Steinbeck… 13. Daniel McCarthy.. 14. Geo. W. Hersey. 15. Wm. A. Harrison.. 16. Thos.Dennison. 17. Frank Hanson.. 18. Alvin A. Carter.. 19. George R. Leland. 20. Wm. McCafrey.. 21. John Bryant.. 22. Roland M. Clark.. 23. William Brown… 24. Patrick McGowan. 25. Charles Miner.


Coal heaver ….
Ordinary seaman
Ordinary seaman.
Ordinary seaman.
Private, marine…
Armorer’s mate.
Ordinary seaman..
Coal heaver.

Left eye destroyed; severe.
Fracture of left leg; severe.
Scalp wound and contusion; severe.
Left eye destroyed; severe.
Fracture of skull; severe.
Compound fracture of scapula, slight.
Flesh wound over hip; severe.
Flesh wound in right arm; severe.
Wound over left eye; severe.
Contusion of both eyes; severe.
Fracture of right thigh; severe.
Bolt driven in left thigh; severe.
Wound over right eye; slight.
Scalp wound; slight.
Flesh wound, left forearm; slight.
Splinter wound thigh and shoulder; slight.
Wound left elbow; severe.
Contusion of shoulder; slight.

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Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Surgeon. * Captain J. ALDEN,

Commanding U. S. S. Brooklyn.


Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864. Sir: I have the honor to report the following list of casualties which occurred in the action of this day while passing the forts and occupying Mobile Bay:





1. James Williams.

Master at arms.. 2. John Troy……

Captain forecastle… 3. Charles Anderson……… Ordinary seaman 4. Richard Ashley (colored). | Boy …………..


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1. Stephen A. McCarty…… Lieutenant… 2. Clarence Rathbone….

Ensign ……. 3. Chas. Hayden…

Yeoman.. 4. Jno. Burns…..

Seaman….. 5. Jas. Ward….

Quarter gunner. 6. Fred. Stewart…

Officers’ cook.. 7. Edw. Harris.

Seaman. 8. John Bengsten..

….do…. 9. Anton Lewis.

…..do…. 10. Adam McCulloch 11. S. H. Eldridge.

Quartermaster.. 12. Jno. Edwards..

Seaman. 13. John Lear..

Ordinary seaman. 14. Francis Burns..

.do. 15. R. O. Seaver…

do. 16. Dennis Mullen.

andsman 17. Jas. D. Atkinson.

.do. 18. John Maline..

..do… 19. John Acker…. 20. Jesse Sweet.

.do……… 21. John Gallagher


Splinter wound of ankle; slight.
Splinter wound of knee; slight.
Fracture of right leg; serious.
Splinter wound of arm and back; severe.
Sprinter wound of back; slight.
Shell wound of head; severe.
Splinter wound of head; slight
Sprinter wound of wrist; slight.
Sprinter wound of knee; slight.
Splinter wound of leg; slight.
Splinter wound of face.
Sprinter wound of face and arm; severe.
Sprinter wound of shoulder and hand.
Splinter wound of back.
Spiinter wound of both legs; slight.
Sprinter wound of back; slight.
Sprinter wound of arm; slight.
Fracture of clavicle.
Splinter wound of back; slight.

Splinter wound of thigh, severe.
– Splinter wound of leg; slight.

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22. Louis Copat…

Landsman 23. Thos. Fletcher…

…..do….. 24. Alex. Finey ……………….do…. 25. James McCauley ………. ….do……….. 26. Silvas M. Stevens…….. .do.. 27. Richard McKay ……….

Boy…… 28. Geo. Taylor……..

Armorer…. 29. Pat Minissey..

First-class fireman. Isaac Hewson (colored).. Coal heaver. 31. Jacob Maygett (colored). .

…..10.. 32. Andrew Achem …… Second-class fireman. 33. James Keefe…..

Marine… 34. Fred. Hynes…

…..do…. 35. B. F. Pratt.

Private, Signal Corps, U. S.


Splinter wound of face and limbs; severe.
Shell wound of face with concussion; severe.
Shell wound of head, back, and leg; serious.
Left thigh torn off; mortal.
Splirter wound of head; severe.
Splinter wound of arm; slight.
Shell wound of forehead; slight.
Splinter wound of ankle; slight.
Splinter wound of leg; slight.

Shell wound of face; elight.
Splinter wound of thigh; severe.
Shell wound of head; serious.
Fracture of left forearm.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Surgeon, U. S. Navy. Captain J. B. MARCHAND,

Commanding U. S. S. Lackawanna.



Mobile Bay, Angust 5, 1864. SIR: I have to report the following casualties which occurred to-day on board this vessel while passing Fort Morgan and during an engagement with the fleet of the enemy:


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1. J. R. M. Mullany ….. Commander…… 2. R. H. Fitch…

First assistant engi 3. Oliver Crommelin.

Surgeon’s steward 4. John Peacock.

First-class fireman… 5. Wlliam Mitchell .

Landsman …….. 6. John Nelson…..

l…..do…………. 7. William Ager…..

Coal heaver …. 8. William Bartis….

First-class fireman 9. Samuel Vanavery.

Coal heaver. 10. William Newland..

Ordinary seaman. 11. John Preston……. | Landsman. 12. Charles Matthews………….do…..

Left fore arın amputated.


Flesh wound.


1. William H. Hunt………
2. George A. Ebbets….
3. William P. Treadwell…..
4. Peter McHelvy
5. Stephen Dolan….

Chief engineer….
Captain’s clerk…..
Pay clerk…………
Second-class fireman…
First-class fireman…..

Contusion, etc.


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Wounded severely….
Wounded slightly…
Very respectfully,


Surgeon. Lieutenant C. L. HUNTINGTON, U. S. Navy,

Commanding U. S. S. Oneida.


Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864. SIR: The following are the casualties on board this ship, resulting from the action to-day with Forts Morgan and Gaines and the rebel rams:

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I am, very respectfully your obedient servant,


Surgeon, U. S. Navy. · Commander JAMES H. STRONG, U. S. Navy,

Commanding U.S. S. Monongahela.



Mobile Bay, August 8, 1864. Sir: I have to report that on the morning of the 5th instant, during the engagement, while passing the forts and engaging the gunboats, the following casualties occurred:

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I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Surgeon. Lieutenant-Commander Jas. E. JOUETT,



Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864.” SIR: I have the honor to report the following casualties on board this ship during the engagement of this day with the enemy’s batteries on shore and afloat:



Seat of wound.



Louis Lord……..
Owen Maines……

Dangerous; since died

wounds. Killed.

Landsman……… Nape of neck……………

Forearm broken; shoulder

joint, head, and hip con


Gunshot wound lower jaw..

Contusion right leg….
Ordinary seaman…. Splinter wound..

Second-class fireman…….do……….


John Harris….
Thomas Rogers….
Henry Johnson….
James Sweeney….
George Rowe…….
Sam Hazard..

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Total, 1 killed, 7 wounded.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Surgeon U.S. S. Sloop Ossipee. Commander W. E. LEROY,

Commanding U.S. S. Ossipee, Mobile Bay.


U. S. S. GALENA, August 5, 1864. Sir: I would most respectfully report the following casualty on board this vessel while passing Fort Morgan:

Wounded, James McCafferty, coal heaver, scalp wound, with concussion of the brain. Very respectfully,


Acting Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Navy. Lieutenant-Commander C. H. WELLS, U. S. Navy,

Commanding U.S. S. Galena.


Mobile Bay, Ala., August 5, 1864. SIR: I have to report the following as a list of casualties occurring this morning while passing Forts Morgan and Gaines, viz:

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I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Surgeon. Lieutenant-Commander C. H. GREENE,

Commanding U. S. S. Octorara.


Mobile Bay, August 6, 1864. SIR: I respectfully report the following casualties in action yesterday morning while passing Fort Morgan, viz:

Daniel Godfrey, coal heaver; mortally wounded in abdomen by fragment of shell from the rebel ironclad ram Tennessee, and has since died.

Acting Ensign H. E. Tinkham; serious gunshot wounds and contusions of left arm, side, thigh, and leg, by fragments of shell from the rebel ram Tennessee; no fracture.

Peter R. Post, landsman, gunshot wound and fracture of right cheek bone; serious.

Charles Sanders, master at arms, slight contusion of lips.

J. D. Ireson, captain of hold; Isaac Fisher (colored), first-class boy, and several others, very slight contusions by fragments of shell from the Tennessee and splinters caused by it, and Kimball Prince, landsman, contusion of right shoulder, slight, by a splinter caused by a solid shot from the fort. Very respectfully,


Acting Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Navy. Lieutenant-Commander W. P. McCANN, U. S. Navy.

Report of Rear-Admiral Farragut, U. 8. Navy, regarding the evacuation of Fort Powell by

the enemy. . No. 336.]


Mobile Bay, August 8, 1864. SIR: I have the honor to inform the Department that Fort Powell was evacuated on the night of the 5th instant. The rebels blew up much of the fort, but we took all of the guns, and those of the best quality, a list of which will be forwarded. We took some covered barges, also, from Fort Powell and Cedar Point, which do us good service as a workshop

The fleet engineer and fleet paymaster came in in the Stockdale, with iron, etc., for the repairs of our vessels.

On the morning of the 6th the Chickasaw went down and shelled Fort Gaines, and on the morning of the 7th I received a communication from Colonel Anderson, commanding the fort, offering to surrender to the fleet, asking the best conditions. I immediately sent for General Granger, and in the evening had Colonel Anderson and Major Browne on board, and the agreement was signed by all parties. At 7 a. m., August 8, Fleet Captain Drayton, on the part of the Navy, and Colonel Myer, on the part of the Army, proceeded to the fort to carry out the stipulations of the agreement, and at 9:45 the fort surrendered and stars and stripes were hoisted on the staff amid the cheers of the fleet.

Enclosed herewith are copies of the letter of Colonel Anderson and the reply * of General Granger and myself, marked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. G. FARRAGUT, Rear-Admiral, Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Hon. GIDEON WELLES,

Secretary of the Navy, Washington.



Fort Gaines, August 7, 1864. Feeling my inability to maintain my present position longer than you may see fit to open upon me with your fleet, and feeling also the uselessness of entailing upon ourselves further destruction of life, I have the honor to propose the surrender of Fort Gaines, its garrison, stores, etc. I trust to your magnanimity for obtaining honorable terms, which I respectfully request that you will transmit to me and allow me sufficient time to consider them and return an answer. This communication will be handed you by Major W. R. Browne. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding. Admiral FARRAGUT,

Commanding Naval Forces off Dauphin Island:

* The retained copy of this reply in Farragut’s papers is substituted for the enclosure sent to the Department. The enclosure transmitted did not include the agreement signed by Colonel Anderson.-COMPILER.



Mobile Bay, August 7, 1864. Sir: In accordance with the proposal made in your letter of this morning for the surrender of Fort Gaines, I have to say that after communicating with General Granger, in command of our forces on Dauphin Island, the only offers we can make are:

First. The unconditional surrender of yourself and the garrison of Fort Gaines, with all of the public property within its limits.

Second. The treatment which is in conformity with the custom of the most civilized nations toward prisoners of war.

Third. Private property, with the exception of arms, will be respected.

This communication will be handed to you by Fleet Captain P. Drayton and Colonel Myer, of the U. S. Army, who fully understand the views of General Granger and myself. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


* Rear-Admiral. G. GRANGER,

Major-General, U. S. Army. Colonel C. D. ANDERSON,

Fort Gaines.

The above condition and terms of surrender are agreed to by the undersigned, and the ceremony of turning over the prisoners of war, Fort Gaines, and all public property appertaining thereto intact, and in the same condition it is now in, will take place at 8 o’clock a. m., to-morrow, August the 8th.

Colonel, Twenty-first Alabama Regiment, Comdg. Fort Gaines.

Fleet Captain.

Colonel, Signal Officer, Army.

Detailed report of Rear-Admiral Farragut, U. 8. Navy, with enclosures. No. 343.]



Mobile Bay, August 12, 1864. SIR: I had the honor to forward to the Department on the evening of the 5th instant a report of my entrée into Mobile Bay on the morning of that day, and which, though brief, contained all the principal facts of the attack.

Notwithstanding the loss of life, particularly on this ship, and the terrible disaster to the Tecumseh, the result of the fight was a glorious victory, and I have reason to feel proud of the officers, seamen, and marines of the squadron under my command, for it has never fallen to the lot of an officer to be thus situated and thus sustained. Regular discipline will bring men to any amount of endurance, but there is a natural fear of hidden dangers, particularly when so awfully destructive of human life as the torpedo, which requires more than discipline to overcome.

Preliminary to a report of the action of the 5th, I desire to call the attention of the Department to the previous steps take in consultation with Generals Canby and Granger. On the 8th of July I had an interview with these officers on board the Hartford on the subject of an attack upon Forts Morgan and’Gaines, at which it was agreed that General Canby would send all the troops he could spare to cooperate with the fleet. Circumstances soon obliged General Canby to inform me that he could not dispatch a sufficient number to invest both forts, and in reply I suggested that Gaines should be the first invested, engaging to have a force in the [Mississippi] Sound ready to protect the landing of the army on Dauphin Island, in the rear of that fort, and I assigned Lieutenant-Commander de Krafft, of the Conemaugh, to that duty.

On the 1st instant, General Granger visited me again on the Hartford. In the meantime the Tecumseh had arrived at Pensacola, and Captain Craven had informed me that he would be ready in four days for any service. We therefore fixed upon the 4th of August as the day for landing of the troops and my entrance into the bay, but owing to delays mentioned in Captain Jenkins communication to me, the Tecumseh was not ready. General Granger, however, to my mortification, was up to time and the troops actually landed on Dauphin Island.

As subsequent events proved the delay turned to our advantage, as the rebels were busily engaged during the 4th in throwing troops and supplies into Fort Gaines, all of which were captured a few days afterwards.

The Tecumseh arrived on the evening of the 4th, and everything being propitious, I proceeded to the attack on the following morning.

As mentioned in my previous dispatch, the vessels outside the bar, which were designed to participate in the engagement, were all underway by 5:40 in the morning, in the following order, two abreast and lashed together (diagram enclosed, marked “A”):

Brooklyn, Captain James Alden, with the Octorara, LieutenantCommander C. H. Greene, on the port side.

Hartford, Captain Percival Drayton, with the Metacomet, Lieutenant-Commander J. E. Jouett.

Richmond, Captain T. A. Jenkins, with the Port Royal, LieutenantCommander B. Gherardi.

Lackawanna, Captain J. B. Marchand, with the Seminole, Commander E. Donaldson.

Monongahela, Commander J. H. Strong, with the Kennebec, Lieutenant-Commander W. P. McCann.

Ossipee, Commander W. E. Le Roy, with the Itasca, LieutenantCommander George Brown.

Oneida, Commander J. R. M. Mullany, with the Galena, Lieutenant-Commander C. H. Wells.

The ironclads Tecumseh, Commander T. A. M. Craven; the Manhattan, Commander J. W. A. Nicholson; the Winnebago, Commander T. H. Stevens; and the Chickasaw, Lieutenant-Commander G. H. Perkins, were already inside the bar, and had been ordered to take up their positions on the starboard side of the wooden ships, or between them and Fort Morgan for the double purpose of keeping down the fire from the water battery and the parapet guns of the fort, as well as to attack the ram Tennessee as soon as the fort was passed.

It was only at the urgent request of the captains and commanding officers that I yielded to the Brooklyn being the leading ship of the line, as she had four chase guns and an ingenious arrangement for picking up torpedoes, and because, in their judgment, the flagship ought not to be too much exposed. This I believe to be an error, for apart from the fact that exposure is one of the penalties of rank in the Navy, it will always be the aim of the enemy to destroy the flagship, and, as will appear in the sequel, such attempt was very persistently made, but Providence did not permit it to be successful.

The attacking fleet steamed steadily up the Main Ship Channel, the Tecumseh firing the first shot at 6:47. At 7:6 the fort opened upon us and was replied to by a gun from the Brooklyn, and immediately after the action became general.

It was soon apparent that there was some difficulty ahead. The Brooklyn, for some cause which I did not then clearly understand, but which has since been explained by Captain Alden in his report, arrested the advance of the whole fleet, while at the same time the guns of the fort were playing with great effect upon that vessel and the Hartford. A moment after I saw the Tecumseh, struck by a torpedo, disappear almost instantaneously beneath the waves, carrying with her her gallant commander and nearly all her crew. I determined at once, as I had originally intended, to take the lead, and after ordering the Metacomet to send a boat to save, if possible, any of the perishing crew, I dashed ahead with the Hartford, and the ships followed on, their officers believing that they were going to a noble death with their commander in chief.

I steamed through between the buoys where the torpedoes were supposed to have been sunk. These buoys had been previously examined by my flag-lieutenant, J. Crittenden Watson, in several nightly reconnoissances. Though he had not been able to discover the sunken torpedoes, yet we had been assured by refugees, deserters, and others of their existence, but believing that from their having been some time in the water, they were probably innocuous, I determined to take the chance of their explosion.

From the moment I turned to the northwestward to clear the Middle Ground we were enabled to keep such a broadside fire upon the batteries at Fort Morgan that their guns did us comparatively little injury.

Just after we passed the fort, which was about ten minutes before 8 o’clock, the ram Tennessee dashed out at this ship, as had been expected, and in anticipation of which I had ordered the monitors on our starboard side. I took no further notice of her than to return her fire.

The rebel gunboats Morgan, Gaines, and Selma were ahead, and the latter particularly annoyed us with a raking fire, which our guns could not return. At two minutes after 8 o’clock I ordered the Metacomet to cast off and go in pursuit of the Selma. Captain Jouett was after her in a moment, and in an hour’s time he had her as a prize. She was commanded by P. U. Murphey, formerly of the U. S. Navy. He was wounded in the wrist; his executive officer, Lieutenant Comstock, and 8 of the crew, killed, and 7 or 8 wounded. LieutenantCommander Jouett‘s conduct during the whole affair commands my warmest commendations. The Morgan and Gaines succeeded in escaping under the protection of the guns of Fort Morgan, which would have been prevented had the other gunboats been as prompt in their movements as the Metacomet. The want of pilots, however, I believe was the principal difficulty. The Gaines was so injured by our fire that she had to be run ashore, where she was subsequently destroyed, but the Morgan escaped to Mobile during the night, though she was chased and fired upon by our cruisers.

Having passed the forts and dispersed the enemy’s gunboats, I had ordered most of the vessels to anchor, when I perceived the ram Tennessee standing up for this ship. This was at 8:45. I was not long in comprehending his intention to be the destruction of the flagship. The monitors and such of the wooden vessels as I thought best adapted for the purpose were immediately ordered to attack the ram, not only with their guns, but bows on at full speed, and then began one of the fiercest naval combats on record.

The Monongahela, Commander Strong, was the first vessel that struck her, and in doing so carried away his own iron prow, together with the cutwater, without apparently doing her adversary much injury. The Lackawanna, Captain Marchand, was the next vessel to strike her, which she did at full speed, but though her stem was cut and crushed to the plank ends for the distance of 3 feet above the water’s edge to 5 feet below, the only perceptible effect on the ram was to give her a heavy list.

The Hartford was the third vessel which struck her, but as the Tennessee quickly shifted her helm, the blow was a glancing one, and as she rasped along our side we poured our whole port broadside of IX-inch solid shot within 10 feet of her casemate.

The monitors worked slowly, but delivered their fire as opportunity offered. The Chickasaw succeeded in getting under her stern, and a 15-inch shot from the Manhattan broke through her iron plating and heavy wooden backing, though the missile itself did not enter the vessel.

Immediately after the collision with the flagship I directed Captain Drayton to bear down for the ram again. He was doing so at full speed, when unfortunately the Lackawanna ran into the Hartford, just forward of the mizzenmast, cutting her down to within 2 ‘feet of the water’s edge. We soon got clear again, however, and were fast approaching our adversary when she struck her colors and ran up the white flag.

She was at this time sore beset. The Chickasaw was pounding away at her stern, the Ossipee was approaching her at full speed, and the Monongahela, Lackawanna, and this ship were bearing down upon her, determined upon her destruction. Her smokestack had been shot away, her steering chains were gone, compelling a resort to her relieving tackles, and several of her port shutters were jammed. Indeed, from the time the Hartford struck her until her surrender she never fired a gun. As the Ossi pee, Commander Le Roy, was about to strike her she hoisted the white flag, and that vessel immediately stopped her engine, though not in time to avoid a glancing blow.

During this contest with the rebel gunboats and the ram Tennessee, and which terminated by her surrender at 10 o’clock, we lost many more men than from the fire of the batteries of Fort Morgan. .

Admiral Buchanan was wounded in the leg, 2 or 3 of his men were killed, and 5 or 6 wounded. Commander Johnston, formerly of the U. S. Navy, was in command of the Tennessee, and came on board the flagship to surrender his sword and that of Admiral Buchanan. The surgeon, Dr. Conrad, came with him, stated the condition of the admiral, and wished to know what was to be done with him. FleetSurgeon Palmer, who was on board the Hartford during the action, commiserating the sufferings of the wounded, suggested that those of both sides be sent to Pensacola, where they could be properly cared for. I therefore addressed a note to Brigadier-General R. L. Page, commanding Fort Morgan, informing him that Admiral Buchanan and others of the Tennessee had been wounded, and desiring to know whether he would permit one of our vessels under a flag of truce to convey them, with or without our own wounded, to Pensacola, on the understanding that the vessel should take out none but the wounded and bring nothing back that she did not take out. This was acceded to by General Page, and the Metacomet proceeded on this mission of humanity.

I enclose herewith the correspondence with that officer (marked 1, 2, 3, and 4). I forward also the reports* (marked Nos. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21) of the commanding officers of the vessels who participated in the action, and who will no doubt call attention to the conduct of such individuals as most distinguished themselves.

As I had an elevated position in the main rigging, near the top, I was able to overlook not only the deck of the Hartford, but the other vessels of the fleet. I witnessed the terrible effects of the enemy’s shot and the good conduct of the men at their guns, and although no doubt their hearts sickened, as mine did, when their shipmates were struck down beside them, yet there was not a moment’s hesitation to lay their comrades aside and spring again to their deadly work.

Our little consort, the Metacomet, was also under my immediate eye during the whole action up to the moment I ordered her to cast off in pursuit of the Selma. The coolness and promptness of LieutenantCommander Jouett throughout merit high praise; his whole conduct was worthy of his reputation.

In this connection I must not omit to call the attention of the Department to the conduct of Acting Ensign Henry C. Nields, of the Metacomet, who had charge of the boat sent from that vessel when the Tecumseh sunk. He took her in under one of the most galling fires I ever saw, and succeeded in rescuing from death ten of her crew within 600 yards from the fort. I would respectfully recommend his advancement.

The commanding officers of all the vessels who took part in the action deserve my warmest commendations, not only for the untiring zeal with which they had prepared their ships for the contest, but for their skill and daring in carrying out my orders during the engagement. With the exception of the momentary arrest of the fleet when the Hartford passed ahead, and to which I have already adverted, the order of battle was preserved, and the ships followed each other in close order past the batteries of Fort Morgan, and in comparative safety, too, with the exception of the Oneida. Her boilers were penetrated by a shot from the fort, which completely disabled her; but her consort, the Galena, firmly fastened to her side, brought her safely through, showing clearly the wisdom of the precaution of carrying the vessels in two abreast. Commander Mullany, who had solicited eagerly to take part in the action, was severely wounded, losing his left arm.

* These enclosures are placed with other reports relating to the same vessel.COMPILER. In the encounter with the ram the commanding officers obeyed with alacrity the order to run her down, and without hesitation exposed their ships to destruction to destroy the enemy.

Our ironclads, from their slow speed and bad steering, had some difficulty in getting into and maintaining their position in line as we passed the fort, and in the subsequent encounter with the Tennessee from the same causes, were not as effective as could have been desired, but I can not give too much praise to Lieutenant-Commander Perkins, who, though he had orders from the Department to return North, volunteered to take command of the Chickazaw, and did his duty nobly.

The Winnebago was commanded by Commander T. H. Stevens, who volunteered for that position. His vessel steers very badly, and neither of his turrets will work, which compelled him to turn his vessel every time to get a shot, so that he could not fire very often, but he did the best under the circumstances.

The Manhattan appeared to work well, though she moved slowly. Commander Nicholson delivered his fire deliberately, and, as before stated, with one of his XV-inch shot broke through the armor of the Tennessee with its wooden backing, though the shot itself did not enter the vessel. No other shot broke through her armor, though many of her plates were started and several of her port shutters jammed by the fire from the different ships.

The Hartford, my flagship, was commanded by Captain Percival Drayton, who exhibited throughout that coolness and ability for which he has been long known to his brother officers. But I must speak of that officer in a double capacity. He is the fleet captain of my squadron, and one of more determined energy, untiring devotion to duty, and zeal for the service, tempered by great calmness, I do not think adorns any Navy. I desire to call your attention to this officer, though well aware that in thus speaking of his high qualities I am only communicating officially to the Department that which it knew fuil well before. To him and to my staff, in their respective positions, I am indebted for the detail of my fleet.

Lieutenant J. Crittenden Watson, my flag-lieutenant, has been brought to your notice in former dispatches. During the action he was on the poop, attending to the signals, and performed his duties, as might be expected, thoroughly. He is a scion worthy the noble stock he sprang from, and I commend him to your attention.

My secretary, Mr. McKinley, and Acting Ensign H. H. Brownell, were also on the poop, the latter taking notes of the action, a duty which he performed with coolness and accuracy.

Two other acting ensigns of my staff, Mr. Bogart and Mr. Heginbotham, were on duty in the powder division, and, as the reports will show, exhibited zeal and ability. The latter, I regret to add, was severely wounded by a raking shot from the Tennessee, when we collided with that vessel, and died a few hours after. Mr. Heginbotham was a young married man, and has left a widow and one child, whom I commend to the kindness of the Department.

Lieutenant A. R. Yates, of the Augusta, acted as an additional aid to me on board the Hartford, and was very efficient in the transmission of orders. I have given him the command temporarily of the captured steamer Selma.

The last of my staff, and to whom I would call the notice of the Department, is not the least in importance. I mean Pilot Martin Freeman. He has been my great reliance in all difficulties in his line of duty. During the action he was in the maintop, piloting the ships into the bay. He was cool and brave throughout, never losing his self-possession. This man was captured early in the war in a fine fishing smack which he owned, and though he protested that he had no interest in the war and only asked for the privilege of fishing for the fleet, yet his services were too valuable to the captors as a pilot not to be secured. He was appointed a first-class pilot and has served us with zeal and fidelity, and has lost his vessel, which went to pieces on Ship Island. I commend him to the Department.

It gives me pleasure to refer to several officers who volunteered to take any situation where they might be useful, some of whom were on their way North, either by orders of the Department or condemned by medical survey. The reports of the different commanders will show how they conducted themselves.

I have already mentioned Lieutenant-Commander Perkins, of the Chickasaw, and Lieutenant Yates, of the Augusta. Acting Volunteer Lieutenant William Hamilton, late commanding officer of the Augusta Dinsmore, had been invalided by medical survey, but he eagerly offered his services on board the ironclad Chickasaw, having had much experience in our monitors. Acting Volunteer Lieutenant P. Giraud, another experienced officer in ironclads, asked to go in on one of these vessels, but as they were all well supplied with officers, I permitted him to go in on the Ossipee under Commander Le Roy. After the action he was given temporary charge of the ram Tennessee.

Before closing this report there is one other officer of my squadron of whom I feel bound to speak, Captain T. A. Jenkins, of the Richmond, who was formerly my chief of staff, not because of his having held that position, but because he never forgets to do his duty to the Government and takes now the same interest in the fleet as when he stood in that relation to me. He is also the commanding officer of the second division of my squadron and as such has shown ability and the most untiring zeal. He carries out the spirit of one of Lord Collingwood’s best sayings, “not to be afraid of doing too much; those who are, seldom do as much as they ought.” When in Pensacola he spent days on the bar placing the buoys in the best positions, was always looking after the interests of the service, and keeping the vessels from being detained one moment longer in port than was necessary. The gallant Craven told me only the night before the action in which he lost his life, “I regret, admiral, that I have detained you, but had it not been for Captain Jenkins, God knows when I should have been here; when your order came I had not received an ounce of coal.”

I feel that I should not be doing my duty did I not call the attention of the Department to an officer who has performed all his various duties with so much zeal and fidelity. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. G. FARRAGUT, Rear-Admiral, Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron. I enclose herewith my General Orders,* No. 10 and No. 11 (marked 22 and 23), issued before the action, and General Orders, Nos. 12 and 13 (marked 24 and 25), issued after the engagement. Hon. GIDEON WELLES,

Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

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FLAGSHIP HARTFORD, August 5, 1864. Sir: Admiral Buchanan is severely wounded, having lost his leg. There are in addition four or five others of the crew of the Tennessee who require more comfortable quarters than we can give them in the fleet. Will the commanding officer at Fort Morgan permit a vessel to take them to our hospital at Pensacola with or without our own wounded, the understanding being that the flag-of-truce vessel takes nothing whatever but the wounded and brings nothing back that she did not take out, and my honor is given for the above terms. Very respectfully,

D. G. FARRAGUT, Rear-Admiral, Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Brigadier-General R. L. PAGE,

Commanding at Fort Morgan.


Fort Morgan, Ala., August 5, 1864. Sir: Your communication of this date is received. I am much obliged for the information regarding Admiral Buchanan.

Your request relative to the wounded of the Tennessee and also those of your own command being taken to Pensacola will be permitted under flag of truce and to return on the conditions you propose.

I would be glad if Admiral Buchanan, having lost a leg, be permitted under parole to go to Mobile, where he can receive earlier and more prompt attention.

If the latter request is granted, please inform me, and I will have a boat from town to take him up. Very respectfully,


Brigadier-General, Commanding. Rear-Admiral David G. FARRAGUT,

Commanding Western Gulf Squadron, Mobile Bay.



Mobile Bay, August 5, ‘1864. SIR: In reply to your note of this date I would say that it is altogether out of the question that I should permit Admiral Buchanan to be sent to Mobile, but I will send him to Pensacola, where he will receive the same comforts as our own wounded, which I apprehend are as good as they could be at Mobile.

It was simply as an act of humanity that I made the proposition I did to-day. I would be glad to bury my dead on shore, but if there is any objection to it they can have a soldier’s grave in the deep, honored by the heartfelt sighs of their shipmates. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Rear-Admiral, Commanding. Brigadier-General R. L. PAGE,

Commanding Fort Morgan.

FORT MORGAN, August 6, 1864. SIR: Your note of the 5th received. There is no objection to your burying your dead on shore. When they arrive near the wharf here, a point will be designated for the burial. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, C. S. Army. Rear-Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT,

Commanding U. S. Naval Forces, Mobile Bay.

Report of Captain Drayton, U. 8. Navy, commanding U. 8. flagship Hartford, with




Mobile Bay, August 6, 1864. Sir: I have the honor to offer the following report of the part which this vessel took in the action of yesterday:

According to previous arrangement, the Metacomet was lashed alongside of us at 4:30 a. m., and at 5:30 we got underway, following the Brooklyn, which led the line. After some little delay, which was required to allow of all the vessels getting into position, we moved on in the direction of Fort Morgan, which opened on us at about 2 miles distance at 7:06. The enemy’s fire was at once answered by that of our bow 100-pounder rifle, the only gun that could be brought to bear until about 7:30, when we commenced firing the broadside guns with great rapidity, which was continued as long as they could be of use. About 7:35 I heard the cry that a monitor was sinking, and looking on the starboard bow saw the turret of the Tecumseh just disappearing under the water, where an instant before I had seen this noble vessel pushing on gallantly in a straight line to attack the enemy’s ram Tennessee, which had apparently moved out to give her an opportunity.

As our boats could not be lowered, by your direction one was sent which was towing astern of the Metacomet, the vessel lashed to us.

The rapidity of our fire, together with the smoke, so completely disordered the enemy‘s aim that we passed the fort with no great injury or loss of life, a shell which came through the side and exploded a little abaft the mainmast killing and wounding a large portion of No. 7 gun’s crew, being the only one that caused much destruction. As we, however, were getting by the shore batteries we came directly under the fire of the gunboats Selma, Morgan, and Gaines and the ram Tennessee, and being only able to direct our fire on one of them at a time, the shots from the others were delivered with great deliberation and consequent effect, a single shell having killed 10 and wounded 5 men at Nos. 1 and 2 guns.

The Tennessee also followed us for some distance, throwing an occasional shot; but finding that she did not come up, and we being now a mile ahead of the remainder of the fleet, she turned and ran down to them, not wishing, I suppose, to be entirely cut off from Fort Morgan.

At this time, by your order, the Metacomet was cast off and directed to chase the Selma, which, keeping on our bow, had annoyed us exces

d into shallot as the Metasomoyed by a shanswer, owing

sively with her three stern guns, which we could not answer, owing to our rifle-gun carriage having been destroyed by a shell.

The second USS Metacomet was a wooden sidewheel steamer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War. The ship was named for Metacomet, a war chief of the Wampanoag Indians. Metacomet was launched on 7 March 1863 by Thomas Stack, Brooklyn, New York, and commissioned at New York on 4 January 1864 under the captaincy of Commander James E. Jouett.

She was just sheering off as the Metacomet was loosed from us, and being followed into shallow water, was overtaken and captured by the latter vessel after an exciting running fight of an hour. The other two gunboats, the Morgan and Gaines, also got into shallow water, and not being followed by any of our light-draft vessels, escaped to Fort Morgan, where one was run ashore and afterwards burned, and the other, the Morgan, got to Mobile during the night by keeping close inshore.

The fight appearing to be now over, we anchored and made signal to the fleet to do the same, supposing that as the Tennessee had got under Fort Morgan, she would remain there, when a quarter of an hour later it was reported that she had come out and was steering toward us. I could not, however, believe in such temerity at first; but its truth becoming soon evident, by your order I commenced heaving up the anchor and should have slipped had it not been for the jamming of a shackle pin; but the ship was soon underway again and steering straight for the ram, which we struck with great force, although not on her beam, as she turned toward us as we approached. After striking, we dropped close alongside and delivered our broadside of solid IX-inch shot with 13 pounds of powder, at a distance of perhaps not more than 8 feet from her side, as I believe, however, from subsequent observation, without doing any injury. The ram at the time had only two guns in broadside. One missed fire several times, as we could distinctly hear. The shell from the other passed through our berth deck and exploded just inside, killing and wounding a number of men, and the pieces broke through the spar and berth decks, even going through the launch and into the hold where were the wounded.

We then stood off and were making another circuit to run into the ram again when in mid career the Lackawanna struck us a little forward of the mizzenmast, cutting us completely down to within 2 feet of the water. This caused a detention of perhaps five minutes; but finding that we were not sinking, the ship was, by your order, pointed again for the ram, and we were going for her at full speed when it was observed that a white flag was flying. This ended the action, and at 10:10 we had again anchored at about 4 miles distance from Fort Morgan.

I have now only to speak of the officers and crew.

To Lieutenant-Commander Kimberly, the executive officer, I am indebted not only for the fine example of coolness and self-possession which he set to those around him, but also for the excellent condition to which he had brought everything belonging to the fighting department of the ship, in consequence of which there was no confusion anywhere, even when from the terrible slaughter at some of the guns it might have been looked for.

All did their duty; but I can not but mention Lieutenants Tyson and Adams and Ensign Whiting, to whose example and exertions it was in a great measure owing, no doubt, that the great loss at some of the guns was not followed by confusion or delay in repairing damages. Acting Master’s Mate Tinelli also, who took charge of the third division after Lieutenant Adams was wounded, is spoken of to me very highly. Acting Third Assistant Engineer McEwan is also strongly noticed in the report of Chief Engineer Williamson. He lost his right arm while busily employed on the berth deck, where he was stationed, in assisting and comforting the wounded. He is spoken of by his superiors as most competent to fill the position of third assistant engineer in the regular service, for which I would beg you to recommend him to the honorable Secretary of the Navy.

The last shell fired at us, that from the ram, killed my clerk, Ensign W. H. Heginbotham. Although this was the first time he had been in action, nothing, I am told, could exceed the coolness and zeal with which he performed his duties in the powder division, and I feel his loss most seriously, as his general intelligence and many amiable qualities had made him almost necessary to me.

I must also thank Lieutenant A. R. Yates, a volunteer from the U.S. S. Augusta, who acted as an aid both to you and myself and was to me most useful.

The two after guns were entirely manned by marines, who, under the direction of Captain Charles Heywood, performed most efficient service.

Thanks to the unremitting supervision of Chief Engineer Williamson all had been so thoroughly prepared in his department that nothing was required of the engines during the day which they could not perfectly perform.

The devoted attendance of Fleet Surgeon Palmer, Surgeon Lansdale, and Assistant Surgeon Commons to our wounded was beyond praise, and it was owing to their skill and untiring exertions that the large number of desperately wounded were prepared, by 8 o’clock in the evening, for removal to the hospital at Pensacola, for which place they left at daylight on the following morning in the Metacomet under å flag of truce.

Boatswain Dixon was nearly knocked overboard by a splinter, but absented himself from the deck only long enough to have his wounds dressed, when he returned to his duties.

Acting Master’s Mate Herrick, while superintending the passage of powder and shell on the berth deck, was very severely wounded by a piece of shell, which entirely disabled him at the time and may, I am afraid, prove very serious. “Up to this time his conduct and bearing are spoken of by the commanding officer of the divisions in the highest praise.

I must also thank Lieutenant Watson, your flag-lieutenant, who, besides attending most faithfully to the signals, found time to assist me on several occasions when it was important to give directions in detail about the firing.

Of the crew I can scarcely say too much. They were most of them persons who had never been in action, and yet I can not hear of a case where anyone attempted to leave his quarters or showed anything but the sternest determination to fight it out. There might perhaps have been a little excuse had such a disposition been exhibited when it is considered that a great part of four guns’ crews were at different times swept away almost entirely by as many shells. In every case, however, the killed and wounded were quietly removed, the injuries at the guns made good, and in a few moments except from the traces of blood nothing could lead one to suppose that anything out of the ordinary routine had happened.

In conclusion, I request that you will recommend to the honorable Secretary of the Navy for the medal of honor the men whose names accompany this in a separate report. They well deserve the distinction. Very respectfully,