Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series 1, vol. 21 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1906): 405-600. The general orders are transcribed from bound volumes of general orders in the Navy Department Library's Rare Book Room.
The Navy Department Library
The Battle of Mobile Bay (5 August 1864): Selected Documents
TABLE OF CONTENTS
US Navy Documents and Reports
General Order No. 10 of Rear-Admiral Farragut, 12 July 1864.
General Order No. 11 of Rear-Admiral Farragut, 29 July 1864.
General Order No. 73 [Resolution Tendering the Thanks of Congress to Vice-Admiral David G. Farragut in Action in Mobile Bay on 8 August 1864].
Dispatch 335, Rear Admiral Farragut to Secretary of the Navy. 5 August 1864.
Dispatch 338, Casualty Reports, Rear Admiral Farragut to Secretary of the Navy. 8 August 1864.
Casualty Report USS Hartford. 5 August 1864.
Casualty Report USS Brooklyn. 6 August 1864.
Casualty Report USS Lackawanna. 5 August 1864.
Casualty Report USS Oneida. 5 August 1864.
Casualty Report USS Monongahela. 5 August 1864.
Casualty Report USS Metacomet. 8 August 1864.
Casualty Report USS Ossipee. 5 August 1864.
Casualty Report USS Galena. 5 August 1864.
Casualty Report USS Octorara. 5 August 1864.
Casualty Report USS Kennebec. 6 August 1864.
Telegram from Confederate Engineer V. Sheliha to Chief of Engineer Bureau Major-General J.F. Gilmer reporting on preparations of defenses. 9 August 1864.
Letter from Brigadier-General Page, C.S. Army, to commanding officers of US forces, declining to surrender. 9 August 1864.
Report of Major General Maury, Confederate States Army. 9 August 1864.
Report of Commander Harrison, Confederate States Navy. 9 August 1864.
Report of Commander Johnston, Confederate States Navy. 13 August 1864.
Report of Admiral Buchanan, Confederate States Navy. 25 August 1864.
Officers of the Tennessee who were in the action.
Extract from report of Secretary of the Navy Mallory, Confederate States Navy. 5 November 1864.
US NAVY DOCUMENTS and REPORTS
General order of Rear-Admiral Farragut, U.S. Navy.
GENERAL ORDERS, U.S. FLAGSHIP HARTFORD,
Off Mobile Bay, July 12, 1864.
Strip your vessels and prepare for the conflict. Send down all your superfluous spars and rigging. Trice up or remove the whiskers. Put up the splinter nets on the starboard side, and barricade the wheel and steersmen with sails and hammocks. Lay chains or sand bags on the deck over the machinery, to resist a plunging fire. Hang the sheet chains over the side, or make any other arrangement for security that your ingenuity may suggest. Land your starboard boats or lower and tow them on the port side, and lower the port boats down to the waters edge. Place a leadsman and the pilot in the port quarter boat, or the one most convenient to the commander.
The vessels will run past the forts in couples, lashed side by side, as hereinafter designated. The flagship will lead and steer from Sand Island N. by E. by compass, until abreast of Fort Morgan; then N.W. half N. until past the Middle Ground; then N. by W., and the others, as designated in the drawing, will follow in due order until ordered to anchor; but the bow and quarter line must be preserved to give the chase guns a fair range, and each vessel must be kept astern of the broadside of the next ahead; each vessel will keep a very little on the starboard quarter of his next ahead, and when abreast of the fort, will keep directly astern, and as we pass the fort will take the same distance on the port quarter of the next ahead, to enable the stern guns to fire clear of the next vessel astern.
It will be the object of the admiral to get as close to the fort as possible before opening fire. The ships, however, will open fire the moment the enemy opens upon us, with their chase and other guns, as fast as they can be brought to bear. Use short fuzes for the shell and shrapnel, and as soon as within 300 or 400 yards give them grape. It is understood that heretofore we have fired too high, but with grapeshot it is necessary to elevate a little above the object, as grape will dribble from the muzzle of the gun.
If one or more of the vessels be disabled, their partners must carry them through, if possible; but if they can not then the next astern must render the required assistance; but as the admiral contemplates moving with the flood tide, it will only require sufficient power to keep the crippled vessels in the channel.
Vessels that can must place guns upon the poop and topgallant forecastle and in the tops on the starboard side. Should the enemy fire grape, they will remove the men from the topgallant forecastle and poop to the guns below until out of grape range.
The howitzers must keep up a constant fire from the time they can reach with shrapnel until out of its range.
Rear-Admiral, Commanding West Gulf Blockading squadron.
General order of Rear-Admiral Farragut, U.S. Navy.
GENERAL ORDERS, FLAGSHIP HARTFORD,
Mobile Bay, July 29, 1864.
Should any vessel be disabled to such a degree that her consort is unable to keep her in her station, she will drop out of line to the westward and not embarrass the vessels next astern by attempting to regain her station. Should she repair damages, so as to be able to reenter the line of battle, she will take her station in the rear as close to the last vessel as possible.
So soon as the vessels have passed the fort and kept away N. W., they can cast off the gunboats at the discretion of the senior officer of the two vessels, and allow them to proceed up the bay to cut off the enemys gunboats that may be attempting to escape up to Mobile. There are certain black buoys placed by the enemy from the piles on the west side of the channel across it toward Fort Morgan. It being understood that there are torpedoes and other obstructions between the buoys, the vessels will take care to pass to the eastward of the easternmost buoy, which is clear of all obstructions.
So soon as the vessels arrive opposite the end of the piles, it will be best to stop the propeller of the ship and let her drift the distance past by her headway and the tide, and those having side-wheel gunboats will continue on by the aid of their paddle wheels, which are not likely to foul with the enemy's drag ropes.
Report of Rear-Admiral Farragut, U.S. Navy, regarding the battle of Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864.
Flagship HARTFORD 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 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:
|Flagship Hartford||19 killed||23 wounded|
|Brooklyn||9 killed||22 wounded|
|Lackawanna||4 killed||2 wounded|
|Oneida||7 killed||23 wounded|
|Monongahela||... killed||6 wounded|
|Metacomet||1 killed||2 wounded|
|Ossipee||1 killed||7 wounded|
|Richmond||... killed||2 wounded|
|Galena||... killed||1 wounded|
In all, 41 killed and 88 wounded.
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,
Rear-Admiral, Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron.
Hon. Gideon Welles,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.
Detailed reports of casualties
Mobile Bay, August 8, 1864
SIR: 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,||25 killed||28 wounded|
|Brooklyn,||11 killed||43 wounded|
|Lackawanna,||4 killed||35 wounded|
|Oneida,||8 killed||30 wounded|
|Monongahela,||... killed||6 wounded|
|Metacomet,||1 killed||2 wounded|
|Ossipee,||1 killed||7 wounded|
|Richmond,||... killed||2 wounded|
|Galena,||... killed||1 wounded|
|Octorara,||1 killed||10 wounded|
|Kennebec,||1 killed||6 wounded|
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,
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
1. Win. H. Heginbotham, acting ensign.
2. Chas. Shaeffer, ordinary seaman.
3. Wm. Smith, landsman.
4. Louis McLane, landsman.
5. Benj. Harper, seaman.
6. Jas. B. Osgood, ordinary seaman.
7. Adolphus Pulle, seaman.
8. Thos. Bayne, ordinary seaman.
9. John C. Scott, ordinary seaman.
10. Thos. Stanton, seaman.
11. Jas. Alexander, landsman.
12. Henry Clark, first-class boy.
13. Wm. E. Andrews, captain afterguard.
14. Fredk. Munsell, landsman.
15. Geo. Walker, landsman.
16. Thos. Wildes, landsman.
17. Geo. Stillwell, nurse.
18. David Morrow, quarter gunner.
19. Peter Duncan, coal heaver.
20. And. E. Smith, coal heaver.
21. Francis Campbell, second-class fireman.
22. Chas. Stevenson, second-class boy.
23. David Curtin, landsman.
1. Wilder Verner, landsman.
2. M. C. Forbes, captain top.
3. Michael Fahya, landsman.
4. Jas. L. Geddis, landsman.
5. Wm. G. Trask, ordinary seaman.
6. Wm. A. Stanley, seaman.
7. Thos. O'Connell, coal heaver.
8. Jas. R. Garrison, coal heaver.
9. E.E. Johnson, first-class boy.
10. Geo. E. Fleke, first-class boy.
11. Chas. Dennis, colored, landsman.
12. Aug. Simmons, ordinary seaman.
13. Wm. Thompson, first, ordinary seaman.
14. Peter Pitts, colored, landsman.
15. R.D. Dumphy, coal heaver.
16. Wm. Doyle, first-class boy.
17. Wm. Eldin, seaman.
18. Walter Lloyd, first-class boy.
19. R.P. Herrick, acting master's mate.
20. Wm. [G.] McEwan, act. third asst. engr.
1. L.P. Adams, lieutenant.
2. Robt. Dixon, boatswain.
3. Wm. A. Donaldson, seaman.
4. Geo. A. Wightman, landsman.
5. Michael English, second-class fireman.
6. Jas. F. Brown, landsman.
7. Jas. Anderson, seaman.
8. Stephen H. Jackson, first-class boy.
Wounded Severely and transferred to hospital at Pensacola 20
Wounded slightly, remaining on board 8
Respectfully, P. Lansdale,
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.
LIST OF KILLED.
|1. Wm. H. Cook,||Acting master's mate,||Splinter wound of both thighs and legs. The left hand carried away.|
|2. Eli Harwood,||Captain's cook,||Left shoulder and arm badly lacerated.|
|3. John Ryan,||Landsman,||Left half of head carried away.|
|4. Chas. B. Seymour,||Seaman,||Upper half of head carried away.|
|5. Thomas Williams,||do,||Spine and ribs carried away.|
|6. Lewis Richards,||do,||Back part of chest and head carried away.|
|7. Michael Murphy,||Private, marine,||Right leg and half of the pelvis carried away.|
|8. William Smith,||Private, marine,||Struck by a shot and knocked overboard.|
|9. Richard Burke,||coal heaver,||Back part of chest carried away. Compound fracture left leg.|
|10. Anthony Dunn,||First-class fireman,||Abdomen and chest opened by shell.|
|11. James McDermott,||Landsman,||Left side of abdomen carried away.|
LIST OF WOUNDED.
|1. Charles F. Blake,||Lieutenant,||Flesh wound of right leg; slight.|
|2. Douglas Cassel,||Acting ensign,||Wound of scalp; slight.|
|3. Daniel C. Brayton,||Sailmaker,||Contusion of right forearm; severe.|
|4. Abraham L. Stevens,||Acting master's mate,||Wound of face.|
|5. Alexander Mack,||Captain main top,||Compound fracture of left hand, severe.|
|6. Patrick Brierton,||Landaman,||Wounds in right arm, severe.|
|7. Francis Prier,||Ordinary seaman,||Compound fracture of rib, wound of scalp; dangerous.|
|8. Rufus Brittell,||Landsman,||Left eye destroyed; severe.|
|9. Patrick Duggin,||do,||Fracture of left leg, severe.|
|10. John McPherson,||Seaman,||Scalp wounds and contusion; severe.|
|11. John Dunn,||Coal heaver,||Left eye destroyed; severe.|
|12. Charles Steinbeck,||Ordinary seaman,||Fracture of skull; severe.|
|13. Daniel McCarthy,||Landaman,||Compound fracture of scapula; slight.|
|14. Geo. N. Hersey,||Seaman,||Flesh wound over hip; severe.|
|15. Wm. A. Harrison,||Landsman,||Flesh wound in right arm; severe.|
|16. Thos. Dennison,||Landsman,||Wound over left eye; severe.|
|17. Frank Hanson,||Seaman,||Contustion of both eyesl severe.|
|18. Alvin A. Carter,||Ordinary seaman,||Fracture of right thigh; severe.|
|19. George R. Leland,||Private, marine,||Bolt driven in left thigh; severe.|
|20. Wm. McCafrey,||Seaman,||Wound over right eye; slight.|
|21. John Bryant,||Armorer's mate,||Scalp wound; slight.|
|22. Roland M. Clark,||Ordinary seaman,||Flesh wound, left forearm; slight.|
|23. William Brown,||Landsman,||Splinter wound thigh and shoulder; slight.|
|24. Patrick McGowan,||Coal heaver,||Wound of left elbow; severe.|
|25. Charles Miner,||Landsman,||Contusion of shoulder; slight.|
|26. Lewis Haresk,||Ordinary seaman,||Contusion of right arm and chest; slight.|
|27. Alexander Legget,||Landsman,||Abrasion; slight.|
|28. Frank Bennet,||First-class boy,||Contusion; slight.|
|29. Bernard Brown,||Ordinary seaman,||Scalp wound; slight.|
|30. William Robinson,||Captain foretop,||Contusion; slight.|
|31. James Machon,||First-class boy,||Splinter wound and contusion; severe.|
|32. John Thompson,||Ordinary seaman,||Contusion; slight.|
|33. Wm. H. Brown,||Landsman,||Contusion and abrasion; slight.|
|34. Barclay Redington,||Coal heaver,||Scalp wound; slight.|
|35. John K. Housel,||do,||Contusion and abrasion; slight.|
|36. Wm. McCarren,||Landsman,||Contusion of left eye; severe.|
|37. William Frick,||Ordinary seaman,||Abrasion of side and thigh; slight.|
|38. John Maxwell,||Coal heaver,||Scalp wounds; slight.|
|39. James Sterling,||do,||Contusion of side; slight.|
|40. John McKennon,||Ordinary seaman,||Contusion; slight.|
|41. Benj. K. Taylor,||Landsman,||Do.|
|42. Isaac B. Larett,||Seaman,||Do.|
|43. James Shea,||Quarter gunner,||Do.|
U.S. Steam Sloop Lackawanna,
Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report the following list of casualties which ocurred in the action of this day while passing the forts and occupying Mobile Bay:
|1. James William,||Master at arms.|
|2. John Troy,||Captain forecastle.|
|3. Charles Anderson,||Ordinary seaman.|
|4. Richard Ashley, (colored),||Boy.|
|1. Stephen A. McCarty,||Lieutenant,||Splinter wound of ankle; slight.|
|2. Clarence Rathbone,||Ensign,||Splinter wound of knee; slight.|
|3. Chas. Hayden,||Yeoman,||Fracture of right leg; serious.|
|4. Jno. Burns,||Seaman,||Splinter wound of arm and back; severe.|
|5. Jas. Ward,||Quarter gunner,||Splinter wound of back; slight.|
|6. Fred. Stewart,||Officers' cook,||Shell wound of head; severe.|
|7. Edw, Harris,||Seaman,||Splinter wound of head; slight.|
|8. John Bengsten,||do.,||Splinter wound of wrist; slight.|
|9. Anton Lewis,||do.,||Splinter wound of knee; slight.|
|10. Adam McCulloch,||do.,||Splinter wound of lef; slight.|
|11. S.H. Eldridge,||Quartermaster,||Splinter wound of face.|
|12. Jno. Edwards,||Seaman,||Splinter wound of face and arm; severe.|
|13. John Lear,||Ordinary seaman,||Splinter wound of shoulder and hand.|
|14. Francis Burns,||do.,||Splinter wound of back.|
|15. R.O. Seaver,||do.,||Splinter wound of both legs; slight.|
|16. Dennis Mullen,||Landsman,||Splinter wound of back; slight.|
|17. Jas. D. Atkinson,||do.,||Splinter wound of arm; slight.|
|18. John Maline,||do.,||Fracture of clavicle.|
|19. John Acker,||do.,||Splinter wound of back; slight.|
|20. Jesse Sweet,||do.,||Splinter wound of thigh, severe.|
|21. John Gallagher,||do.,||Splinter wound of leg; slight.|
|22. Louis Copat,||Landsman,||Splinter wound of face and limbs; severe.|
|23. Thos. Fletcher,||do.,||Shell wound of face with concussion; severe.|
|24. Alex, Finey,||do.,||Shell wound of head, back, and leg; serious.|
|25. James McCauley,||do.,||Left thigh torn off; mortal.|
|26. Silvas M. Stevens,||do.,||Splinter wound of head; severe.|
|27. Richard McKay,||Boy,||Splinter wound of arm; slight.|
|28. Geo. Taylor,||Armorer,||Shell wound of forehead; slight.|
|29. Pat Minissey,||First-class fireman,||Splinter wound of ankle; slight.|
|30. Isaac Hewson (colored),||Coal heaver,||Splinter wound of leg; slight.|
|31. Jacob Maygett (colored),||do.,||Do.|
|32. Andrew Achem,||Second-class fireman,||Shell wound of face; slight.|
|33. James Keefe,||Marine,||Splinter wound of thigh; severe.|
|34. Fred Hynes,||do.,||Shell wound of head; serious.|
|35. B.F. Pratt,||Private, Signal Corps, U.S. Army.,||Fracture of left forearm.|
Very respectfull, your obedient servant,
Surgeon, U.S. Navy.
Captain J.B. Marchand,
Commanding U.S.S. Lackawanna
Mobile Bay, August 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:
|1. Frank Levay,||Ordinary seaman.|
|2. Thomas Gibson,||Marine.|
|3. Albert Phillips,||Captain forecastle.|
|4.John C. Jensen,||Seaman.|
|5. James Agan,||First-class fireman, Scalded.|
|6. Emmanuel Boyakin,||Cabin steward.|
|7. Robert Lenox,||Landsman.|
|8. Patrick Dorris,||do., Missing (killed or drowned).|
|1. J.R.M. Mullany,||Commander,||Left fore arm aputated.|
|2. R.H. Fitch,||First assistant engineer,||Scalded.|
|3. Oliver Crommelin,||Surgeon's steward,||Do.|
|4. John Peacock,||First-class fireman,||Do.|
|5. William Mitchell,||Landsman,||Do.|
|6. John Nelson,||do.,||Do.|
|7. William Ager,||Coal heaver,||Do.|
|8. William Bartis,||First-class fireman,||Do.|
|9. Samuel Vanavery,||Coal heaver,||Do.|
|10. William Newland,||Ordinary seaman,||Flesh wound.|
|11. John Preston,||Landsman,||Eyes.|
1. William H. Hunt, Chief engineer, Scalded. 2. George A. Ebbets, Captain's clerk, Contusion, etc. 3. William P. Treadwell, Pay clerk, Scalded. 4. Peter McHelvy, Second-class fireman, Do. 5. Stephen Dolan, First-class fireman, Do. 6. John Boyle, Coal heaver, Eyes. 7. Moses Jones, do., Do. 8. John Ralton, Landsman, Do. 9. Edward Thomas, Ordinary seaman, Do. 10. James Sheridan, Quartermaster, Contusion, etc. 11. John E. Jones, do., Do. 12. Henry Binney, do., DO. 13. Francis Browne, Quartergunner, Do. 14. Christian Christrenicke, Landsman, Do. 15. Roger Sherman, do. 16. John Johnson, Ordinary Seaman. 17. David Johnston, Corporal marine. 18. John Kilroy, Private marine.
Wounded severely 12
Wounded slightly 18.
John Y. Taylor,
Lieutenant C.L. HUNTINGTON, U.S. NAVY,
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:
|Roderick Prentiss,||Lieutenant,||Both legs badly injured by splinters; left one amputated.|
|Michael Smith,||Boy,||Severe lacerated wound of scalp by splinters.|
|William Feeney,||Private marine,||Contusion of back and left arm; slight.|
|Holbert Lane,||Surgeon's steward,||Wound of scalp, splinters; slight.|
|James Johnston,||Landsman,||Wound of head,splinters; not dangerous.|
|Richard Condon,||Landsman,||Wound back, splinters; slight.|
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:
|Julian J. Butler,||Ordinary seaman,||Shell wound.|
|Oliver D. Wolfe,||Yeoman,||Slightly wounded.|
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
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:
|Name,||Rate,||Seat of Wound,||Remarks.|
|Louis Lord,||Landsman,||Nape of neck,||Dangerous; since died of wounds.|
|Owen Maines,||Seaman,||Forearm broken; shoulder joint, head, and hip contused,||killed.|
|John Harris,||Quartergunner,||Gunshot wound lower jaw,||Serious.|
|Thomas Rogers,||Landsman,||Contusion right leg,||slight.|
|Henry Johnson,||Ordinary seaman,||splinter wound,||Do.|
|George Rowe,||Second-class fireman,||do.,||Do.|
Total 1 killed, 7 wounded.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,,br> B.F. Gibbs,
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 contusion of the brain.
Geo. P. Wright,
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:
W.H. Davis, Seaman, By splinter. [end table] [table]WOUNDED
|C.H. Greene,||Lieutenant-commander,||Contusion of leg, splinters, slight.|
|Maurice [W.] McEntee,||Ensign,||Contusion of thigh; splinters, slight.|
|Henry R. Billings,||Master,||Contusion of face; splinters slight.|
|James McIntosh,||Coxswain,||Incised wound of scalp; not severe.|
|John Govard,||Seaman,||Lacerated wound of forehead; quite severe.|
|Chas. Howard,||Seaman,||Contusion of sacrum; slight.|
|Wm. H. Nice,||Boatswain's mate,||Severe contusion of right eye.|
|Andrew Crough,||Quartermaster,||Contusion of scalp; slight.|
|George Smith,||Ship's corporal,||Wound of upper third left arm; quite severe.|
|John Robertson,||Quartermaster,||Contusion of left foot, slight.|
Killed 1, wounded 10.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Edqard R. Dodge,
Lieutenant-Commander C.H. Greene,
Commanding U.S.S.S Octorara.
Mobile Bay, August 6, 1864.
SIR: I respectfully report the following casualties in action yesterday morning while passing Fort Morgan, viz:
Danile Godfrey, coal heaver; mortally wounded in abdomen by frgment 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.
Geo. W. Hatch,
Acting Assistant Surgeon, U.S. Navy.
Lieutenant-Commander W.P. McCann, U.S. Navy.
Letter from Brigadier-General Page, C.S. Army, to commanding officers of the Federal forces, declining to surrender.
Fort Morgan, August 9, 1864.
SIRS: I am prepared to sacrifice life and will only surrender when I have no means of defense.
I do not understand that while being communicated with under flag of truce the Tennessee should be towed within range of my guns.
Brigadier-General, Commanding C.S. Army.
Rear-Admiral D.G. Farragut, U.S. Navy
Major-General Gordon Granger, U.S. Army
Mobile, August 9, 1864
All gaps in obstructions closed. Torpedoes in Dog River placed. Guns in Redoubt No. 1 mounted. New battery on shell road ready for guns. Battery Gladden, seven guns mounted, magazine covered. Apalachee channel closed. Am placing torpedoes in Garrow's Bend and south of obstructions. Four redans completed. Guns mounted in all new redoubts. Commence connecting rifle pits at daybreak, also clearing ground in front. Morgan garrison determined to hold out.
Major-General J.F. Gilmer,
Chief of Engineer Bureau, Richmond, Va.
Report of Major-General Maury, C.S. Army, commanding Confederate forces.
Headquarters, District of the Gulf,
Mobile, Ala., August 9, 1864.
GENERAL: While at Meridian on the 3d instant I received dispatches indicating a naval and land attack on the lower forts. On the 4th instant a force was thrown on Dauphin Island estimated at 2,000.
On Friday, the 5th instant, the enemy's fleet attacked Fort Morgan at 6:30 a.m. After several hours bombardment the whole fleet, except one large monitor, which was sunk by our guns, ran by the fort and entered the bay. They numbered fourteen wooden ships and three ironclads. The Tennessee and little gunboats Selma, Gaines, and Morgan were soon overpowered. The conduct of the admiral in the Tennessee, and of the Selma, Captain Peter U. Murphey, is spoken of as devotedly gallant. On the same day a monitor ran close up to Fort Powell and cannonaded it for several hours. Five gunboats in Mississippi Sound bombarded it at long range. No serious injury was done to the fort beside disabling the carriage of an X-inch gun. No officer or man was wounded. That night Lieutenant-Colonel Williams (the same commander who, in a spirited manner, sustained the attack of Farragut some months ago) evacuated the fort, blew it up, and brought the garrison to this city. Urgent orders were sent to Colonel C.D. Anderson, Twenty-first Alabama, the commander of Gaines, to hold his fort to last extremity. He surrendered his fort with about 600 good troops in it on yesterday morning. The commander and garrison of Fort Morgan evince a noble spirit of resolution.
Grant's Pass is now open for transports and Mobile may be attacked in a short time. Henceforth the place must always be held ready for attack. There are an unusual number of women and children here. They will not go away until the shells begin to fall, when it may be too late. There is six months' supply of victuals here for a garrison. The ordnance supplies are still insufficient for siege. The citizens, employés, reserves, militia, two Louisiana regiments of heavy artillery, six companies of cavalry, and a battalion of men selected from companies of correction, in all about 4,000 now man the works. A regiment of reserves and about 300 artillerists are en route. Other reserves are under orders to come here, say 1,000. Last night I received a dispatch from my most intelligent New Orleans correspondent stating Canby's force at 3,000. If this be so, no immediate attack on the city is probable. Forrest telegraphs me that the force advancing down Mississippi Central road is about 7,000 veteran cavalry. I have ordered Generals Wirt Adams and Liddell to reinforce him if possible. They may send him 1,000 to 1,500 men and the State reserves and militia of Mississippi may give him 1,500 more. With this I think he can retard and perhaps defeat the enemy. I go to Meridian this evening. No tidings yet of General Taylor or of troops crossing.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Dabney H. Maury,
General S. Cooper
Adjutant and Inspector-General.
August 31, 1864.
Read and return to Secretary of War.
Let the requisite ordnance and ordnance stores be furnished. The commander of the reserves of Alabama should be urged to greatest exertion.
Report of Commander Harrison, C. S. Navy.
MOBILE, August 9, 1864.
SIR: The enemy steamed in through the main entrance with four monitors and about sixteen heavy vessels of war. The Tecumseh, commanded by T.A.M. Craven, was sunk, with nearly all her crew, and also another gunboat, the Philippi, which I subsequently burned. The Richmond, Hartford, and Brooklyn, in line of battle, followed by the remainder of the fleet, pushed by Fort Morgan under full headway, where they were encountered by the Tennessee, Morgan, Gaines, and Selma. The Tennessee and the other vessels steamed in close range of the advancing force and poured a heavy fire into the leading ships. After a desperate engagement between the fleets, the Gaines retired to Fort Morgan in a sinking condition; the Selma, cut off, surrendered, and the Morgan escaped to Fort Morgan. The Tennessee, so far uninjured, steamed toward the whole fleet, and after an obstinate fight surrendered, her rudder disabled, her smokestack carried away, and, as we suppose, her crew in an exhausted and smothering condition. On the Tennessee Admiral Buchanan was severely wounded by a splinter in the leg, and 2 were killed and several wounded among her crew. On the Gaines there were 2 killed and 2 wounded. On the Morgan 1 was wounded; and on the Selma there were 8 killed, including her executive officer, Lieutenant J.H. Comstock, and 7 were wounded. The enemy suffered severely, and he requested permission to bury his dead.
Commander, C. S. Navy.
Hon. S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.
Report of Commander Johnston, C. S. Navy, late commanding C. S. ram Tennessee, flagship.
U.S. NAVAL HOSPITAL,
Navy Yard, Pensacola, August 13, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the circumstances under which the C. S. ram Tennessee, recently under my command as your flagship, was surrendered to the United States fleet commanded by Rear-Admiral Farragut in Mobile Bay:
At 6 a.m., on the 5th instant, the enemy's fleet, consisting of four ironclad monitors and fourteen wooden vessels, were discovered to be standing up the channel into the bay, the former in a single line, nearest to Fort Morgan, and the latter in a double line, each two vessels being lashed together. When they had approached sufficiently near to draw the fire from Fort Morgan, signal was made to follow your motions, and the Tennessee was moved down to the middle of the channel, just inside the line of torpedoes stretching across it, from whence she immediately opened her battery upon the advancing fleet. Every effort was made at the same time to ram each of the leading vessels as they entered the bay, but their superior speed enabled them to avoid this mode of attack, the first, with the admiral's flag, passing ahead and all the remainder astern, before the ship could be turned to encounter them.
As she followed the fleet into the bay, the leading monitor, the Tecumseh, was discovered to be sinking, and in a few seconds she disappeared, taking down nearly all on board, consisting, as since learned, of 120 souls. The Tennessee's battery was used to the greatest advantage as long as the fleet were within range, and when they reached a point about 4 miles from Fort Morgan and were in the act of anchoring she steamed alone up toward them (the other vessels of the squadron having been dispersed) and attacked them as soon as she was near enough to render her fire effective. The whole fleet were again put in motion to receive her, and she received four heavy shocks by the heaviest vessels running into her at full speed, soon after which I received an order from you in person to steer for Fort Morgan, as it had been reported by the acting chief engineer that the ship was leaking rapidly. At this time it was reported to me that the wheel chains had been carried away, and ordering the relieving tackles to be used, I made a personal examination of the broken chains to ascertain if they could be repaired. This was found to be impossible without sending men outside of the shield to expose themselves several minutes to the fire of the enemys vessels, by which the after deck (over which the chains lead) was closely watched and constantly swept until the close of the action.
Returning to the pilot house for the purpose of more closely observing the movements of the enemy, I soon received a report that you had been wounded, when I went aft to see you, and while there found that the after port cover had been struck by a shot which instantly killed a man engaged in removing the pivot bolt upon which it revolved, and wounded yourself and one of the gun's crew, the latter mortally. I then learned that the two quarter ports out of which the after gun was intended to be used, had also been so jammed by the fire of the enemy as to render it impracticable to remove them, and that the relieving tackles had been shot away and the tiller unshipped from the rudder head. The smoke pipe, having been completely riddled by shot, was knocked down close to the top of the shield by the concussion of vessels running into the ship. At the same time the monitors were using their XI and XV inch solid shot against the after end of the shield, while the largest of the wooden vessels were pouring in repeated broadsides at the distance of only a few feet, and I regret to say that many favorable opportunities of sinking these vessels were unavoidably lost by the repeated failure of our gun primers. The bow port cover was struck by a heavy shot, as also the cover of the forward port on the port side, and two of the broadside port covers were entirely unshipped by the enemy's shot.
The enemy was not long in perceiving that our steering gear had been entirely disabled, and his monitors and heaviest vessels at once took position on each quarter and astern, from whence they poured in their fire without intermission for a period of nearly half an hour, while we were unable to bring a single gun to bear, as it was impossible to change the position of the vessel, and the steam was rapidly going down as a natural consequence of the loss of the smoke pipe.
Feeling it my duty to inform you of the condition of the vessel, I went to the berth deck for this purpose, and after making my report, I asked if you did not think we had better surrender, to which you replied: "Do the best you can, sir, and when all is done, surrender," or words to that effect. Upon my return to the gun deck I observed one of the heaviest vessels of the enemy in the act of running into us on the port quarter, while the shot were fairly raining upon the after end of the shield, which was now so thoroughly shattered that in a few moments it would have fallen and exposed the gun deck to a raking fire of shell and grape.
Realizing our helpless condition at a glance, and convinced that the ship was now nothing more than a target for the heavy guns of the enemy, I concluded that no good object could be accomplished by sacrificing the lives of the officers and men in such a one-sided contest, and therefore proceeded to the top of the shield and took down the ensign, which had been seized onto the handle of a gun scraper and stuck up through the grating. While in the act, several shots passed close to me, and when I went below to order the engines to be stopped the firing of the enemy was continued. I then decided, although with an almost bursting heart, to hoist the white flag, and returning again onto the shield, placed it in the same spot where but a few moments before had floated the proud flag for whose honor I would so cheerfully have sacrificed my own life if I could possibly have become the only victim; but at the time it would have been impossible to destroy the ship without the certain loss of many valuable lives, your own among the number.
It is with the most heartfelt satisfaction that I bear testimony to the undaunted gallantry and cheerful alacrity with which the officers and men under my immediate command discharged all their duties, and to the executive officer, Lieutenant Bradford, it is due that I should commend the regular and rapid manner in which the battery was served in every particular.
While a prisoner on board the U.S.S. Ossipee and since coming into this hospital, I have learned from personal observation and from other reliable sources of information that the battery of the Tennessee inflicted more damage upon the enemys vessels than that at Fort Morgan, although she was opposed by one hundred and eighty-seven guns of the heaviest caliber, in addition to the twelve XI and XV-inch guns on board the three monitors.
The entire loss of the enemy, most of which is ascribed to the Tennessee, amounts to quite 300 in killed and wounded, exclusive of the 100 lost in the Tecumseh, making a number nearly as large as the entire force under your command in this unequal conflict.
Fifty-three shot marks were found on the Tennessee's shield, three of which had penetrated so far as to cause splinters to fly inboard, and the washers over the ends of the bolts wounded several men.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Commander, Provisional Navy, C. S.
Admiral FRANKLIN BUCHANAN,
Late Commanding Naval Defenses of Alabama.
Report of Admiral Buchanan, C. S. Navy, late commanding naval forces in Mobile Bay.
U.S. NAVAL HOSPITAL,
Pensacola, August 25, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to inform you that the enemy's fleet under Admiral Farragut, consisting of fourteen steamers and four monitors, passed Fort Morgan on the 5th instant, about 6:30 a.m., in the following order and stood into Mobile Bay: The four monitors - Tecumseh and Manhattan, each carrying two XV-inch guns, the Winnebago and Chickasaw, each carrying four XI-inch guns - in a single line ahead about a half a mile from the fort; the fourteen steamers - Brooklyn, of twenty-six; Octorara, ten; Hartford, twenty-eight; Metacomet, ten; Richmond, twenty-four; Port Royal, eight; Lackawanna, fourteen; Seminole, nine; Monongahela, twelve; Kennebec, five; Ossipee, thirteen; Itasca, four; Oneida, ten; and Galena, fourteen guns - in double line ahead, each two lashed together. The side-wheel steamers offshore, all about 4 miles from the monitors, carrying in all 199 guns and 2,700 men. When they were discovered standing into the channel, signal was made to the Mobile squadron under my command, consisting of the wooden gunboats Morgan and Gaines, each carrying six guns, and the Selma, four, to follow my motions in the ram Tennessee, of six guns, in all 22 guns and 470 men. All were soon underway and stood toward the enemy in a line abreast. As the Tennessee approached the fleet, when opposite the fort, we opened our battery at short range upon the leading ship, the admirals flagship Hartford, and made the attempt to run into her, but owing to her superior speed our attempt was frustrated. We then stood toward the next heavy ship, the Brooklyn, with the same view. She also avoided us by her superior speed. During this time the gunboats were also closely engaged with the enemy. All our guns were used to the greatest advantage, and we succeeded in seriously damaging many of the enemy's vessels. The Selma and Gaines, under Lieutenants Commanding P.U. Murphey and J.W. Bennett, fought gallantly, and I am gratified to hear from officers of the enemys fleet that their fire was very destructive. The Gaines was fought until she was found to be in a sinking condition when she was run on shore near Fort Morgan. Lieutenant Commanding Murphey was closely engaged with the Metacomet, assisted by the Morgan, Commander Harrison, who, during the conflict, deserted him, when, upon the approach of another large steamer, the Selma surrendered. I refer you to the report of Lieutenant Commanding Murphey for the particulars of his action. He lost two promising young officers, Lieutenant Comstock and Master's Mate Murray, and a number of his men were killed and wounded, and he was also wounded severely in the wrist. Commander Harrison will no doubt report to the Department his reason for leaving the Selma in that contest with the enemy; as the Morgan was uninjured his conduct is severely commented on by the officers of the enemys fleet, much to the injury of that officer and the Navy.
Soon after the gunboats were dispersed by the overwhelming superiority of force, and the enemys fleet had anchored about 4 miles above Fort Morgan, we stood for them again in the Tennessee, and renewed the attack with the hope of sinking some of them with our prow. Again were we foiled by their superior speed in avoiding us. The engagement with the whole fleet soon became general at very close quarters and lasted about an hour, and notwithstanding the serious injury inflicted upon many of their vessels by our guns, we could not sink them. Frequently during the contest we were surrounded by the enemy and all our guns were in action almost at the same moment. Some of their heaviest vessels ran into us under full steam with the view of sinking us. One vessel, the Monongahela, had been prepared as a ram and was very formidable; she struck us with great force, injuring us but little. Her prow and stem were knocked off and the vessel so much injured as to make it necessary to dock her. Several of the other vessels of the fleet were found to require extensive repairs. I enclose to you a copy of a drawing of the Brooklyn, made by one of her officers after the action, and an officer of the Hartford informed me that she was more seriously injured than the Brooklyn. I mention these facts to prove that the guns of the Tennessee were not idle during this unequal contest. For other details of the action and injuries sustained by the Tennessee, I refer you to the report of Commander J.D. Johnston, which has my approval. After I was carried below, unfortunately wounded, I had to be governed by the reports of that valuable officer as to the condition of the ship, and the necessity and time of her surrender, and when he represented to me her utterly hopeless condition to continue the fight with injury to the enemy, and suggested her surrender, I directed him to do the best he could, and when he could no longer damage the enemy, to do so. It affords me much pleasure to state that the officers and men cheerfully fought their guns to the best of their abilities and gave strong evidence by their promptness in executing orders of their willingness to continue the contest as long as they could stand to their guns, notwithstanding the fatigue they had undergone for several hours, and it was only under the circumstances as presented by Captain Johnston that she was surrendered to the fleet about 10 a.m., as painful as it was to do so. I seriously felt the want of experienced officers during the action. All were young and inexperienced and many had but little familiarity with naval duties, having been appointed from civil life within the year. The reports of Commander Harrison, of the Morgan, and Lieutenant Commanding Bennett, of the Gaines, you have no doubt received from those officers.
I enclose the report of Fleet Surgeon D.B. Conrad, to whom I am much indebted for his skill, promptness, and attention to the wounded. By permission of Admiral Farragut, he accompanied the wounded of the Tennessee and Selma to this hospital and is assisted by Assistant Surgeons Booth and Bowles, of the Selma and Tennessee, all under charge of Fleet Surgeon Palmer, U.S. Navy, from whom we have received all the attention and consideration we could desire or expect.
The crews and many officers of the Tennessee and Selma have been sent to New Orleans; Commander J.D. Johnston, Lieutenant Commanding P.U. Murphey, and Lieutenants W.L. Bradford and A.D. Wharton, Second Assistant Engineer J.C. O'Connell, and myself are to be sent North. Master's Mates W.S. Forrest and R.M. Carter, who are with me acting as my aids, not having any midshipmen, are permitted to accompany me; they are valuable young officers, zealous in the discharge of their duties, and both have served in the Army, where they received honorable wounds; their services are valuable to me.
I am happy to inform you that my wound is improving and sincerely hope our exchange will be effected, and that I will soon again be on duty. Enclosed is a list of the officers of the Tennessee who were in the action.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.
N. B. - September 17. Since writing the above I have seen the report of Admiral Farragut, a portion of which is incorrect. Captain Johnston did not deliver my sword on board the Hartford. After the surrender of the Tennessee, Captain Giraud, the officer who was sent on board to take charge of her, said to me that he was directed by Admiral Farragut to ask for my sword, which was brought from the cabin and delivered to him by one of my aids.
Tennessee, flagship. - Killed, 2: John Silk, first-class fireman; William Moore, seaman. Wounded, 9: Admiral F. Buchanan, fracture right leg; A.T. Post, pilot, slightly, in head; J.C. O'Connell, second assistant engineer, slightly, in leg and shoulder; William [M.] Rogers, third assistant engineer, slightly, in head and shoulder; James Kelly, boatswain's mate, slightly in knee; Andrew Rossmorsson, quartermaster, slightly, in head; William Daly, seaman, in head; Robert Barry, marine, gunshot wound of ear and head; James McKann, marine, contusion of shoulder.
Selma, P.U. Murphey, lieutenant, commanding. - Killed, 8: J.H. Comstock, lieutenant and executive officer; J.R. Murray, acting master's mate; William Hall, gunners mate; James Rooney, seaman; James Montgomery, seaman; Barnard Riley, ordinary seaman; J.R. Frisly, landsman; Christopher Shepherd, landsman. Wounded, 7: P.U. Murphey, lieutenant, commanding, slightly, in wrist; John Villa, seaman, badly, leg and arm; Henry Fratee, landsman, badly, in hand; Daniel Linnehan, seaman, slightly, in arm; John Shick, seaman, slightly, in face; John Davis, fireman, slightly; John Gilliland, seaman, slightly.
Total killed, 10; wounded, 16.
Fleet Surgeon, C. S. Navy.
Officers of the ram Tennessee who were in the action.
Admiral F. Buchanan, Commander J.D. Johnston, First Lieutenant and Executive Officer William L. Bradford, Lieutenant A.D. Wharton, Lieutenant E.J. McDermett, Masters H.W. Perrin and J.R. De Mahy, Fleet Surgeon D.B. Conrad, Assistant Surgeon R.C. Bowles, First Lieutenant Marine Corps D.G. Raney, First Assistant Engineer G.D. Lining, Pilot A.T. Post, Second Assistant Engineer J.C. O'Connell, Second Assistant Engineer John Hayes, Boatswain John McCredie, Gunner H.S. Smith, Third Assistant Engineers William [M.] Rogers, Oscar Benson, and William B. Patterson, Master's Mates M.J. Beebee, R.M. Carter, W.S. Forrest, Paymaster's Clerk J.H. Cohen.
Extract from report of the Secretary of the Navy of the Confederate States, dated November 5, 1864.
On the 5th day of August last a formidable fleet of the enemy, consisting of eighteen ships, including four ironclads, mounting 199 guns and manned by 2,700 men, under Admiral Farragut, crossed the Mobile Bar, when they were vigorously attacked by the forts and by our small squadron under Admiral Buchanan. This force consisted of the steam sloops Morgan and Gaines, each carrying 6 guns, the Selma, 4 guns, and the ironclad ram Tennessee, 6 guns; in all, 22 guns and 470 men.
In this action the Tennessee and Selma were captured and the Gaines, in a sinking condition, was run ashore and abandoned, the officers and men escaping to Mobile, where the Morgan also arrived in safety. Our loss was 12 killed, 20 wounded, and 243 prisoners. The injury to the enemys ships is not ascertained, though we know that the ironclad Tecumseh, probably struck by a torpedo, went down with 100 men, and that several of his vessels were crippled and seriously damaged. In addition to the crew of the Tecumseh the enemy's loss in killed and wounded was about 300.
Naval history records few contests between forces so unequal in ships, guns, and men, and but few in which the weaker party displayed equal heroism. Apart from grave considerations this contest possesses peculiar interest for all who are watchful of the progress of naval affairs, it being the first in which the modern and improved means of naval warfare, offensive and defensive, have been tested.
The enemys ships, among the finest afloat, were armed with IX, X, XI, and XV inch guns, whose projectiles varied in weight from 84 to 428 pounds. Their broadsides, the heaviest known, were discharged upon the Tennessee at distances ranging from 3 to 30 yards, and three of their heaviest ships, fitted as rams, ran into her repeatedly at full speed. The massive strength of the frame and the sloping armor of the ship resisted these assaults, and but one shot reached or made any impression upon the woodwork of the shield, and this did not go through it.
On the 6th of August, the day after the battle, Admiral Farragut ordered a board of four naval officers to examine and report the condition of the Tennessee, and the official report of this board, made on the 13th of August, after detailing the specific injuries sustained by the ship, says The Tennessee is in a state to do good service now.
The resistance offered by inclined iron armor to the heaviest ordnance ever used upon the sea was here fully tested at short ranges, and the result, so far as known, shows the superiority of this arrangement over similar armor upon vertical planes.
Our naval officers, constructors, and engineers will not fail to avail themselves of and to profit by the instruction offered by this engagement, Admiral Buchanan's report of which is annexed.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
Secretary of the Navy.