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McLean Research Associates is dedicated to presenting little known facts about the US Navy in the Civil War, presentations on a myriad of astronomical topics,STEM workshops, and letterboxing.


In commemoration of the 160 years since the Civil War - or more appropriately in the vernacular of the day - The War of the Slaveholders' Rebellion - we are featuring a quote and picture of the day from the Naval Records


Period Picture
Unknown USN Commander
Sat Jan 31 1863

MGEN Foster, USA, writes COL Francis L Lee, USA, "You will embark your command to-morrow morning at 7 o'clock on the steamer Northerner and proceed directly to Plymouth, N. C.
The Massasoit will be at the wharf at the foot of Middle street for the purpose of transferring your regiment to the Northerner.
Upon your arrival at that place you will assume command of the post, and immediately after consultation with Captain Flusser, U. S. Navy, and Major Bartholomew, Twenty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteers, take the necessary steps to drive in the enemy's pickets.
It is reported here that the enemy is in force (about 1,000) at Jamesville. Should you find this report corroborated by the information you may receive at Plymouth, you will advance on that place and whip the enemy; and if, upon consultation with the above officers, it should be deemed advisable, you are authorized to advance as far as Williamston
It is necessary that the advance should be made very shortly after your arrival, so that the enemy may not receive information of your arrival at the place, and you are therefore advised to close the lines.
Captain Flusser, U. S. Navy, will furnish you with some boat howitzers and crews, and he, as well as Major Bartholomew, are strongly recommended to you from their long experience at the post.
Much, of course, must be left to your own discretion, and the greatest confidence is placed in your judgment and abilities. The general's desire is to drive the enemy back and prevent his annoying our forces at Plymouth."

CDR William A Parker, SOPA New Inlet, write RADM Lee "I have to report that this morning at early daylight a small two-masted steamer was discovered near Fort Fisher, inside of New Inlet, bearing the rebel flag at her main and the English flag at her fore, the Cambridge being underway cruising at the time. She had apparently run the blockade during the night. The weather was misty. I have also to report that Fort Fisher fired a salute of twenty-one guns at 4 p. m. this day."

MGEN Foster, 18th Army Corps, writes CDR A Murray, SOPA Sounds of North Carolina, "The commanding-general directs me to inform you that the lines may be reopened to-morrow. You will please recognize no passes except such as are granted at these headquarters."

MGEN John A Dix writes RADM Samuel P Lee, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, "Will you oblige me by sending an officer to confer with General Viele, at Norfolk, in regard to illicit trade. The privilege of trading has been abused, and I am desirous of surrounding it with all possible safeguards.
I have given no permits to introduce goods into Norfolk since the 17th instant, and think I shall confine commercial transactions there hereafter to retail dealers."

RADM Lee tlegrams SECNAV "The Richmond Examiner of this date contains the following dispatch:
Charleston, January 30.
The Federal gunboat Isaac Smith. carrying 11 guns and 200 men, surrendered unconditionally to our forces this afternoon after a sharp engagement on Stono River.
The enemys loss is heavy. Only one man was wounded on our side. Another gunboat escaped in a crippled condition. Our forces were under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel [Jos. A.] Yates."

RADM Samuel Du Pont, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron writes SECNAV "I have the honor to report the capture, on the morning of the 29th instant, of the screw steamer Princess Royal, whilst attempting to run the blockade into Charleston. The following are the circmstances connected with her capture:
At 3:15 a. m., a blue light was observed on the U. S. gunboat Unadilla, Lieutenant-Commander S. P. Quackenbush, in an easterly direction, supposed to be from the schooner Blunt. The Unadilla slipped cable and stood inshore in a northweserly direction, guided by a rocket thrown up in the direction in which the strange steamer was steering; this rocket also appeared to come frommi the Blunt. After standing in a mile and a half, Lieutenant-Commander Quackenbush observed a steamer standing along the land, in the direction of Charleston. He fired two shots at her, when her course was altered toward the beach, and she was run ashore. Two officers and an armed boats crew were immediately sent to take possession. She proved to be the iron steamer (propeller) Princess Royal, last from Bermuda, four days out, and laden, as far as he could learn, with rifled guns, arms, ammunition, steam engines for the ironclads, and an assorted cargo.
On taking possession, it was ascertained that the captain, supercargo, pilot, and some of the petty officers, and a passenger had left the ship when she struck and scaped to the shore, which fact was substantiated by the chief mate, under supercargo, and chief engineer, as well as by seeing the two missing boats lying on the beach deserted.
By the active exertions of Acting Master E. Van Sice and Acting Ensign R. M. Cornell, of the Unadilia, assisted by boats crews from the U. S. steamers Housatonic and Augusta and schooners Blunt and Amica, aided by two of the engineers of the Preble, she was got off without sustaining any injury.
There not being sufficient coal on board of the Princess Royal to send her north, she was ordered by the senior officer to this port to obtain a supply. No papers pertaining to ship or cargo were found on board of her at the time, except the shipping articles and a log book, but after her arrival here Acting Master Van Sice, of the Unadilia, the officer in charge of the prize, discovered, accidentally, in looking over the side, certain papers which had lodged in the fender in the attempt to throw them overboard. These refer principally to the cargo, and with the papers before mentioned (which were all that were found on board) will be forwarded to the U. S. district judge at Philadelphia. The under supercargo, Hoxley; the chief mate, Shaw; the captain's clerk, a young man named Hacksley, whose father is said to be interested in the cargo; two of the engineers; and several of the firemen go north in the prize. The rest of the crew will be sent by the first opportunity.
I desire to call the attention of the Department to the fact that in this prize are two complete engines said to be of great power, and intended for ironclads, and respectfully submit whether an early use could not be made of them in two new ironclads built to receive them?
I send the Princess Royal to Philadelphia under charge of Acting Master E. Van Sice, executive officer of the Unadilla, for adjudication, not wishing to expose such a valuable prize to any risk from gales off the Jersey coast, and I have written to Commodore Stribling to render her every assistance he can, should there be ice in the Delaware.
Enclosed is a list of the officers and crew of the Unadillia (No. 1). Lists of other vessels entitled to a share in the prize will be forwarded as soon as received. I also enclose an extract from the Charleston Courier of the 30th ultimo, referring to the capture of the Princess Royal (No. 2)."
Enclosed is the Charleston daily Courier of 30 January 1863, "Capture of the British steamer Princess Royal. The steam propeller, Princess Royal, Captain Lawson, from Glassgow, via London where she took in cargo, St. Johns ( Newfoundland), Halifax (Nova Scotia), and Bermuda, having left the latter port on Friday, 23d instant, was captured at an early hour yesterday morning off this port by the Yankee blockaders. She was suddenly surrounded by a number of the fleet before daylight, and the officers had to run her on the beach of Long Island as the best resource left to them. During yesterday the light-draft Yankee steamers got a tow line to her and succeeded in getting her off before high water. Captain Thomas Craig, the Charleston pilot; Mr. Weston, a passenger, of Georgetown, S. C.; and two other persons, escaped from her in a boat and reached the city last evening. Valuable dispatches, which were on board, from Captain Maury, C. S. Navy, now in Europe, to the Confederate Government, have been saved and brought to the city. The Princess Royal had on board a cargo of great value to us, consisting of machinery for gunboats, Whitworth guns, rifles, powder, and some workmen who were to instruct parties here in reference to the manufacture of new projectiles. The bulk of her freight was about 900 tons weight and measurement. Captain Lawson was sick in the cabin at the time of the capture, and has had a terrible voyage, experiencing terrific gales in high Northern latitudes, and was compelled to put into St. ~Johns (Newfoundland), Halifax (Nova Scotia), and Bermuda, in order to coal his vessel.
The steamer {Corrnduia}, from Wilmington, N. C., had arrived safely at Bermuda, and the steamer Merrimac was still there, they being the only vessels in port."

LCDR George Bacon, SOPA Stono Inlet, writes, " respectfully state that I went up Stono River this morning as far as Legardville and could see the Isaac Smith still on shore in the same place. She must be injured below the water line, or else they would certainly have gotten her off at high tide this morning, as the tide was fully a foot higher this morning than it was when she went ashore. Some men could be seen on board of her, and as she is well under their batteries and in a narrow part of the channel, it is not practicable at present to attempt to take her with a wooden gunboat without the great probability of sharing the same fate, for you would be in about point-blank range of their heavy guns and at the same time in a very narrow channel and in danger of getting on shore. I fired some shells into her and some into Legardville, but the fire was not returned from the enemy's batteries.
The elevating screw to my 100-pounder rifle broke at the second fire yesterday, and I am at present much in want of shells for the 50-pounders, as well as cartridges for the same. I respectfully await further orders."

SECNAV writes RADM Du Pont "Your confidential dispatch, No. 36, dated the 4th instant, has been received. The Department does not desire to urge an attack upon Charleston with inadequate means, and if after careful examination you deem the number of ironclads insufficient to render the capture of that port reasonably certain, it must be abandoned.
The Department is not acquainted with the harbor obstructions constructed by the rebels, and therefore can not advise with you in regard to these obstacles. If they are not considered sufficient to prevent your entrance, it is not believed possible for the rebels to prevent your success, with all other means combined.
The five ironclads sent you are all that the Department has completed on the Atlantic coast, with the exception of one retained at Newport News to watch the rebel ironclad Richmond. No others are likely to be finished and sent to sea within the next six weeks. A large number of our best wooden vessels, necessary for the blockade, but not for the attack, are unfortunately required in the West Indies to pursue the Florida and Alabama. This withdrawal of blockading vessels renders the capture of Charleston and Mobile imperative, and the Department will share the responsibility imposed upon the commanders who make the attempt.
Enclosed is a copy of a memorandum furnished by the Secretary of War."
The enclosure reads: "On the afternoon of Monday, January 6, a stranger called at the Inquirer office and asked to see the editor. He represented himself a a resident of Charleston, S. C., and that he had left that city on the night of January 14, current. He had with him files of the Charleston Mercury and Courier from the 2d to 14th of January. His object appeared to be to leave at the office this file of Charleston papers and to give information to be published. Mr. Pedrick, the correspondent and reporter whom he first saw, brought him into my room, introducing him as Dr. Shearer, of Charleston, but Pedrick subsequently told me that he had some difficulty in getting a name from the gentleman.
Having invited him to a seat, he told me that he was a physician in practice at Charleston, which profession protected him from the conscription law, and that he was a Union man. He had run the blockade from Charleston in the steamer Leonard on the night of the 14th, going over to Nassau and thence ha gone to New York, where he arrived on the 25th. He said that vessels ply to and from Charleston and Nassau with the certainty and promptness of a regular line so regular, indeed, that it was a matter of surprise to the rebels themselves; that said vessels run along close to Sullivan's Island to the northeast, so as to avail of the protection of a work known as Fort Beauregard; that this work is all the protection the blockade runners have, and that it is weak, feebly manned, and could easily be reduced, which, if done, would put an end to blockade running by that channel. Fort Beauregard is on the northeast extremity of Sullivan's Island.
He said further that whenever any point in the vicinity of Charleston is menaced as, for example, Goldsboro, N. C.that city is nearly stripped of troops; that when General Foster was operating toward Goldsboro there were but 2,500 men left in Charleston; that at no time recently has there been more than 5,000; that when troops are so taken away northward they never get back, and that Charleston is thus constantly so bare of troops for its defense that the military authorities there are in constant apprehension that their weakness will become known to the Federal forces. He also said that the fight at Secessionville was very near becoming a Union victory, and that if it had, the Federal troops, if they had known all, could have pursued the rebels right into Charleston over a bridge he named, but which I forgot. Further, that if the attack on Pocotaligo had been made in force, success would certainly have followed and Charleston could easily have been captured, as it was then also, as it nearly always is, without a sufficient force for its defense. The people of Charleston, knowing their defenseless condition as to land forces wonder why no assault has been made. He said further that if a cavalry force were landed at the mouth of Stono it could gallop into Charleston at the heels of the pickets On the lookout in that direction; or that a force landed at Bulls Bay, northeast of Charleston Harbor, could march without difficulty to Mount Pleasant, which commands Fort Moultrie.
With regard to Fort Sumter he said the commandant told him that unless he could detain an attacking fleet or ship ten minutes in the channel between Sumter and Moultrie that nothing could stop the capture of Charleston by vessels determined to run his fire. At the point in the channel indicated for such detention he said that attempts had been made to sink obstructions, but that the currents soon carry them away, and that all such efforts had been failures. Two gunboats of the Merrimack pattern, covered with railway iron, are completed, and two more are under way, all in Charleston Harbor. He said something about the ease with which the steamer Giraffe, now anchored at Ogeechee [River, Ossabaw] Sound, could be captured, but that has faded from my memory.
The foregoing is but a hurried and brief sketch of a long conversation, much of which is set down, being elicited by my own questions.
The stranger, as I call him, was very close about his own connections and business. All that I could get out of him was that he was a physician, Scotch by birth, had lived at the North, had been four years in Charleston, had letters to some Northern people, but did not exhibit them, was going back to New York and thence to Boston, and then might go to Washington about the close of this week. He was going back to Charleston ultimately, and was therefore solicitous that whatever was published should be so guarded as to conceal his participation. I declined to publish anything, on the ground that his information might be of value to the Government; that publicity would defeat or destroy its value, and I urged him to go straight to Washington to see the Secretary of War. He expressed his acquiescence in this view and said he would go to Washington, but did not say so in a very emphatic way. Fearing his resolution may fail him, I write these hurried memoranda myself. He says there are many Union men in Charleston and everywhere in the South; they communicate under cover of Masonry. His lodge is all Union. Beauregard, he said, is cleaning the rubbish from the cellars of the burned district and making them bombproof, so as to support a street fight in the city.
The above is endorsed: The correctness of this statement is vouched for by George Harding."

{Note: There are three entire pages missing out of the record book}. The letter, from RADM Du Pont, evidently partly left out picks up with "Memphis only in her rigging. The Housatonic, Captain Taylor, gave chase and a shot from her struck the pilot house of one of the ironclads, doing, it is thought, some damage and carrying away one of her flags. The rebel vessels then passed to the northward, receiving the fire of our ships, and took refuge in the Swash Channel behind the shoals.
The only casualties were on the Mercedita and the Keystone State. On the Keystone State they are very large, about one-fourth of her crew killed and wounded and among the former the medical officer of the ship, Assistant Surgeon Jacob H. Gotwald, who was scalded to death whilst rendering surgical aid to one of the wounded men. Nine of those who died perished from the escape of steam when the boilers and steam chimney were penetrated, and among the wounded the greater number received their injuries from the same cause.
As the Mercedita was the only vessel which surrendered I have directed a court of enquiry to examine into the circumstances of the case as well as into the terms under which the surrender was made. This investigation has been asked for by Captain Stellwagen.
I receives this intelligence on Saturday at 3 p. m. by the Augusta, which ship immediately returned to Charleston. The Mercechta soon after arrived, and the Keystone State, in tow of the Memphis, when the latter vessel was at once sent back to her station. The James Adger, Commander Patterson, which had towed the Passaic to Wassaw to watch the Fingal, much more formidable than the Charleston ironclads, was also turned back as she was coming into Port Royal and ordered to Charleston, and the Pawhatan, through the commendable zeal of Captain Godon, was got ready by 9 o'clock p. m. I had the channel and bar buoys lighted when she passed out safely.
The New Iromsides, Captain Turner, which since her arrival here has been undergoing various alterations ordered by the Department and of which it has been advised, had taken out her masts about 12 o'clock on the day we received the news. She had to take in coal, but succeeded in getting away at 8 o'clock the next morning. I forward herewith copies of the reports of Captain Stellwagen, Lieutenant-Commander Abbot, and Commander Le Roy (marked Nos. 1, 2, and 3); also the reports of the casualties on the Mercedita and the Keystone State (marked Nos. 4 and 5). On the Mercedita there were 4 killed and 3 wounded; on the Keystone State, 20 killed and 20 wounded."
First post script: "P. S.Since the above dispatch was written, and as the mail was about to close, I received the report (herewith enclosed, marked No. 6) of Captain William Rogers Taylor, of the Housatonic, the senior officer off Charleston, who, however, was stationed at the northeast end of the line of blockade, near the Rattlesnake Shoal."Second post script:" P. S.An additional statement just received from Commander Le Roy is herewith enclosed (marked No. 7)."

CAPT H S Stellwagon writes RADM Du Pont "I have to report that at 4:25 this morning two ironclad rams from Charleston, in the obscurity of a thick haze, and the moon having just set, succeeded in passing the bar near Ship Channel unperceived by the squadron, and made an attack upon it, this ship being first encountered.
Particular vigilance was exhibited by officers and crew in expectation of vessels to run the blockade.
At 3 a. m. we had slipped cable and overhauled a troop steamer running for the channel by mistake. At 4 I laid down. Lieutenant-Commander Abbot was on deck, giving orders to Acting Master Dwyer about recovering the anchor, when they saw a smoke and faint appearance of a vessel close at hand. I heard them exclaim "She has black smoke. Watch, man the guns, spring the rattle, call all hands to quarters!" Mr. Dwyer came to the cabin door, telling me a steamboat was close aboard. I was then in the act of getting my peajacket, and slipped it on as I followed him out; jumped to poop ladder, saw smoke and a low boat, apparently a tug, although I thought it might be a little propeller for the squadron. I sang out, Train your guns right on him and be ready to fire as soon as I order. I hailed, Steamer ahoy! Stand clear of us and heave to! What steamer is tbat? Then ordered my men "Fire on him"; told him, "You will be into us! What steamer is that ?" His answer to first or second hail was Halloo! the other replies were indistinct, either by intention or from being spoken inside of his mail armor, until in the act of striking us with his prow, when he said, This is the Confederate States steam ram I repeated the order to Fire, fire! but no gun could be trained on him, as he approached on the quarter. Struck us just abaft our aftermost 32-pounder gun and fired a heavy rifle through us, diagonally penetrating the starboard side, through our Normandy condenser, the steam drum of port boiler, and exploding against port side of ship, blowing a hole in its exit some 4 or 5 feet square. The vessel was instantly filled and enveloped with steam. Reports were brought to me, Shot through both boilers, Fires put out by steam and water, Gunner and one man killed, Number of men fatally scalded, Water over fire-room floor, Vessel sinking fast. The ram has cut us through at and below water line on one side, and the shell has burst on the other about at the waters edge.
After the ram struck she swung around under our starboard counter, her prow touching, and hailed, "Surrender, or I'll sink you! Do you surrender?" After receiving reports I answered, "I can make no resistance; my boiler is destroyed. Then do you surrender?" I said, Yes, having found my moving power destroyed, and that I could bring nothing to bear but muskets against his shot-proof coating.
He hailed several times to send a boat, and threatened to fire again. After some delay a boat was lowered, and Lieutenant-Commander Abbot asked if he should go in her, and asked for orders what to say. I told him to see what they demanded, and to tell him the condition we were in.
He proceeded aboard, and, according to their demand, gave his parole on behalf of himself and all the officers and crew. His report accompanies this.
The ram, having been detained a half hour or more, ran out for steamer Keystone State, which vessel and three others we had tried to alarm by lights. We saw a shell explode as it hit the ram, without injuring her. Saw the Keystone State was hit several times, and the steam and smoke pouring from her. The firing then receded to northward and eastward, and was pretty brisk at head of the line.
I set everybody to work taking care of wounded, pumping ship, stopping leaks, examining engine, etc. About 6 a. m. got things in order to start a little steam, and hove up anchor. The Stettin and Flag, seeing our crippled state, stood out to us, and I told them they might be wanted to the northward to pick up men, the fighting now being over (about 7:30).
In conclusion, I have to say that in the squadron, where all the vessels were conspicuous for vigilance, this ship has never been found wanting. Everything was done the circumstances permitted in a proper manner the signal books thrown overboard, and all the officers and the crew generally behaved very well. The result, though unhappy, only shows the immense advantage ironclads have over other vessels."

LCDR Abbot, XO USS Mercedita writes CAPT Stellwagon, "In obedience to your order, I proceeded to the rebel ram, and was received by Lieutenants Parker and Shryock and conducted by the former inside of the house, where I was received by her captain (his name I did not learn). I told him I had come in the name of Captain Stellwagen to give up the U. S. S. Mercedita, she being then in a sinking and perfectly defenseless condition. He asked me about the condition of our boats and number of crew. I told him our boats were not large enough, nor in a proper condition to carry our number of crew;
After he had privately consulted with her commodore, he returned to me, saying that they had concluded to parole our officers and crew, provided I would pledge my sacred word of honor that neither I nor any of the officers and crew of the Mercedita would again take up arms against the Confederate States during the war, unless legally and regularly exchanged as prisoners of war. Believing it to be the proper course to pursue at that time, I consented. I was then informed that I could return to the Mercedita.
I will here state in this report that I was on deck at the time the smoke of the ram was discovered, and in less than two minutes she was into us. Your order to fire into her could not be obeyed, as no gun in the ship could be depressed or trained to hit her, though every effort was made, she being so low in the water and coming upon us quartering. We had only time to get the watch to their quarters, and before we could slip our cable we were without steam, a shell having passed completely through ship and boiler."

Assist Surgeon Mason, USS Mercedita writes CDR Stellwagon, "I have the honor to make the following report of casualties which occurred this morning on board this vessel when fired into by a so-called Confederate ram, name unknown:
The shell first passed diagonally through the captains, clerks, and gunners staterooms, through the steam chimney of the port boiler, carrying away the Normandy condenser, exploding while passing through the opposite side of the ship in the dispensary. The immense amount of steam escaping from the steam chimney killed and scalded some of the firemen and coal passers and one ordinary seaman.
Killed.Jacob Amee, gunner, by the shell; it carrying away part of the sacrum, left nates, and fracturing left thigh bone; he was in his stateroom at the time. James Gale, second-class fireman, scalded to death in the engine room.
Wounded.John Reiley, coal passer; mortally scalded; engine room. Alonzo Rouse, first-class fireman; slightly scalded; engine room. Peter Galagher, first-class fireman; mortally scalded; fire room. William Eastwood, first-class fireman; slightly; fire room. James Armstong, ordinary seaman; slightly; on deck at engine-room hatch."

In post script he adds "Since writing the above report two of the wounded have died, namely, John Reiley, coal passer, died at 4:45 p. m., January 31; Peter Galagher, first-class fireman, February 1."

CDR William E Le Roy, USS Keystone State, writes RADM Du Pont "I have to report that about 5 a. m. of this day, while at anchor off the main entrance to the harbor of Charleston, S. C., this ship was approached by what was supposed to be a steamer, but regarding her appearance as suspicious I ordered the cable slipped and fired a gun which was responded to by a shell, when I ordered the guns to be fired as they could be brought to bear upon the object. On putting my head to the eastward, it was discovered there was one on either quarter, and we made them out from their peculiar construction to be ironclads after the model of the Merrimack. Owing to a fire in the forehold, we stood to the northward about ten minutes, and shoaling water kept S. E. about ten minutes to enable us to subdue the fire, and then turned around and under full steam proposed attempting to run down the ram, but about 6 a. m. a shell from one of them entered on the port side under forward wheelhouse guard, passing through port steam chimney and landing in starboard, depriving us of our motive power. Ten rifle shell struck the ship and two burst on quarter-deck, most of them striking the hull, being near and below water line. Our steam chimneys being destroyed, our motive power was lost and our situation became critical. There were 2 feet of water in the ship and leaking badly, water rising rapidly, the forehold on fire. Others of the squadron coming along, the ram that had injured us so much altered her course, and before our wheels entirely stopped we were enabled to get a hawser from the Memphis and were taken in tow.
I regret to report our casualties as very large, some 20 killed and 20 wounded. Among the killed I have to mention the surgeon of the ship, Assistant Surgeon Jacob H. Gotwald, who was killed while in the act of rendering assistance to some of the wounded.
Captain Watmough, of. the Memphis, kindly gave me the services of Acting Assistant Surgeon Spencer H. Brown, to whom I feel much indebted for the attention, etc., he has exhibited in caring for the wounded.
Being unable to communicate with the senior officer present personally or by signal, I deemed it my duty (Commander Frailey advising the step) to make the best of my way to Port Royal, Commander Frailey, by my request, advising the senior officer that I would leave in tow of the Memphis unless he gave other orders.
Accompanying please find list of casualties. In conclusion, I beg to call attention to the desire manifested by all under my command to destroy the enemy, and particularly to the cool and efficient manner in which I was seconded by Lieutenant-Commander Thomas H. Eastman, the executive officer of this ship."
The casualty list is :"Killed, 20. Jacob H. Gotwald, assistant surgeon; Samuel W. Boyle, surgeons steward; James Barr, first-class fireman; George A. Ireton, first-class fireman; Edward Livermore, orderly sergeant; William A. Graw, corporal; Thomas Riley, marine; Robert MoKinsey, second-class boy (contraband); Robert Willinger, second-class boy (contraband), scalded to death. David L. Caldwell, seaman; George Reynolds, ordinary seaman; William H. Clark, ordinary seaman; John E. Bannon, landsman; Owen J. McGowan, landsman; R. H. B. Thomas, landsman; John W. Armstrong, marine (private); William Deily, marine (private); John P. Conway, marine (private); William Payton, marine; a rick Herrick, marine, killed by shell.
Wounded, 20. Penton Beilville, yeomen; scalded, face and hands. John W. Wright, captain hold; slightly scalded, face and hands. Patrick Loftus, first-class fireman; badly scalded, hands, face, and side.Robert A. Atkinson, first-class fireman; slightly scalded. Reuben A. Konk, second-class fireman; slightly scalded, face and hands. William Loftus, second-class fireman; badly scalded, face, hands, arms, and body. James Hoosey, coal heaver; scalded, hands, face, and neck. Alex. McKnight, coal heaver; slightly scalded,, face, hands, and neck. Patrick Farren, coal heaver; slightly scalded, face, hands, and neck. Francis High, coal heaver; slightly scalded. John McKenney, coal heaver; slightly scalded. John Burns, coal heaver; badly scalded, face, hands, and neck. Hugh Golden, coal heaver; badly scalded, face, hands, and neck. Rendy Gould, second-class boy (contraband); slightly scalded, face and hands. William Coffin, quartermaster; slightly, in toe from shell. Moses OConner, ordinary seaman; injured in hip by splinter. Thomas Kelley, ordinary seaman; slightly, in foot by shell. John Sullivan, landsman; toes of both feet shot away (since dead). John Quinn, 2d, landsman; gunshot wound in thigh and back. Michael Scott, marine; wound in toe from splinter."

LCDR Eastman, XO USS Keystone State, writes "We had this morning a fight with an ironclad off Charleston, and have been towed down here in a sinking condition, but we are now safely anchored.... We have lost one-quarter of our crew."

CAPT Taylor, SOPA Charleston, writes RADM Du Pont "I have the honor to report that soon after 5 o'clock this morning firing was heard to the southward and westward, which was continued for about half an hour, during which time we counted the reports of 11 guns. There was then a cessation of twenty minutes. I supposed that a simultaneous attempt was making by several vessels to run the blockade. Just before 6 o'clock the firing was renewed, and the direction of the flashes gradually changed from S. W. to S. The firing, though continued longer than usual, was not so rapid as to excite any apprehension in my mind. As the dawn approached three steamers were discerned bearing about S. by E., apparently heading toward the lower end of the line. One of them was seen to be the Quaker City, and I supposed that one of the others at least was a prize. About 30 minutes past 6 o'clock the Augusta, the ship next below the Housatonic, stationed 1 mile S. S. W. of her, made night signals. They were not distinct, but as she got underway and ran immediately to the southward and westward I presumed she had discovered danger to the vessels in that quarter.
The cable of this ship was slipped instantly and we steamed under a full head after the Augusta. After we had been underway about ten minutes black smoke was reported to the westward, and, as soon as it was light enough to see, an ironclad ram, bearing the Confederate flag, was discovered steering toward the entrance of the harbor. She kept steadily on her course and made no demonstration of coming toward us. In the meantime the Augusta had opened fire, but it was some minutes before we could make out her opponent. About 7 o'clock another ram, under the same flag, was discovered to the southward and westward, also heading toward the harbor. This ship was steered as close to the shoal as the water would permit, running between the ram and our own vessels. As soon as we got within range we opened fire upon her, which she returned With deliberation. The fire on our part was kept up as long as she continued within range. At no time did she deviate from the course she was steering when we first saw her, except that she turned twice to bring her stern gun to bear upon us. Her shells struck near us and past us, but none hit us. It was reported to me that we shot away her forward pilot house and flagstaff. Appearances justified the supposition, and we afterwards saw men apparently engaged in erecting another flagstaff. Some of our shot and shell passed over her, and I think she must have been struck several times. As she advanced toward the harbor small steamboats came out to meet her, as if to assist her in getting in.
The firing having ceased by the withdrawal of the enemy, Captain Parrott, of the Augusta, came on board and called my attention to the fact (which had been observed, however) of the Mercedita, Flag, Ottawa, and Stettin being nowhere in sight. Apprehensive that they had been destroyed, I directed him to proceed without delay to their stations in order to render any assistance that might be necessary, and then to go to Port Royal and inform you of the events of the morning.
The Keystone State was at this time in tow of the Memphis and distant 2 or 3 miles. The weather was unfavorable for signaling, and I was steaming toward her when the Quaker City came up and expressed a desire to communicate. Commander Frailey reported having received a shell in his engine room, and required several articles to repair the damage. He informed me that the Keystone State had her boilers shot through, and that there had been a great loss of life on board of her. He also stated that the Memphis had her in tow for Port Royal. Feeling that that was the best disposition to be made of her, and seeing the Augusta in communication with her, I allowed her to proceed without making any further attempt to overtake her.
About half past 10 o'clock the Flag came up and reported the capture of the Mercedita and that her officers and crew were paroled. Commander Strong also assured me of the safety of the Stettin and Ottawa. The Augusta received a shell through her side, but there was no injury to any person on board. About 11 o'clock the Stettin came up, and Acting Master Van Alstine brought me a message from Lieutenant-Commander Whiting, of the Ottawa, to the effect that the Isaac Smith had been captured the evening previous in Stono, and that the Commodore McDonaugh was in danger. I directed Commander Strong to proceed at once to that quarter and to make such arrangements as might appear best under the circumstances. Heavy firing has been heard in that direction this afternoon.
I now determined to go to my former station to pick up the anchor, but was unable to get hold of any landmarks on account of the haze over the shore until about 3 o'clock. I would state that at no period from daylight up to that time had the land been anywhere distinctly visible. On approaching my anchorage the two rams were seen lying in Maffitts Channel, close to the shore, some distance to the northward and eastward of Fort Moultrie. They were attended by several small steamers. About 5 o'clock they all went back into Charleston Harbor."

CDR E G Parrott, USS Augusta writes RADM Du Pont "This morning at about a quarter of 5 the two rebel ironclads came out from Charleston by the main Ship Channel, or a little to the northward of it, and captured the U. S. S. Mercedita and paroled her officers and crew. She is now on her way to Port Royal. The Keystone State also has her boiler exploded, 1 officer and 15 men killed, 30 wounded. She is on her way to Port Royal, towed by the Memphis.
About the same time an attack was made on our vessels at Stono, and I understand the Isaac Smith was captured. Her consort was out near the bar, waiting for high tide to come out. The Ottawa was also off the bar on the outside. It is said the Isaac Smith was captured by batteries on the shore, and the information was brought out to one of the fleet by a sailing vessel. There appears to be some doubt about the correctness of this report, and I hope it is exaggerated
At the time the ironclads came out we were lying off the Swash Channel and saw flashes to the southward and westward and heard a few reports. Firing at night has been frequent lately, and we supposed it was some vessel attempting to run the blockade, and we remained at quarters, on the lookout.
At early daylight the Quaker City (the next vessel to the southward and westward) stood to the southward and soon after commenced firing. I then saw black smoke and made signal of an enemy to the ship of the senior officer, which was next to us on the other side, and slipped.
The two ironclads passed successively inside of us, we engaging them, and received a shot through the starboard side, which lodged in the port side, passing a little above our boiler. It was a IX-inch shell, and I think most of the shot fired by the two vessels were of this description.
The Housatonic and the other vessels within range also engaged them, but they passed on toward the entrance of Maffitts Channel.
I afterwards boarded the Housatonic and was sent by the senior officer, Captain Taylor, to you with this account. His ship had shot away the flag and injured the pilot house of one of the rebel vessels.
On my way I have spoken the Keystone State, Mercedita, and Flag, and gained from them the account of the damage done by the rebels.
At daylight it was very hazy, so that only our ships at the north end of the line were in sight and the amount of injury done the fleet was of course unknown at that time.
After the first damage done by the rebels they showed no disposition to come to close quarters. The Mercedita has her gunner and 2 men killed and others wounded.
I know of no other injury sustained by any of our vessels."

CDR Frailey, USS Quaker City, writes CAPT Taylor, "1 have the honor to report that at about fifteen minutes before 5 o'clock this morning, while at anchor off Swash Channel, the officer of the deck, Acting Master H. S. Blanchard, reported to me that lights were being flashed on shore to the westward and that a gun had been fired to the southwest. I immediately went on deck to discover the cause.
At about 5 o'clock several flashes and reports of guns were again noticed in the same direction, the southwest, when all hands were immediately called and preparations made for slipping the chain as soon as I should discover sufficient cause to vacate my station.
The firing ceased then for a short time, but was soon afterwards briskly renewed. Meanwhile the darkness of the night prevented my ascertaining the cause. The firing, however, continuing, I slipped my cable, called to quarters, and stood to the southwest. Soon after made a steamer on starboard bow burning black smoke and stood for her, thinking it was a vessel attempting to run the blockade.
When within 300 or 400 yards of her she fired a shell at us, which passed harmlessly over us. I immediately returned her fire with the Parrott gun on the forecastle, the shell from which passed over her. A second shell was then fired at us by the strange sail, which entered this vessel amidships about {2} feet above the water line, cutting away a portion of the guard beam and a guard brace, and thence on its course through the ships side, exploding in the engine room, carrying away there the starboard entablature brace, air-pump dome, and air pump guide rod, and making sad havoc with the bulkheads.
At this time the broadside guns, four in number, loaded with two 32-pounder shot and two 32-pounder shell, were deliberately aimed and fired at her, when a second vessel of a similar class was discovered on our port quarter. I immediately wore around to the eastward, so as to bring my port guns to bear upon the latter vessel, but which were not fired, as by that time the character of the vessels was fully discovered. Bore up and stood for the Memphis and spoke her, and afterwards [stood] for the Keystone State, which appeared to be in distress and requiring assistance, which was offered, but declined, requesting me to proceed to the senior officer and represent that he had been sadly crippled in his boilers and the ship leaking badly.
Stood for the Housatonic and communicated with you as senior officer.
During this encounter four shells of heavy caliber were fired at us, the first passing harmlessly over us, the second entering the vessel, as previously described, and the others bursting alongside, but doing no damage, while eight shot and shell were fired from this vessel at the enemy.
A slight lacerated wound on the thigh of William D. Fenn, coal heaver, is the only casualty I have to report.
It is a source of great satisfaction to be able to express my gratification at the zeal and coolness of all my officers, and the alacrity and good conduct of the crew during this brief encounter."

LCDR T Abbott, XO USS Mercedita, writes CAPT H S Stellwagon, USS Mercedita "I have to report the damage done the ship by the rebel ram as follows:
Prow of said ram struck the ship at the water line on starboard side, immediately abaft steam chimneys of boilers, passing through outside planking and partially through the timbers, causing her to leak badly A shell thrown from said ram as she struck the ship with her prow passed from starboard side through steam chimney of port boiler, bursting about the of entering port side.
The above is a hasty report of damage done, as far as ascertained."

Senior Engineer A Doig, USS Mercedita writes CAPT Stellwagon, "I respectfully beg leave to report the damage done to the boilers and machinery during the action of this morning and the present condition of the same.
The enemy's shell penetrated the engine room bulkhead on the starboard side about 5 feet abaft the steam chimneys. It passed through the fresh-water condenser, totally destroying it, and penetrated the iron bulkhead which surrounds the steam chimney, striking the port one and carrying away at least 4 feet of the outer shell.
The steam immediately escaped from both boilers and filled the engine and fire rooms, thereby leaving the machinery in a useless condition.
On examination of the starboard boiler I found that by closing the connections steam might be raised on it sufficiently to work the engine at a slow rate, which was done, in obedience to your orders.
It will require a further examination before I shall be able to report on the present condition of the boilers, to make which the coal must be removed from the side bunkers."

RADM Du Pont writes CAPT Turner, USS Ironsides, "You will proceed as soon as possible with the New Ironsides under your command off Charleston.
Enclosed is a copy of a communication from Comniander Parrott. It contains all I know in reference to the late attack on the blockading fleet by ironclads out of Charleston.
You will assume charge of the blockade as the senior officer present, and will receive from Captain Godon, of the Powhatan, such information as his experience there will enable him to give.
I desire you to take such position with the New Ironsides as may best enable you to prevent the rebel ironclads from again attacking the blockading fleet, and if you deem it most advantageous to go inside the bar, you will make such arrangements as to signals with Captain Godon as you may consider necessary."
Turner replies "I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter this day directing me to proceed off Charleston.
Governed by your wishes that I should take such a position as would best enable me to prevent the rebel ironclads from again attacking the blockading squadron, I shall do so as far as I possibly can without imperiling the safety of the ship.
To subserve that purpose best I think I must necessarily be outside. This, of course, will expose me to the heavy gales which prevail at this season.
The Department is aware of the opinions which I entertain as to the qualities of this ship under all circumstances; that she must depend upon her anchors entirely on a lee shore; that she could not be carried off from it by her steam power.
I have yet to test her cables and anchors fully, as they were made and furnished by contractors. I hope they may prove reliable, as the necessities of the service at this time and place make it necessary to put them on trial."

RADM Du Pont writes CAPT Godon, USS Powhatan, "You will proceed with the Powhatan off Charleston and resume blockading duty.
I enclose a copy of a communication from Commander Parrott, which you have already seen. It contains all I know in reference to the late attack on the blockading fleet by ironclads out of Charleston.
The Augusta and James Adger return at once to Charleston, the latter having just arrived here from towing the Passaic to Wassaw."

RADM Du Pont writes CDR John L Worden, USS Montauk, "My private note will inform you of the state of our ammunition for the ironclads, which seems to preclude any expenditure for any very doubtful results. Pending operations and watching the Fingal demand this, yet if you go up the [Ogeechee] River again, which it might be well to do, I trust to your sound discretion in any further attempt upon the fort."

RADM Theodorus Bailey East Gulf Blockading Squadron writes CMDR Charles Davis, Bureau of Navigation "I have received information from Rear-Admiral Farragut of the sinking of the Hatteras by the Alabama, or 290. Whether another signal book has fallen into the enemys hands or not I am unable to say. It is my impression that the signal book of the Hatteras had been corrected by Rear-Admiral Farragut according to the enclosed diagrams. It will probably be necessary again to change the signals, and with this view I address this communication to the Bureau."

RADM Bailey writes CDR Schenck, USS St Lawrence, "I wish you to send the schooner Two Sisters (attached to your command as a tender) to cruise between the Tortugas Islands and Boca Grande, off what is called the Quicksand Passages. He will be vigilant in capturing all enemy's vessels he may meet and others breaking or intending to run the blockade, and will return to this port when in want of supplies."

G T Beauregard telegrams General S Cooper, "Trap laid for enemy's gunboat steamer Isaac Smith in Stono River, nine guns, Captain Conover, succeeded perfectly yesterday. It surrendered unconditionally after a short struggle, badly crippled, having lost 8 killed, 14 wounded, and 95 prisoners, including 10 officers. Our loss only 1 mortally wounded." In a second telegram he sends "Last night Confederate gunboats Cideora and Palmetto State, under Commodore Ingraham, sank (outside) the steamer Mercedita. Captain Tucker set fire to one vessel, which struck her flag, and thinks he sunk another. Our loss and damage, none. Enemy's whole fleet has dispersed north and south. I am going to proclaim blockade of Charleston raised." A third telegram says "Some of the enemy's vessels have returned, but for several hours (three or four) none were in sight. Was blockade raised or not? What says Attorney-General? Shall I publish my proclamation, written meanwhile?"

General Beauregard, CSA writes FO D N Ingraham, CSN, NAVSTA Charleston, "Permit me to congratulate you and the gallant officers and men under your command for your brilliant achievement of last night, which will be classed hereafter with those of the Merrimack and Arkansas.
May your efforts be always crowned with the same success is the sincere wish of your friend,"

General Beauregard and FO Ingraham, write a proclamation "At about the hour of 5 o'clock this morning the Confederate States naval forces on this station attacked the United States blockading fleet off the harbor of the city of Charleston and sank, dispersed, or drove off and out of sight for the time the entire hostile fleet. Therefore we, the undersigned, commanding, respectively, the Confederate States naval and land forces in this quarter, do hereby formally declare the blockade by the United States of the said city of Charleston, S. C., to be raised by a superior force of the Confederate States from and after this 31st day of January, 1863."

CDR Tucker, CSS Chicora, writes FO Ingraham, " In obedience to your order I got underway at 11:30 p. m. yesterday and stood down the harbor in company with the C. S.S. Palmetto State, bearing your flag. We crossed the bar at 4:40 a. m. and commenced the action at 5:20 a. m. by firing into a schooner-rigged propeller, which we set on fire and have every reason to believe sunk, as she was nowhere to be seen at daylight. We then engaged a large side-wheel steamer, twice our length from us on the port bow, firing three shots into her with telling effect, when she made a run for it. This vessel was supposed to be the Quaker city. We then engaged a schooner-rigged propeller and a large side-wheel steamer, partially crippling both, and setting the latter on fire, Causing her to strike her flag; at this time the latter vessel, supposed to be the Keystone State, was completely at my mercy, I having taken position astern, distant some 200 yards. I at once gave the order to cease firing upon her, and directed Lieutenant Bier, first lieutenant of the Chicora, to man a boat and take charge of the prize; if possible, to save her; if that was not possible, to rescue her crew. While the boat was in the act of being manned I discovered that she was endeavoring to make her escape by working her starboard wheel, the other being disabled, her colors being down. I at once started in pursuit and renewed the engagement. Owing to her superior steaming qualities she soon widened the distance to some 200 yards. She then hoisted her flag and commenced firing her rifled guns, her commander, by this faithless act, placing himself beyond the pale of civilized and honorable warfare. The Keystone State did not surrender, rescue or no rescue, and her escape ought probably to be regarded as a rescue. We next engaged two schooners, one brig, and one bark-rigged propeller, but not having the requisite speed were unable to bring them to close quarters. We pursued them 6 or 7 miles seaward. During the latter part of the combat I was engaged at long range with a bark-rigged steam sloop of war, but in spite of all our efforts was unable to bring her to close quarters, owing to her superior steaming qualities. At 7:30 a. m., in obedience to your orders, we stood inshore, leaving the partially crippled and fleeing enemy about 7 miles clear of the bar, standing to the southward and eastward. At 8 a. m., in obedience to signal, we anchored in 4 fathoms water off the Beach Channel.
It gives me pleasure to testify to the good conduct and efficiency of the officers and crew of the Chicora. I am particularly indebted to the pilots, Messrs. Payne and Aldert, for the skillful pilotage of the vessel.
It gives me pleasure to report that I have no injuries or casualties."

CSA SECSTATE writes British Consuls, "I am instructed by the President of the Confederate States of America to inform you that this Government has received an official dispatch from Flag-Officer Ingraham, commanding the naval forces of the Confederacy on the coast of South Carolina, stating that the blockade of the harbor of Charleston has been broken by the complete dispersion and disappearance of the blockading squadron, in consequence of a successful attack made on it by the ironclad steamers commanded by Flag-Officer Ingraham. During this attack one or more of the blockading vessels were sunk or burned.
As you are doubtless aware that by the law of nations a blockade when thus broken by superior force ceases to exist and can not be subsequently enforced unless established de navo with adequate forces and after due notice to neutral powers, it has been deemed proper to give you the information herein contained for the guidance of such vessels of your nation as may choose to carry on commerce with the now open port of Charleston."

BGEN Beauregard writes Spanish and French Consuls in Charleston " I am instructed to call your attention officially to the fact that the Confederate States naval forces on this station this morning, about the hour of 5 o'clock, attacked the United States blockading squadron off the harbor of Charleston, at their habitual place of anchorage, and after a brief engagement sunk, dispersed, or drove off and out of sight for the time the whole hostile fleet. And I am further instructed to call your attention to the fact that this summary destruction and dispersion of the fleet of the United States constituting the blockading force of this harbor, by the superior force of the Confederate States, operates as an entire defeasance of the blockade of the port of Charleston and of its operation. The rule of public law requiring that there should be a notification of a new blockade before foreign nations can be affected with an obligation of observing it as a blockade still existing, it is deemed necessary to give you now this formal notification of the fact.
Should you desire, I shall be pleased to place at your disposition a steamer for the purpose of satisfying yourself of the unobstructed condition of this port."

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