On Monay, the 10th of March, the vessel was relation and the troops brought on board-the Thirty-first Massachusetts Regiment.
Prior to this, on Saturday, the steamer Matanzas had been employed to take part of the troops, in case of necessity, and the Maine troops had been put on board her on Monday forenoon, and she had dropped down to Hilton Head, with orders to await the Mississippi. At about 2.30 p. m. the Mississippi cast off and began to clear the wharf preparatory to departure. In opposition to the opinion of several nautical gentleman of skill the captain moved his boat by the stern; she backed against the shore, and, hitting the rudder, the tiller-rope parted just as she began to move forward; to being impossible to guide her, she ran directly upon shore about a half mile below the wharf, and became hard and fast. The tug-boat Mercury was sent for and the steamer Honduras to get her off. At high tide on the morning of 11th, at about 2.30 o'clock, the ship having been put under the charge of Captain Boutelle, of the Bibb, who had kindly volunteered his assistance, an attempt was made to tow her off, but unfortunately the tide was the lowest, with one exception, ever recorded in this creek.
Another attempt was made on the tide in the afternoon with the Mercury, the Locust Point, and the Parkersburg steamers, to tow her off, without success. Another attempt was advised. On the morning of the 12th, at about 4 o'clock, the attempt was successfully made, and she ran down to Hilton Head, and anchored there at about 5.30 o'clock a. m.
Our escape from this as form the other troubles is duce to everybody but the master of our vessel and his crew. But for our won sailors and soldiers and the advice and assistance of others our fate would have been a sorry one.
ADDENDUM.-I have learned since it occurred that the vessel when approaching Hatters Inlet got among the breakers and into less than a proper amount of water for safety. The facts appear clearly in the records of the board of inquiry.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.] ON BOARD STEAM TRANSPORT MISSISSIPPI, March 12, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I transmit herewith a copy of the proceeding and testimony of a board of inquiry ordered upon the causes of the disaster which have delayed our voyage and imperiled our lives. The results of careful examination of the evidence are these:
1st. That off Cape Hatteras we were in the most imminent peril from running over the shoals within 4 fathoms water, and that, too, in daylight. If we had struck there I the gale followed every life must have been lost.
2nd. Could competent foresight and seamanship have brought us into that position?
I cannot permit the statement made by yourself, that you learned in twelve or fifteen hours after leaving Fort Monroe that the general wished to stop at Hatteras, to be any excuse; it was told you in Hampton Roads that it was necessary to stop at Hatteras Inlet ot take up General Williams. The testimony of William A. Drum, one of the quartermasters of the ship, shows that it was known at least to him.
3rd. That in smooth water, with a clear sky, land in full sight, with a buoy and light-house in view, the vessel was run ashore upon Frying Pan Shoals in less than 3 fathomas water.