pleading the danger to his boat and insisting upon seeing me; and upon receiving the order from myself, he first plead the danger to his boat, which was only chartered by the Government, and upon my assuming all responsibility upon that point, he changed his plea to not being a pilot for that channel, in which I had seen him perform the same service but a few weeks previously. Much to my regret the only pilot at hand was in one of the boats now pulling off from the Ann, and more to my regret there was no captain at hand to replace this apology for a man.
In the mean time-the Ann having been abandoned in a hurry and the anchor lot go in such haste as to jam the chain-she worked back off the bar and drifted with the tide, not out to sea, but through the channel parallel to the beach. I was thus offered the choice of turning the guns of the fort upon her and blowing her up or skinning her and the valuable freight yet on board of her or of making another effort to save her. She was only three-fourths of a mile off, her machinery was in running order, the water was not in her boilers, fire was in her furnaces. A few resolute men had only to start her cable and let her anchor catch on the bottom, or supply her furnaces with fuel, start her engine, and steer her back to her former position into security, and the enemy were yet 3 miles off. A number of the garrison volunteered to go. There was but little time to select, but two boats were quickly dispatched in pursuit, carrying the captain, engineer, and one or two of the crew of the Ann, who had apparently become ashamed of their previous conduct and asked to be allowed to return. But time had been lost, and the steamer had gradually gotten nearer the end of the bank, around which the blockading vessels, from which her condition was now seen, could approach to within range of their guns. The steamer frigate got under way to support the gunboat. A few shot and shell fell about the Ann, and our boats hesitated and laid between our batteries and the drifting steamer, so as to prevent us from now resorting to blowing her up or doing anything more with our heavy guns than to fire a few shots to keep the frigate out of range.
Lieutenant Bond, of the First Artillery Battalion, now volunteered to take the boats to her, and was directed to run her back if possible, or act as circumstances should require, and Captain Whiting's company was ordered to follow and protect the cargo if Lieutenant Bond should find it necessary to put her on the beach or to anchor. Lieutenants Bond and Hammond, of the First Artillery Battalion, and Lieutenant L. H. Goodman, of the Light Artillery Battalion, with the two boats' crews, got on board and there met Captain Blakeslee, of the Crescent, who, seeing the change affairs had taken, transported one of his boats across from Navy Cove and boarded her. The fires, however, had now become nearly extinct, the enemy was firing rapidly at only three-fourths of a mile distant, and it was determined to sink her and thus keep her out of their hands. The supply-pipe of the engine was accordingly cut and she was abandoned a second time, under the supposition that she would settle on the bottom in a few moments, as the water was gushing in by the ton.
Night came on. The enemy got on board. The Ann proved to have several water-tight compartments, only one of which had filled, and we felt the chagrin of seeing her with the enemy's squadron on the following morning.
I have gone thus into the details of this case, captain, as I am aware that it is one which, without a full explanation, might be remarked upon and criticized to the injury of the zeal and enterprise of myself and