War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0115 Chapter XXVII. CAPTURE OF STEAMER ANN.

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those that I have the honor to command. But upon the statement of facts which I have given I feel convinced that the zeal and enterprise of the garrison itself must be acknowledged, and the success of each step, with the exception where failure was caused by positive disobedience of orders and dastardly neglect of duty on the part of a subordinate agent, up to the choice of hastening the destruction or attempting to recover the abandoned steamer, will prove each was judiciously taken.

I am perfectly aware that I might have more "noise in the world" by turning all the guns of the fort upon the vessel and blowing her up, but I should have brought certain destruction upon property very valuable to our Government, of comparative little value to the enemy if it did fall into his hands, and in favor of saving which there were many chances.

If I erred it was by sacrificing self to the interests which have been intrusted to my care, and the course taken is justified by the excellent military maxim. "When in doubt as to attacking an enemy, lean to the side of rashness; when in doubt as to the destruction of the property of an ally, lean to the side of caution."

This statement of facts, it is hopel, sir, carries conviction that the loss of the Ann is to be attributed to one of those sudden panics which history shows all collections of men to be subject to, and also that those affected on this occasion were not of the regular garrison, but temporarily acting in concert with it.

In conclusion, I respectfully, call the attention of the general commanding to that part of this report relating to the conduct of Captain Deering, of the Dick Keys, and respectfully suggest that he be removed and his place supplied by a more reliable man, as to positive disobedience of orders on his part the loss of the steamer Ann is attributable more than to any other circumstances, and his conduct on this occasion shows that he cannot be relied upon in any similar cases that may occur hereafter.

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

W. L. POWELL,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Captain S. CROOM,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

NAVAL COMMANDANT'S OFFICE,

Mobile, Ala., July 16, 1862.

Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I herewith beg leave to inclose for your examination sundry papers relating to the loss of the British steamer Ann and cargo under the guns of Fort Morgan.

First. The report of Colonel Powell, C. S. Army, addressed to Brigadier General J. H. Forney, giving an account of the arrival of that vessel and her capture while under the guns of the fort by the enemy. (See p.112.)

Second. A copy of my letter to General Forney, containing charges against Colonel Powell. Third. Copy of a letter to me from General Forney, stating that he had referred the whole matter to General Bragg; and, fourth, General Bragg's decision upon the subject.

My object in addressing you is that the hasty, inconsequential, and,