War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0118 W.FLA., S. ALA.,S. MISS. LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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[Inclosure No. 2.]


July 9, 1862.

Commodore V. M. RANDOLPH,

Flag-Officer, Alabama:

SIR: After a careful consideration of my duty touching the charges preferred by you against Col. W. L. Powell on the 5th instant, I have referred the whole matter to General B. Bragg, commanding Department No. 2, in a communication of which I have the honor herewith to submit a copy.

I agree entirely with you, sir, that "this is no time for the exhibition of petty jealously between two arms of the public service," and, so far as I am concerned, I assure you more exists to be exhibited. I hope a full examination may show that no one can in such a crisis allow so miserable a feeling to injure our common cause.

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


Brigadier-General, Commanding District of the Gulf.



Mobile, Ala., July 9, 1862.


Assistant Adjutant-General, Department No. 2:

SIR: For the reasons set forth below I very respectfully submit and refer to your consideration a copy of the statement of Col. W. L. Powell respecting the loss of the British steamer Ann, with a part of her cargo, in attempting to run the blockade of this harbor and after she had arrived under the guns of Fort Morgan. This paper is marked Exhibit A.*

I also submit copies of the telegrams touching the same subject referred to in Colonel Powell's statement. They are marked, respectively, B, C, and D.+

With these papers I also refer to you a copy of charges preferred against Colonel Powell by the flag-officer of this naval station. Colonel Powell is there charged with-

1st. Palpable neglect of duty.

2nd. Absence of self-possession at an important crisis.

Colonel Powell was furnished with a copy of these charges on the 7th instant, and requested to make any reply he might desire, as well as to telegraph whether or not he wished to do so. As yet he has not so telegraphed.

I make this reference of the whole matter to you because, although feeling myself perfectly free from all cause for blame, still I am not willing to screen my conduct from examination by entertaining a charge against Colonel Powell.

The first charge, you will perceive, is based upon the fact that Colonel Powell did not inform the flag-officer by telegraph of the arrival and condition of the Ann. Colonel Powell did, on the 29th ultimo, telegraph me twice in the language of the copies above referred to, and if those dispatches contained information which it was necessary to communicate to Flag-Officer Randolph, then I would be the person who


* See p.112.

+ Not found.