War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0119 Chapter XXVII. CAPTURE OF STEAMER ANN.

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committed the fault and Colonel Powell would not be guilty under this charge, unless his position on the spot should have occasioned more anxiety as to the situation of the steamer than his dispatches indicate. No one can feel more than I do the importance of the harmonious co-operation of all arms of the service, but from the nature of the two telegrams, marked B and C,* I considered the steamer-lying under the guns of the fort and with the Crescent by her-as beyond danger of capture by the enemy and as needing no other assistance than the aid of an ordinary steamer to lighten and tow. I therefore saw no necessity of having the tenor of those dispatches communicated to the flag-officer of this station. I hope believe Colonel Powell felt and thought as I did. I will also add that this seems to me to be one of those unfortunate circumstances which is a subject of regret rather than censure upon any arm of the service.

I think the crew of the steamer were first and main cause of the disaster. It was not to be foreseen nor presumed that they would so unnecessarily and hastily abandon their vessel, and their continued presence and self-possession would undoubtedly have saved her. Even after the abandonment I am satisfied the vessel might have been saved had the captain of the Dick Keys not have turned back in so cowardly a manner, and I think his conduct in the highest degree censurable.

Such an abandonment by the crew and such conduct on the part of the captain of the Dick Keys not being presumable, many omissions are in my opinion excusable which would not be so in a case of anticipated danger. But as, from a feeling of delicacy, I cannot entertain the first charge against Colonel Powell, I have deemed it best to refer the whole matter to you, and a copy of this paper has been furnished to Flag-Officer Randolph.

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


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure No. 3.]


Tupelo, Miss., July 13, 1862.


Brigadier-General, Commanding:]

GENERAL: The general commanding directs me to say that he fully concurs in your views in regard to the conduct of Colonel Powell in the loss of the Ann. His report is full, clear, explicit, and leaves no ground for censure or even doubt. It is to be regretted that the conduct of the captains of the Dick Keys and Ann should have resulted disastrously, but for them Colonel P. could not be responsible.

As Colonel Powell makes no imputation on Commander Randolph or the Navy, it is not seen what the latter has to do with the colonel's execution of military duty.

The general declines to entertain the charges, and thinks the commander will on reflection see he has not done the colonel justice.

Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.


* Not found.