War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0231 Chapter XXVII. LOSS OF SPARKLING SEA.

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The department commander congratulates the troops and the people on the auspicious opening of the year 1864. For one hundred and eighty years the Navajoe Indian have ravaged New Mexico, but it is confidently expected that the year 1864 will witness the end of hostilities with that tribe; then New Mexico will take a stride toward that great prosperity which has lain within her grasp, but which hitherto she has not been permitted to enjoy.

By command of Brigadier-General Carleton:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

JANUARY 9, 1863.-Loss of the United States transport Sparkling Sea.

Report of CaptainJohn A. Grow, Twenty-fifth Battery New York Light Artillery.

NEW ORLEANS, February 6, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit for your consideration the following report:

On the 16th day of December, 1862, in accordance with an order issued by General Banks at the city of New York, myself, second lieutenant, and 68 men of my command embarked on board the transport-ship Sparkling Sea, under order to sail for Fortress Monroe to take on board 106 horses and then to put to sea under sealed orders, which were to be opened after twenty-four hours' continuous sail from that place. That on the said day, in the afternoon thereof, the said ship set sail for her aforesaid destination, which she reached on the morning of the 19th day of the said month of December; that through a disposition on the part of the master of the said vessel to prolong his stay at that place he could not be induced to take on the horses so assigned to the vessel until the 25th and 26th days of December, and on the morning of the 27th day of the said month the vessel put to sea, and on the morning of the 28th the captain of the said vessel opened his sealed orders, which directed him to "proceed to Ship Island, in the Gulf of Mexico."

On the morning of the 9th of January, 1863, at 5.30 o'clock in the morning, in open daylight, the said vessel ran upon the Florida Reef about 10 miles northerly of the Carysfort light-house, and on or about the 18th the said vessel became a total wreck.

On the evening of the 9th of January last the gunboat Sagamore came to us and took off myself and 60 men of my command, and on the 10th day of that month landed us at Key West. I left 8 men, with my second lieutenant, in charge of the horses, forage, commissary and quartermaster's stores until I could return with assistance to save the property, there being a prospect of continued fair weather.

On reaching Key West I reported immediately to the quartermaster of that post, and he immediately chartered the steamer Swan, and on the morning of the 11th we proceeded toward the wreck, but through the mismanagement of the captain of the said steamer we never left the channel until after 12 o'clock at noon of that day, and at night the said steamer came to anchor, refusing to proceed farther that night. On the 14th day thereafter, at 10 o'clock a.m., the said steamer proceeded to within about 5 miles of the wreck, when she refused to proceed farther, although ordered to do so by the quartermaster aforesaid, who had come on the steamer with us.