vessel to run on the reef. Those of my men who were on deck that morning say that they called the attention of some one of the crew to the beacon and to the strange appearance of the water. When I reached the deck the beacon and breakers were very distinct.
I had lost confidence in the second mate just before passing the Hole in the Wall, for had it not been for the opportune discovery of the first mate he would have allowed us to run into Little Abaco without ever notifying him of it, for one minute farther east would have wrecked the vessel. The moment the vessel struck the reef the crew expressed their delight and immediately thereafter refused to perform duty.
In about two hours after the vessel struck the captain had made a contract with a wrecker to strip the vessel. If an anchor had been dropped when we first struck, the vessel would have been kept in a position when she could have been drawn off by some steamer, but up to the time of my leaving at night of that day no anchor had been put out to hold the vessel.
If steamer Swan had performed her part of the contract specified in her charter every horse could have been saved, with everything on board.
After the vessel was abandoned the wreckers took off 12 horses, about 70 sacks of oats, and a number of bags of bran, all of my quartermaster stores, and a small quantity of the commissary stores; and on their arrival at Key West were libeled for the salvage of the wreckers in the United States district court of Southern Florida, where the matter is now pending. The quartermaster of the post refused to bid in the property, especially my quartermaster stores, and they were sold at a great sacrifice. The aggregate of the property saved and the amount for which they sold can all be ascertained of the clerk of the said district court.
On the 30th day of January I procured passage for myself, lieutenant, and men on the quartermaster's steamer McClellan to New Orleans, where I reported on the 4th day of February, 1863.
With much esteem, I am, captain, yours, &c.,
JOHN A. GROW,
Captain, Commanding Twenty-fifth Battery, New York.
Chief of Arty., Dept.of the Gulf.
JANUARY 14, 1863.-Engagement on Bayou Teche, La., and destruction of Confederate gunboat Cotton.
No. 1.-Major GeneralNathaniel P. Banks, U. S. Army, commanding Department of
No. 2.-BrigadierGeneralGodfrey Weitzel, U. S. Army, commanding expedition.
No. 1. Reports of Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the Gulf.
NEW ORLEANS, LA., January 16, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the pleasure to inclose to you the copy of a telegram received last night from BrigadierGeneralGodfrey Weitzel, containing
*See also Appendix, p.1089.