As I was on board the Queen during the action, the conduct of these gentlemen was under my own eye, and I cheerfully indorse the commendation of Captain McCloskey. Captain McCloskey also speaks highly of the intrepid promptness and skill of Pilots Z. Milligan, W. Melloy, Frank Fittrell, and N. Dunbar. Also of the engineers (Messrs. J. R. Allyboy, E. Woods, J. Crawford, P. Montrose, and G. W. Daniel) and of the mate, Mr. W. H. Parker. Though the gentlemen were civilians, yet knowing that the boat was well and skillfully handled, I have thought it a matter of justice to approve the indorsement of Captain McCloskey. He also speaks approvingly of the conduct of Assistant Surgeon Blanchard, who manifested much care and coolness, coming on the gun deck in the midst of the action and personally supervising the removal of the wounded.
Sergeant Magruder, of the Signal Corps, also deserves mention for having rendered very important services in the discharge of the responsible duties devolved upon him.
Captain Pierce, of the Webb, reports to me verbally that his pilots (Mr. Norman White, mate, and the Messrs. Elijah Tren, Frank Smith, Charles Oakey, and O. S. Burdett), and chief engineer (Hugh Derby) and the assistant engineers (George Marsh, Fichard Stockton, J. E. Conklin, and William Kuvish) behaved themselves with the utmost gallantry and bravery, and discharged their duties with promptness and ability. I have no doubt this is correct, from the skillful manner in which the Webb was handled while she was in action.
I am, major, yours, respectfully,
J. L. BRENT,
Major, Commanding Expedition.
Major E. SURGET,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WESTERN LOUISIANA,
Alexandria, March 1, 1863.
No more gallant feat has illustrated the war. Major J. L. Brent is my chief of ordnance. Captain James McCloskey is post quartermaster at this point. Mr. Charles [J.] Pierce is a Red River pilot. The expedition was fitted out by me with the utmost dispatch to destroy the Indianola before the enemy could pass another boat by Vicksburg or cut off our communication. Both the Queen and the Webb returned here much shattered by their terrible conflict. I shall use every effort to repair them at once and meet the enemy.
Number 5. Report of Major General Carter L. Stevenson, C. S. Army. Vicksburg, March 4, 1863.
The Indianola is not destroyed. We are at work to raise her. One 11-inch was burst; the others are not injured. The Grand Era is sent by Taylor to claim it. I have possession, and will hold it. I will send
24 R R-VOL XXIV, PT. I