War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0302 W. FLA.,S. ALA.,S. MISS.,LA.,TEX.,N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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favorably; but the steam drove all the sharpshooters off the upper deck. Many, thinking the vessel was about to blow up, jumped overboard. At the same time the enemy got our range, and their fire began to tel severely. The vessel twice caught fire, and the men were falling fast. My executive officer (Acting Master Robert Rhodes) fell, mortally wounded. Two other officers received wounds, and the men noticing that no support was near, many of them became unsteady. Enough of them remained, however, to keep up a very effectual fire, which was being done with the faint hope that we might yet be supported, when I was met by two of my officers, and informed by one of them that he had hauled down the flag, and that we could not fight any more. With great indignation, I ordered it hoisted again, and all to stand to their guns; but the example had become contagious; with few exceptions, the men had left their guns and were taking to the water. At the same time a shot from the enemy disabled one of my three guns, and the lock of another broke, the remnant of the crew firing it with a hammer.

Under these circumstances, and seeing that the Arizona failed to push on; the Granite City and General Banks to make the slightest attempt to support me; the enemy's fire becoming more and more deadly; deserted by all but a few brilliant exceptions, I deemed it my duty to stop the slaughter by showing the white flag, which was done, and we fell into the hands of the enemy.

While the fight was thus progressing, the commander of the Sachem sent to the Arizona an order to advance and take him in tow; but it was not obeyed. The Arizona lay astern nearly silent until the termination of the fight, when she turned and fled.

The conduct of the commanders of the Arizona and Granite City, or of my officer who hauled down the flag, I am not now called upon to characterize; nor that of General Franklin in failing so utterly to co-operate; but I trust my Government will soon place me in a position to ask an inquiry into the facts.

I cannot conclude without bearing testimony to the gallant manner in which the commanding officer of the Sachem carried out, so far as he could, his part of the programme.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Acting Volunteer Lieutenant, Commanding Expedition.

Commodore H. H. BELL,

Commanding West Gulf Squadron, off New Orleans, La.

Numbers 7. Reports of Major General John B. Magruder, C. S. Army, commanding District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, with congratulatory orders and proclamation.


Houston, September 9, 1863.

SIR: I beg leave to state that on yesterday morning about 6 o'clock the enemy appeared off Sabine Pass with a force of twenty-seven vessels. Some of them approached, coming inside the bar, and commenced shelling the fort.