War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0786 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., November 3, 1863.

Brigadier General CHARLES P. STONE, Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that on yesterday I embarked for Pensacola on transport Suffolk. On crossing the bar at Pass a l'Outre, the mouth of the Mississippi, a short distance into the Gulf, the captain declared it necessary, on account of the heavy sea and weakness of the boat, to return into the mouth of the river. I requested two competent naval officers to examine the boat, and, as they reported her unsafe and unseaworthy, I directed the captain to return to New Orleans, and would respectfully request the necessary orders on the quartermaster's department for a seaworthy boat in place of the Suffolk.

I beg to inclose copies of the statement above alluded to, declaring the Suffolk unseaworthy, and also of my order given to the captain of the boat.

Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

ASBOTH,

Brigadier-General.

[Inclosure.]

U. S. STEAM TRANSPORT SUFFOLK,

November 3, 1863.

CAPTAIN: After crossing the bar at Pass a l'Outre this morning at 7 o'clock, with the U. S. steam transport Suffolk, you felt compelled to retire into the Mississippi River, considering it unsafe to continue with this boat longer in the open sea.

E. O. Adams, acting master, commanding U. S. schooner Orvetta, and Benjamin Thompson, master, U. S. ordnance ship Shortsman, practical seamen and officers of long experience, have, at my request, examined your boat, and they pronounce her in the inclosed certificate unsafe and unseaworthy.

Under these circumstances, I direct you, by authority given the senior officer upon transports by General Orders, Numbers 276, War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, D. C., August 8, 1863, to return with the steam transport Suffolk to New Orleans, for the transfer of its cargo to another boat better adapted to an ocean voyage.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ASBOTH,

Brigadier-General.

[Sub-Inclosure.]

U. S. STEAM TRANSPORT SUFFOLK,

November 3, 1863.

We, the undersigned, officers and masters of the U. S. Navy, at the request of General Asboth, made the following report on the seaworthiness of the above-named steamer on her late passage toward Pensacola:

On crossing the bar at Pass a l'Outre, with a light sea on, she labored and strained heavily, making water forward and amidship freely. At 7 a. m., while rounding to, a sea struck under the starboard guard, lifting same 6 inches, and forcing water between the ends of the timbers and planks shear on to main deck and hold, and in our opinion, as practical seamen, consider her unsafe and unseaworthy as a sea-going vessel.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. O. ADAMS,

Acting Master, Commanding U. S. S. Orvetta.

BENJ. THOMPSON,

Master U. S. Ordnance Ship Sportsman.