of the refugees from the South for an attack on us, but a few hundred men could take possession of our small towns and inflict serious injury on their inhabitants.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. DIX,
November 24, 1863.
General E. D. TOWNSEND,
SIR: In pursuance with General Orders, Numbers 276, War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, D. C., August 8, 1863, I have the honor to make the following report:
I was returning on the steamer Fulton from Hilton Head, S. C., with a conscript guard of 6 officers and 25 enlisted men, and being the senior officer on board was put in command of the troops on board the vessel. I immediately put my guard under order and attended to the proper care of the vessel. Everything passed off quietly until about 7. 30 a. m., November 20, when the pilot at the masthead reported a vessel in sight which looked to him like a blockade runner. The captain of the Fulton (Watton) immediately ordered chase to be given. Upon arriving nearer we found her to be a side-wheel steamer with two smoke-stacks and burning soft coal. She was endeavoring to get away from us, and steamed up accordingly. At 9 a. m. we were still gaining upon her, and being within range of the rifle gun on board, the captain of the Fulton ordered the gunners to open fire. Our first shot fell short, but the next two told upon her, one striking her forward, and the other just aft. She then rounded to and Captain Watton detailed Lieutenant George W. Darling, First Rhode Island Cavalry, and 12 enlisted men, who were of my guard, to board the vessel as prize crew; these with the chief officer, Mr. A. M. Walker, of the Fulton, and 16 seamen, composed the boarding party, and under their command the prize was placed. She proved to be the steamer Banshee, blockade runner, with general cargo, bound to Wilmington, N. C., from Nassau, this being her fifth trip this season. She is about 200 feet long, 20 wide, and d12 deep, and draws when fully laden only 8 feet of water, and is about 700 tons burden.
When the vessel first appeared in sight, 7. 30 a. m., she was the only one to be seen. At about 8 a. m. a boat appeared upon our port beam, which proved to be the side-wheel steamer Delaware, from Stone Inlet to Baltimore. We soon left her far astern and following to see the chase. At 8. 30 a. m. we descried upon our port beam and steering southward the U. S. gunboat Grand Gulf, Commander G. M. Ransom. She seeing our chase put on a heavy head of steam and commenced firing at it, but her shots fell far short, and she soon proved to be no match for the Fulton and her guns. We soon left both boats far astern, and when (after we had captured the prize nd we had our prize crew on board the Banshee) the Grand Gulf came up and offered to board her, the crew of the Grand Gulf were refused admittance on board the prize and politely referred to the commander of the Fulton. The officers of the Grand Gulf then offered a prize crew, which was very respectfully declined by Captain Watton. This is a prize taken by the Fulton, and she alone.