rammed six or eight times fairly, at good speed, by our heaviest ships, without effect. Whole broadsides of 9-inch and 11-inch shot were thrown upon her, producing no apparent injury, except the bending of some of her port shutters (made to slide up and down outside) and carrying away her smoke-stack. Finally her commander, Admiral Buchanan, was wounded, her rudder chains carried away, and she was struck by one of the Manhattan's 15-inch shot fairly, at very short range (the only one that it her of this caliber), when she surrendered at about 8 a. m., after a flight of about three- quarters of an hour. The 15-inch shot perforated the 6-inch outside plating and drove in the timber backing and 1-inch plating (lining), but the shot itself redounded into the water. She got a 11-inch shot obliquely through her stern post from the monitor Chickasaw. The Selma (gun-boat) was also captured, the Gaines disabled and run aground, sinking under the guns of Fort Morgan. The gun-boats Morgan escaped to Mobile.
I inclose a rough sketch* of the Tennessee, as she appeared to me at FIFTY yards from on board the Hartford. I did not get an opportunity to go on board of her. Both she and the Selma are again in fighting order, and will participate in the bombardment of Fort Morgan.
As soon as I can prepare reports of siege operations at Forts Gaines (now in our possession) and Morgan (now invested by land and sea) will forward them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. D. McALESTER,
Captain and Chief Engineer.
Brigadier General R. DELAFIELD,
Chief Engineer, Washington, D. C.
OFFICE OF CHIEF ENGINEER, MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
New Orleans, August 20, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following brief account of the very brief investment of Fort Gaines by our combined land and naval forces, resulting in its fall:
The first plan of operations, which was fully matured, against the fort at the entrance to Mobile Bay, contemplated a landing of 3,000 men upon Mobile Point from the outside, opposite Pilot Town (three miles from Fort Morgan), simultaneous with the passage of the fleet into the bay. A sufficient force was to move immediately to a position at certain range of Fort Morgan for rifled guns and sea- coast mortars (say a mile or three-quarters), there intrench itself and open fire on the fort with all our rifled artillery and mortars (eight 30-pounders, six 3-inch Rodmans, and two mortars) in conjunction with the fleet. The remainder of the force was to intrench itself across the spit at Pilot Town against approaches from the mainland. A reserve of 1,500 men, with rifled field artillery, was to be held on board ship in the MISSISSIPPI Sound (inside Dauphin Island), some portion of it to land with artillery, if not required elsewhere, and move up and annoy Fort Gaines in conjunction with the fleet after its passage into the bay. With these dispositions, the fleet occupying all the waters about the forts, a glance at the map will show you that Forts Morgan, Gaines, and powell would be separately and collectively closely invested. No siege-regular ap-