War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0435 Chapter LI. OPERATIONS IN MOBILE BAY, ALA.

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seemed very anxious that everything in your line of submarine defenses should be done. He has doubtless written you every particular as to what has been done here since he came.

I was very much surprised a few days since by a card which appeared in the Register by one who was at Fort Morgan (when the Yankee fleet passed), saying that it was one of the guns of the fort which sunk the Tecumseh, a thing which had never been thought of before. The enemy said it was a torpedo, and others from the fort said the same. It really seem that the prejudice which the enemy and navy have against torpedoes cannot be eradicated. They hate to think anything so little credited, yet shall invariably do the fleet of the foe more damage than their fine fighting, but the people now have faith in torpedoes and little else. We hope Andrews, as you agent, may do much. You must keep Grant from taking Richmond. War news is rather exciting here just now from Georgia. *

Very truly, yours,


Numbers 14. Reports of Brigadier General Richard L. Page, C. S. Army, commanding Fort Morgan and the outer defenses of Mobile Bay.

FORT MORGAN, August 6, 1864.

I have the honor to report that at 6 o'clock yesterday morning the enemy's fleet, consisting of twenty-three men-of-war, of which four were monitors, moved up in line to pass this fort, the monitors leading, the wooden vessels, lashed together in twos, following, the sloops of war and larger craft on the inshore side protecting their consorts, which could convoy them in should they be seriously damaged. The first monitor, Tecumseh, single-turreted, was sunk under our guns immediately abreast the fort. She went down rapidly; only a few, who were picked up by a boat from the enemy, and four who swam ashore and are now in our hands, were saved from her crew. The wooden gun-boat Philippi was sunk by the second hot, and after being run ashore was deserted by her crew, and afterward burnt by a boat from the C. S. gun-boat Morgan. One man was found in her whose legs had been so shattered that he died while the officer was on board. He was thrown overboard.

The spirit displayed by the garrison was fine, the guns admirably served, and all did their duty nobly; and through subjected to a fire which for a time was probably as severe as any known in the annals of war, our casualties were slight. I inclose the list. +

Four of the fleet, when discovering what a fire they would have to encounter in passing, turned back and assisted other vessels in an enfilading fire from the Gulf side during the action. As to the damage inflicted on those which succeeded in passing I cannot speak definitely. Shot after shot was distinctly seen to enter the wooden ships, but, as was evident, their machinery being protected by chains, no vital blow could be given them there. Their loss in men, I am assured, was very great.


*Some strictly personal matter here omitted.

+Not found.