The garrison on this severe test behaved well, and I would make little distinction. Captain J. Gallimard, engineer in charge, performed his duties to my satisfaction. To the officers of the First Alabama Battalion of Artillery, Major J. T. Gee commanding, and of Captain Cothran's company (Twenty-first Alabama) I give my thanks for their promptness and alacrity in every duty, and to Colonel Jackson, commanding First Tennessee, and Captains Johnston and Fisher and their brave companies of that regiment for very efficient service. To Captain C. H. Smith, assistant adjutant-general, and Captain R. T. Thom, assistant inspector-general, for prompt performance of all their duties, I am under obligations, and to my aide-de-camp, J. C. Taylor, I owe much for his promptness and energy and for his active and gallant assistance throughout the operations.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. L. Page,
Major General D. H. MAURY, or
COMMANDING OFFICER OF DEPARTMENT,
Numbers 15. Report of Lieutenant Colonel James M. Williams, Twenty-first Alabama Infantry.
MOBILE, August 7, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report the evacuation and destruction of Fort Powell on the night August 5.
When the enemy's fleet passed into the bay the garrison consisted of two companies of Twenty-first Alabama Regiment and part of Culpeper's battery, in all about 140 men. Water for thirty days was protected from the enemy's fire in the bomb-proof, and other stores for two months. The front face of the work was nearly completed and in a defensible condition, mounting one 8-inch columbiad, one 6. 4- inch rifle, and two 7-inch Brooke guns. The face, looking toward Gaines and Little Dauphin Island, was half finished. The parapet was nearly complete, but traverses and galleries had only been framed. The rear had only been commenced; two guns were mounted- one 10-inch columbiad and one 7-inch Brooke rifle. They were without parapets and exposed from the platform up. This part of the fort was strewed with a large quantity of lumber which was being using in the construction of galleries, magazines, &c.
During the morning the fort was shelled from five gun-boats in the sound at long range. The fort was hit five time, s but no particular damage was done. I replied with the four guns bearing on that side; with what effect is now known. About 2. 30 p. m. one of the enemy's monitors came up within 700 yards of the fort, firing rapidly with shell and grape. I replied from the 7-inch Brooke gun (razeed) on the southern angle. It was protected by an unfinished traverse, which, however, would not permit it to be depressed sufficiently for ricochet firing. The gun was loaded with great difficulty, there being no platform for the gunners in the rear, owing to which and the delay occasioned by a sponge head pulling off in the gun I succeeded in firing but three shots from it while the iron-clad was in range. One shot struck on the bow with no apparent effect. The iron-clad's fire made it impossible to man the two guns in the rear, and I made no attempt to do so. The elevating machine of the 10-inch columbiad was broken