War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0442 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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by a fragment of shell. A shell entered one of the sally-ports, which are not traversed in the rear, passed entirely through the bomb-proof, and buried itself in the opposite wall. Fortunately it did not explode. The shells exploding in the face of the work displaced the sand so rapidly that I was convinced unless the iron- clad was driven off it would explode my magazine and make the bomb- proof chambers untenable in two days at the furthest. To drive it from its position I believed impossible with my imperfect work, and so telegraphed to Colonel Anderson, commanding Fort Gaines, that unless I could evacuate I would be compelled to surrender within forty-eight hours. His reply was, "Save your garrison when your fort is no longer tenable. " At the time his dispatch was received it was becoming dark. The fleet had not moved up to intercept my communication with Cedar Point. I could not expect to have another opportunity for escape, and I decided promptly that it would be better to save my command and destroy the fort than to allow both to fall into the hands of the enemy, as they certainly would have done in two days. The tide being low I marched my command to Cedar point without interruption or discovery. In one narrow channel I found the water overhead, and in crossing it I damaged my ammunition and lost a few muskets (a special report of which will be made). Lieutenant Savage was left in the fort, with orders to prepare a train and match to explode the magazine as soon as he discovered that I had gained the mainland. Lieutenant Jeffers, acting ordnance officer, was directed to spike the guns at the same time. The fort was blown up at 10. 30 p. m. Every man was brought off safely to Cedar Point, thence to the city.

J. M. WILLIAMS,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

Colonel G. G. GARNER, Chief of Staff.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE GULF,

Mobile, Ala., August 8, 1864.

This report is unsatisfactory. Colonel Williams should have fought his guns. They were not more exposed than those on every wooden ship, and vigorously served would probably have compelled the monitor to haul off. Fort powell should not have been surrendered. Colonel Williams is relieved from command until a full investigation can be had.

DABNEY H. MAURY,

Major-General, Commanding.

Numbers 16. Report of Major James T. Gee, First Battalion Alabama Artillery.

HEADQUARTERS,

Fort Morgan, August 6, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following list* of casualties at this post in the action of yesterday, in compliance with instructions received in your communication of this instant.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES T. GEE,

Major, Commanding.

Captain C. H. SMITH,

Assistant Adjutant-General, THIRD Brigade.

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*Nominal list (omitted) shows 1 killed and 3 wounded.

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