War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0444 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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quently during the contest we were surrounded by the enemy, and all our guns were in action almost at the same moment. Four of the heaviest vessels ran into us, under full steam, with the view of sinking us; one vessel, the Monongahela, had been prepared as a ram, and was very formidable. She struck us with great force, injuring us but little; her prow and stern were knocked off and the vessel so much injured as to make it necessary to dock her. Several of the others vessels of the fleet were found to require extensive repairs.

I inclose you a copy* of a drawing of the Brooklyn, made by one of her officers after the action, and an officer of the Hartford informed me that she was more seriously injured than the Brooklyn. I mention these facts to prove that the guns of the Tennessee were not idle during this unequal contest. For other details of the action, and injuries sustained by the Tennessee, I refer you to the report of Commander J. D. Johnston, which has my approval. After I was carried below, unfortunately wounded, I had to be governed by the reports of that valuable officer as to the condition of the ship and the necessity and time of her surrender, and when he represented to me her utterly hopeless condition to continue the fight with injury to the enemy and suggested her surrender, I directed him to do the best he could, and when he could no longer damage the enemy, to do so. It affords me much pleasures to state that the officers and men cheerfully fought their guns to the best of their abilities, and gave strong evidence, by their promptness in executing orders, of their willingness to continue the contest as long as they could stand to their guns, notwithstanding the fatigue they had undergone for several hours, and it was only because the circumstances were as represented by Captain Johnston, that she was surrendered to the fleet about 10 a. m., painful as it was to do so. I seriously felt the want of experiencall were young and inexperienced, and many had but little familiarity with naval duties, having been appointed from civil life within the year. The reports of Commander Harrison, of the Morgan, and Lieutenant-Commandant Bennett, of the Gaines, you have, no doubt, received from these officers. I inclose the report of Fleet Surg. D. B. Conrad, to whom I am much indebted for his skill, promptness, and attention to the wounded. By permission of Admiral Farragut, he accompanied the wounded of the Tennessee and selma to this hospital, and is assisted by Assistant-Surgeons Booth and Bowles, of the Selma and Tennessee, all under the charge of Fleet Surgeon Palmer, of the U. S. Navy, from whom we have received all the attention and consideration we could desire or expect. The crews and many offices of the Tennessee and Selma have been sent to New Orleans; Commander J. D. Johnston, Lieutenant Commandant P. U. Murphy, Lieutenant W. L. Bradford, and A. D. Wharton, Second Assistant Engineer J. C. O'Connell, and myself, are to be sent North; Master's Mates W. S. Forrest and R. M. Carter, who are with me acting as my aides, not having any midshipmen, are permitted to accompany me. They are valuable young officers, zealous in their duties, and both have served in the army, where they received honorable wounds; their services are important to me. I am happy to inform you that my wound is improving, and I sincerely hope our exchange will be effected, and that I will soon again be on duty.

Inclosed is a list+ of the officers of the Tennessee who were in the action.


*Not found.

+See Johnston's report, p. 447.