could such an injury on the starboard side have been received, except in the earlier part of the action and before the enemy had well gotten into the bay. The steam pumps worked admirably, and discharged at the rate of 286 gallons per minute, without visible effect, and continued to do so until they had worked off all the steam in the boilers. I feel both mortification and annoyance that this statement of the gunner should reach me at this late period. It should have been reported at the instant. There is no reason for my questioning the veracity of this officer, and if his statement is literally correct there is less difficulty in accounting for the rapid rise of water in the ship. In reviewing such scenes as those through which the Gaines passed it is sometimes difficult to eliminate truth from fiction; and although I require reports in writing from officers commanding DIVISIONS, engines, &c., I was principally governed by my own observation and recollection in the report I made the Department. I did not require one from the gunner, because of his circumscribed sphere, and I thought myself perfectly familiar with all that occurred at this station.
Incidentally I may remark that since the action I have had statements made me of shots striking at various points below the water, but which I have not noticed, since no water is known to have flowed from them, and the time verification has passed.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. W. BENNETT,
Honorable S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy, Richmond, Va.
Numbers 21. Report of Lieutenant John A. Payne, C. S. Navy, engineer officer steamer Gaines.
SIR: At 6. 30 hove up anchor and beat to quarters. The admiral made general signal to follow his movements. At 6. 50 the Hartford fired the first gun, the action then becoming general. At 6. 55 we fired our first shot from forward gun (the Tennessee having fired one gun). We then engaged the nearest ship with our port battery at abut 1,700 yards; when about 1,200 wore ship and fired from starboard battery two rounds; then turned the ship with our head the same as the enemy. At about 7. 30 the hartford opened on us with her starboard battery at about 1,000 yards. One 11-inch shot came through the bow and stove in the berth-deck above the forward magazine, when the forward magazine was reported on fire. Called away the firemen and got a stream of water to the magazine, when it was found to be a false report. One shell burst near the wheel, wounding both men at the wheel and killed Quarter-Gunner Aherne, cut wheel rope and stove binnacle, and doing other damage. One shot struck the stern and knocked off cut-water; one shot entered the after gangway and killed M. Vincent, sea-man; two struck chief engineer's room, one through each wheel-house; one 11-inch shell came through the side and lodged on berth-deck, two through smoke- stack. Just after 8 o'clock a shot or shell struck just abaft the gangway below the water line, and a shell struck under the counter two feet above the water line, and glanced down and burst below the water line, crushing the several planks. The carpenter's