War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0455 Chapter LI. OPERATIONS IN MOBILE BAY, ALA.

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[Indorsement.]

This report is unworthy any confidence.

J. W. BENNETT.

Numbers 23. Report of Second Assistant Engineer Edward Debois, C. S. Navy.

MOBILE, ALA., August 8, 1864.

SIR: In obedience to your orders I herewith send this report of the part taken in action of the 5th of August off Fort Morgan:

The engines, boilers, and auxiliary engines remained intact up to the time the steamer Gaines was beached. During the engagement the steamer was struck under port counter by shots from the enemy, and was making water very fast, which soon flooded the after magazine and shell room. Agreeably to your orders I had the bulk-head of shell room alongside starboard entrance cut away to give the water egress into engine room, as it was found that the limbers could not lead it to the steam pumps as fast as they could discharge it, as they were discharging at the rate of 286 gallons per minute, and continued at that rate of discharge until the water raised sufficiently high enough to put out the fires, the engineers and firemen remaining at their several stations until ordered on deck. As the vessels sunk so fast it was found impossible to remove any part or parts of the machinery or engine stores in engine room, and until she was beached the more imperative duties of engineers and firemen gave them no time to do so. I can only say that all my orders were carried, and all under my charge acquitted themselves well.

Respectfully,

EDWARD DEBOIS,

Second Assistant Engineer in Charge, C. S. Navy.

First Lieutenant J. W. BENNETT,

Commanding.

Numbers 24. Report of Gunner Z. A. Offutt, C. S. Navy.

C. S. STEAMER NASHVILLE,

Off Mobile, December 23, 1864.

SIR: I deem it my duty to you as my commanding officer of the C. S. steamer Gaines to make a report of what transpired in the department of which I had charge in the action of the 5th of August, 1864, and in which the Gaines took part.

At about 6. 30 a. m. all hands were beat to general quarters. I immediately repaired to my station in the after magazine. I had not been there more than ten minutes before the reports of heavy guns, and immediately the demand for ammunition, which was supplied by me very rapidly. Soon after the action commenced, I think not more than thirty minutes, I felt very severe shock which caused the water to