rush rapidly in on the port side, and very soon the magazine became flooded with water. I immediately informed you of the fact. In the mean time I was also engaged in passing the powder from the magazine to the cabin, when you arrived at the place of accident and saw how rapidly the water was making headway. The bulk-head had by this time been knocked down to let the water run forward. All this had no effect, when I experienced another shock more sever than the first on the starboard side of quarter deck, under the counter directly opposite the one on the port side, and which apparently opened all the planking, as the body of water which rushed in caused me to stagger, it rushing in such force. Both these shocks must have been caused by the explosion of large shells. I succeeded, however, in saving all the ammunition, except a few charges, which was ordered by you to be sent on deck and conveyed in small boats to the shore at Fort Morgan, and there placed in the charge of the commanding officer of the fort. When the magazine was abandoned the water was within a few inches of the cabin floor, having to swim myself through the doorway to get out of the magazine. This is a correct statement of what occurred in my immediate station.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Z. A. OFFUTT,
Gunner, C. S. Navy.
First Lieutenant J. W. BENNETT,
C. S. Navy, Commanding.
P. S. -I will further state the reason why I delayed to make this report to you; it was sowing to the following circumstances: On my arrival to the city I was immediately detached from your command and ordered to report to First Lieutenant Commander Charles C. Simms, C. S. steamer Nashville, then fitting out in a great hurry, and which required all my attention; and feeling confident that the executive officer of the Gaines (Lieutenant Payne) had made an official report of all that occurred during the action which caused the destruction of the Gaines, and never having had the opportunity of conversing with you before this, you will therefore perceive the cause of my delay.
Z. A. OFFUTT,
C. S. Navy.
Numbers 25. Complimentary letter from Stephen R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, August 22, 1864.
Commander GEORGE W. HARRISON,
Provisional Navy, C. S. Commanding Sloop Morgan:
SIR: Your letter* of the 11th instant reporting the engagement of the 5th instant in the bay of Mobile, between the forts and our squadron and the enemy's fleet has been received. The Department deplores the loss and the suffering of our brave men killed and wounded and the