568 Southern Historical Society Papers.
gave Lieutenant Wainwright orders, &c., &c., &c. Then I handed the pen to General Duncan and Colonel Higgins, who coolly signed their names in as bold a hand as if they were not momentarily in danger of being blown up. Then we all sat quietly awaiting the result. In a few moments an explosion took place which fairly shook us all out of our seats, and threw the Harriet Lane over on her side, but we finished the terms of capitulation"
I leave it to the reader to account for the apathetic inactivity with which, in the face of such a danger, " we sat quietly awaiting the re- sult," and, too, to explain the nature of the explosion which only caused the little boat in which I was to tremble, when, at three times the distance, it "fairly shook us all from our seats, and threw the Har- riet Lane over on her side." Is this addressed to the "marines?"
To Fort Warren we were taken by the Rhode Island, com- manded by Commander Trenchard. When we got there, we were courteously received by Colonel Dimmick, who had the heart of a brave soldier and a Christian gentleman in his bosom. He extended to us our paroles, putting us on the footing with other prisoners. A day or so after, the good, brave old Colonel sent for Commodore Mitchell, Lieutenants John Wilkinson, W. H. Ward, W. C. Whittle, and some other Lieutenants, and told us that he had been ordered from Washington to withdraw our paroles and put us in confinement. Upon inquiry, we learned that it was because of the report of Ad- miral Porter, of " scandalous or infamous conduct" in having set fire to the Louisiana and sent her down as a fire-ship upon his flo- tilla while under a flag of truce and receiving the capitulation of the forts. Commodore Mitchell wrote a letter to the authorities in Wash- ington, embodying my statement of having received and delivered his message to Admiral Porter, and we were at once released, and the privileges of our paroles extended to us.
Let the impartial reader judge for himself.
Now, to establish beyond doubt how unjust Admiral Porter's con- duct was, and his criticism of Commodore Mitchell's conduct is, I will give the following documents, the printed original of which I have :
CONFEDERATE STATES NAVY DEPARTMENT, RICHMOND, December 5th, 1863.
Finding and opinion of a naval court of inquiry, convened in the city of Richmond, Va., January 5th, 1863, by virtue of the following precepts: