Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/232

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

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 pleasure 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 experienced officers during the action; all 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 enclose the report of Fleet-Surgeon 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 United States navy, from whom we have received all the attention and consideration we could desire or expect. The crews and many officers of the Tennessee and Selma have been sent to New Orleans. Commander J. D. Johnston, Lieutenant-Commandant P. U. Murphy, Lieutenants 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 aids, not having any midshipmen, are permitted to accompany me. They are valuable young officers, zealous in the discharge of 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. Enclosed is a list of the officers of the Tennessee who were in action.

September 17—Since writing the above I have seen the report of Admiral Farragut, a portion of which is incorrect. Captain Johnston did not deliver my sword on board the Hartford. After the surrender of the Tennessee, Captain Giraud, the officer who was sent on board to take charge of her, said to me that he was