Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/84

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78 Southern Historical Society Papers.

greeted him with : " Well, Johnson, they have got me again. You'll have to look out for her now; it is your fight." "All right," an- swered the captain ; 'Til do the best I know how."

In the course of half an hour Captain Johnson again made his ap- pearance below and reported to the admiral that all the frigates had " hauled off," but that the three monitors had taken position on our quarters. He added that we could not bring a gun to bear, and that the enemy's solid shot were gradually smashing in the shield, and that not having been able to fire for thirty minutes, the men were fast becoming demoralized from sheer inactivity, and that from the* smashing of the shield, they were seeking shelter, which showed their condition mentally. " Well, Johnson," said the admiral at this precarious juncture, " Fight to the last ! Then to save these brave men, when there is no longer any hope, surrender."

In twenty minutes more the firing ceased, Captain Johnson having bravely gone up alone on the exposed roof with a handkerchief on a boarding dike, and the surrender was effected. Then we imme- diately carried all our wounded upon the roof into the fresh air, which they so much needed.

From that elevated place I witness the rush of the petty officers and men of the monitor, which was nearest to us, to board the cap- tured ship to procure relics and newspaper renown. Two creatures dressed in blue shirts, begrimed and black with powder, rushed up to the wounded admiral and demanded his sword ! His aide refused peremptorily, whereupon one of them stopped as if to take it anyhow, upon which Aide Forrest warned him not to touch it, as it would only be given to Admiral Farragut, or his authorized representative. Still the man attempted to seize it, whereupon Forrest knocked him off the shield to the deck below. At this critical moment, when a fight was imminent, I saw a boat nearing, flying a captain's pennant, and running down as it came alongside, I recognized an old shipmate, Captain LeRoy. I hurriedly explained to him our position, where- upon he mounted the shield, and assuming command, he arrested the obnoxious man, and sent him under guard to his boat.

The sword was then given to Captain Giraud by Admiral Buchanan, to be carried to Admiral Farragut. Our flag, smoke-stained and torn, was seized by the other man, and hastily concealed in his shirt bosom. He was brought before Captain LeRoy, and amidst the laughter and jeers of his companions, was compelled to draw it forth from its hiding place, and it was sent on board the flag-ship. These