Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/86

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80 Southern Historical Society Papers.

board that night and were cared for in every kind way by Captain Jouett, to whom Admiral Buchanan always expressed himself as deeply indebted.

The next morning, at my suggestion, a flag of truce was sent to General Page, commanding Fort Morgan, representing our condi- tion, sending the names of our dead, wounded, and the great number of Federals dead and wounded on board, and asked, in the name of humanity, to be allowed to pass the fort and convey all of them to the large naval hospital at Pensacola, where they all could receive the same treatment. To this question General Page promptly re- sponded, and we passed out, and in eight hours were all safely housed in the ample hospital, where we were treated by old navy friends in the warmest and kindest manner. Medical Director Turner was in charge, and we remained there until December, when Admiral Bu- chanan being able to hobble around on crutches, was conveyed to Fort Warren with his aide, and I was sent back to Mobile in Captain Jouett's ship, under flag of truce.

Daily with the admiral in hospital at Pensacola for four months, he explained his whole plan of action to me of that second fight in Mobile bay as follows: "I did not expect to do the passing vessels any serious injury ; the guns of Fort Morgan were thought capable of doing that. I expected that the monitors would then and there sur- round me, and pound the shield in; but when all the Federal ves- sels had passed up and anchored four miles away, then I saw that long seige was intended by the army and navy, which with its numer- ous transports at anchor under Pelican island, were debarking nearly 10,000 infantry. I determined then, having the example before me of the blowing up of the Merrimac in the James river by our own officers, without a fight, and by being caught in such a trap, I deter- mined, by an unexpected dash into the fleet, to attack and do it all the damage in my power ; to expend all my ammunition and what little coal I had on board, only six hours' steaming, and then, having done all I could with what resources I had, to retire under the guns of the fort, and being without motive power, there to lay and assist in re- pulsing the attacks and assaults on the fort."

The unexpectedness of the second attack is well illustrated by Ad- miral Farragut's remark at the time : "After having anchored, all hands were piped to breakfast, when the officer on duty on the deck of the Hartford seeing the ram slowly heading up the bay for the Federal fleet, reported the fact to Admiral Farragut while he was taking his breakfast. ' What ! is that so ? " he inquired. 'Just like