Report of Capt. John Harding, of the capture of the Breaker.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEX.,
August 27, 1862.
On the evening of August 11 I was directed by Maj. A.M. Hobby to take on board of the Breaker Captain Jones and a party of men from his battalion. On Captain Jones, accompanied by Lieutenant Vinyard and party, coming on board, he informed me that he was sent in charge of the boat for the purpose of watching the movements of the enemy, then engaged in removing the obstructions in the channel. Got under way and proceeded to McGloin's Bluffs, where we anchored for the night.
Next morning got under way and stood down in the direction of the enemy; discovered them at work on the obstructions; stood down about three.quarters of a mile of them, took a look, came around, and stood back about a quarter of a mile and came to anchor. Just as we came to, discovered that they had removed the last of the obstructions. Their large schooner made all sail and stood up the channel. I immediately got under way and made all sail for Corpus Christi. Soon discovered that the enemy were overhauling us, and thought it best to make for the nearest shore (Indian Point), being about 6 miles distant. Just after passing McGloin's Bluffs they commenced firing on us, and continued to do so until the boat was beached and this party landed from her. I gave orders to have the boat fired some time before she was beached, knowing that at the rate she was sailing no injury could result to the party on board; but there was a clamor raised against me by the officers on board, who told me that Major Hobby gave them the command of the boat, and that they would not allow her to be fired until she was beached. A few minutes before she struck she was set on fire, and all of the party left as fast as they could, leaving me alone on board. I did everything that I could think of to aid in her destruction, but the enemy were too close after me and I had to leave, as I would have been killed or captured by staying longer. The enemy sent a boat alongside, put out the fire, and towed her off.
Report of Capt. Jack Sands, of the destruction of the Hannah.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEX.,
August 27, 1862.
A few days before the arrival of the enemy at this place I solicited Maj. A.M. Hobby to allow me to get my boat to a place of safety in Nueces Bay, there being at the time plenty of water on the reef for her to get over. He said that he wanted the Hannah and the Breaker to remain at this place as spy boats, but assured me that none of the larger boats should attempt to cross the reef before mine. Accordingly I remained at the wharf.
On the afternoon of August 12, when the enemy were in full sight, distant about 7 miles of the town, I was ordered to get over the Nueces Reef with all speed. Got under way immediately and stood for the reef. The Elma, or Major Minter, had been run into the channel the previous day, where she grounded, leaving only a narrow place for vessels to pass. On arriving off the reef discovered that she had been fired, and seemed to be on fire fore and aft. Hearing that she had powder on board, did not like to attempt to pass her. An explosion would have killed us all. Came around and stood back for the town, intending to run on the fiats, where the boat could have been hauled out and been safe from capture, but was ordered back, and the boat was run on shore above the town on a bold bank. Major Hobby said that he would send men to haul her out, a thing that was impossible without ways, as the bank at that place was at least 4 feet in height. A party of 15 unarmed men came down and were at work on her, when the enemy came abreast of the boat and fired a shot at the party. They all immediately left. The enemy then came to anchor, distant about 400 yards, and commenced manning a boat. Fearing that they would cut her out, I immediately fired her and she was consumed.
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