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The U. S. S. Kearsarge's Duel With The C. S. S. Alabama Official Records

Report of Captain Winslow, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, France, June 19, 1864--Afternoon.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

        SIR: I have the honor to inform the Department that the day subsequent to the arrival of the Kearsarge off this port, on the 14th instant, I received a note from Captain Semmes, begging that the Kearsarge would not depart, as he intended to fight her and would not delay her but a day or two.
        According to this notice, the Alabama left the port of Cherbourg this morning at about 9:30 o'clock.
        At 10:20 a.m. we discovered her steering toward us. Fearing the question of jurisdiction might arise, we steamed to sea until a distance of 6 or 7 miles was attained from the Cherbourg breakwater, when we rounded to and commenced steaming for the Alabama. As we approached her within about 1,200 yards she opened fire, we receiving two or three broadsides before a shot was returned. The action continued, the respective steamers making a circle round and round at a distance of about 900 yards from each other. At the expiration of an hour the Alabama struck, going down in about twenty minutes afterwards, and carrying many persons with her.
        It affords me great gratification to announce to the Department that every officer and man did his duty, exhibiting a degree of coolness and fortitude which gave promise at the outset of certain victory.

I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Captain.


Report of Captain Winslow, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, of casualties on board that vessel in the action with the C. S. S. Alabama.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, France, June 20, 1864.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.

        SIR: I enclose herewith the surgeon's report of the casualties on board this vessel in the late action with the Alabama. Although we received some twenty-five or thirty shots, twelve or thirteen taking effect in the hull, by the mercy of God we have been spared the loss of any one life, whereas in the case of the Alabama the carnage, I learn, was dreadful.
        The ships were about equal in match, the tonnage being the same; the Alabama carrying one 100-pound rifle, with one heavy 68-pounder and six broadside 32-pounders; the Kearsarge carrying four broadside 32 pounders and two 11-inch and one 28-pound rifle, one gun less than the Alabama.
        The only shot which I fear will give us any trouble is one 100-pound rifle, which entered our stern post and remains at present unexploded.
        It would seem almost invidious to particularize the conduct of any one man or officer in which all had done their duty with a fortitude and coolness which can not be too highly praised, but I feel it due to my executive officer, Lieutenant. Commander Thornton, who superintended the working of the battery, to particularly mention him for an example of coolness and encouragement of the men while fighting, which contributed much toward the success of the action.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Captain.

[Enclosure.]

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, France, June 19, 1864--Afternoon.

Captain JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, Cherbourg, France.

SIR: I report the following casualties resulting from the engagement this morning with the steamer Alabama:

John W. Dempsey, quarter gunner, compound comminuted fracture of right arm, lower third, and forearm; arm amputated.
William Gowin, ordinary seaman, compound fracture of left thigh and leg; seriously wounded.
James Macbeth, ordinary seaman, compound fracture of left leg; severely wounded.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN M. BROWNE,
Surgeon, U. S. Navy.


Additional report of Captain Winslow, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, regarding the engagement of that vessel with the C. S. S. Alabama.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, France, June 21, 1864.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.

            SIR: I have the honor to report that toward the close of the action between the Alabama and this vessel all available sail was made on the former for the purpose of again reaching Cherbourg. When the object was apparent the Kearsarge was steered across the bow of the Alabama for a raking fire, but before reaching this point the Alabama struck. Uncertain whether Captain Semmes was not using some ruse, the Kearsarge was stopped. It was seen shortly afterwards that the Alabama was lowering her boats, and an officer came alongside in one of them to say that they had surrendered and were fast sinking, and begging that boats would be dispatched immediately for saving of life. The two boats not disabled were at once lowered, and it was apparent that the Alabama was settling. This officer was permitted to leave in his boat to afford assistance. An English yacht, the Deerhound had approached near the Kearsarge at this time, when I hailed and begged the commander to run down to the Alabama, as she was fast sinking, and we had but two boats; and assist in picking up the men. He answered affirmatively and steamed toward the Alabama, but the latter sank almost immediately. The Deerhound, however, sent her boats and was actively engaged, aided by several others which had come from shore. These boats were busy in bringing the wounded and others to the Kearsarge, whom we were trying to make as comfortable as possible, when it was reported to me that the Deerhound was moving off. I could not believe that the commander of that vessel could be guilty of so disgraceful an act as taking our prisoners off, and therefore took no means to prevent it, but continued to keep our boats at work rescuing the men in the water. I am sorry to say that I was mistaken; the Deerhound made off with Captain Semmes and others, and also the very officer who had come on board to surrender.
        I learned subsequently that the Deerhound was a consort of the Alabama, and that she received on board all the valuable personal effects of Captain Semmes the night before the engagement.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Captain.


Report of Captain Winslow, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, transmitting reports of officers of that vessel and abstract of log

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, France, June 21, 1864.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

        SIR: I have the honor to enclose herewith reports of the executive officer, chief engineer, boatswain, and gunner of this vessel, with copy of log book, containing minutes of the action.
        I fully coincide in the recommendations of the executive officer, and such cases as deserve special reference to will be subjects of future communication.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Captain.

[Enclosures.]

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Port of Cherbourg, June 21, 1864.

JOHN A. WINSLOW,
Captain, Commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge.

        SIR: I have the honor to forward to you the reports of the damage sustained in the different departments of this vessel during the recent action with the Alabama.
        In connection with this engagement, I take great pleasure in informing you, officially, that the conduct of both men and officers equaled in every respect my most sanguine expectations. In the gun divisions the utmost coolness prevailed throughout the action, the details of the manual of exercise being as carefully attended to as if in ordinary exercise; and to this cause may be attributed the excellent condition of the guns and gear after a rapid firing of an hour's duration. The powder division received my particular attention, and its important service was promptly and thoroughly rendered.
        The circumstances under which the battle was fought afforded no opportunity of displaying special acts of individual heroism, but while every man and boy in the ship displayed the utmost coolness, zeal, and courage, there were some who by their position and peculiar duties attracted special attention and deserve special mention.
        The marines fought the rifle gun upon the topgallant forecastle under the charge of Acting Master's Mate Charles H. Danforth. The action on our part was commenced by this gun, and its fire was rapid and effective throughout. The high reputation of their service was nobly sustained by the marine guard of this ship. The boatswain, James C. Walton, was observably active and efficient. Gunner F. A. Graham's duties were all performed efficiently and merit commendation. The carpenter's mate, Mark G. Ham, is well known to you, sir, as a faithful and competent man. His conduct in the battle was distinguished by the cool and intelligent performance of his duties. It is unnecessary for me to call your attention to the officers commanding the gun or master's division, as their duty was performed under your own eye. I am happy to commend Acting Master's Mate Ezra Bartlett, in charge of the shell supply, for his coolness and efficiency.
        In the surgeon's department every arrangement that experience or humanity could suggest was made for the comfort of the wounded. Fortunately, we have but three of our own crew in that condition, but after the action the wounded of the enemy, numbering fifteen persons, were consigned to the care of Surgeon J. M. Browne, who was entirely without professional assistance. The duties of his department were thereby rendered extremely arduous, but were coolly and successfully performed.
        William Gowin, ordinary seaman, was severely wounded by the explosion of a shell. He dragged himself to the forward hatch, refusing to allow the men to leave his gun for the purpose of assisting him. His cheerful willingness to sacrifice his life for victory's sake was expressed in terms that animated and encouraged others. John W. Dempsey, quarter gunner, wounded at the same time, losing an arm, displayed similar heroism. James Macbeth, ordinary seamen, another of the wounded men, displayed both courage and patience.
        All the men on the sick list voluntarily went to their quarters and rendered such service as they were able to perform. The engineer's division was admirably and efficiently conducted under the command of Chief Engineer W. H. Cushman. Sidney L. Smith and Henry McConnell, third assistant engineers, were stationed on deck, and their conduct came immediately under my observation. It was distinguished by coolness and vigilance. The other assistants, Mr. W. H. Badlam and Mr. F. L. Miller, were on duty in the engine and fire rooms, and, judging from the prompt manner in which the orders from the deck were executed, I know that their duties were creditably performed. The ship is indebted to Paymaster J. A. Smith for efficient service during the action, His clerk, Mr. D. B. Sargent, performed his duty on deck in the third division. The orderly sergeant, C. T. Young, and the master at arms, Jason R. Watrous, also deserve special mention for admirable performance of their duty.
        I will hand to you the names of those men specially mentioned by divisional officers as soon as I receive them.
        In conclusion, sir, let me congratulate [you] on the success of your plan of battle and compliment you on the skill and judgment displayed in its execution.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. S. THORNTON,
Lieutenant-Commander and Executive Officer.

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U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, June 21, 1864.

Captain JNO. A. WINSLOW, U.S. Navy,
Commanding.

        SIR: I respectfully report that the only injury received in the engine department during our engagement with the Alabama on the 19th instant was to the smoke pipe, which was perforated through both sections by a 100-pound rifle shell, which exploded as it was coming through, tearing out a ragged hole of about 3 feet in diameter and carrying away three of the chain guys, and to the top of engine, room hatch, which was cut completely through and across by a shell. I would further report that all the assistant engineers and the firemen and coal hearers behaved with perfect coolness, and were attentive to their duty through the action, and that by the self-possession and attention of Second Assistant Engineer William H. Badlam in the management of the engines, Third Assistant Engineer Fred. L. Miller, in charge of the boilers, Third Assistant Engineer Sidney L. Smith, on deck at the fire and hot-water hose, and Third Assistant Engineer Henry McConnell, at the engine signal bell the efficiency of the engine department is to be attributed. I would also mention First-Class Fireman Joseph Dugan for his coolness and competency in assisting Mr. Miller in fire room, First. Class Firemen Jerry Young, William Smith, Benjamin H. Blaisdell, William H. Donnelly in assisting Mr. Badlam in charge of the engines, and First-Class Fireman True W. Priest for quickness and attention in charge of the after fire hose during the alarm of fire in the action.

Very respectfully,
WILLIAM H. CUSHMAN,
Chief Engineer, U. S. Navy,

--------------------

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, June 20, 1864.

J. S. THORNTON,
Lieutenant Commander and Executive Officer.

        SIR: I respectfully submit to you a statement of injuries sustained by the U.S. S. Kearsarge in her hull, sails, rigging, etc., during our late engagement with the rebel steamer Alabama, on the 19th instant. off this port:

IN HULL.

1 shot in starboard gangway, cut chain and bruised plank.
1 shell under waist gun, cut chain and exploded, cutting outside planking.
1 shell under starboard main channel, cut off chain plate, going through and exploding.
1 32-pounder solid shot entered forward of forward pivot port; shot lodged inside, crushing waterways.
1 100-pounder rifle shell lodged in sternpost.
1 shell through top of the engine house.
1 shell, through port netting abreast main rigging.
1 shot and 2 shells through port netting forward of mizzen rigging.
1 shell through smokestack, exploding inside stack.
2 shots through taffrail.
1 shot through netting forward of mizzen rigging on starboard inside.

IN SAILS.

Spanker, badly torn by shell.

IN RIGGING.

Fore-topmast backstay cut away.
1 shroud in main rigging cut away.
1 screw in port main rigging.
Starboard maintopmast backstay cut away.
After shroud, starboard side of the maintopmast rigging.
Starboard swifter of mizzen rigging.
1 screw in port main rigging.
1 plate in starboard main channels.

BOATS.

Third cutter, 1 shot through bottom, starboard gunwale shot away.
Gig, badly shattered.
The spars all in good order.

Respectfully,
J. C. WALTON,
Boatswain.

Number of shot and shell struck the ship in various places, 28.

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U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, June 20, 1864.

JAS. S. THORNTON,
Lieutenant-Commander and Executive Officer.

        SIR: I respectfully submit the following report of the expenditure of ordnance stores on board of this ship during the engagement with the rebel steamer Alabama on the 19th instant:

55 15-pound service charges.
55 11-inch 5-second shell.
60 6-pound service charges.
18 32-pound 5-second shell.
42 32-pound solid shot.
48 2-pound service charges, rifle.
48 rifle percussion shell.
100 friction primers.
240 percussion primers.
Fixed ammunition for boat howitzer:
9 shrapnel, Bormann fused.
1 canister.

RECAPITULATION.

Duration of action 65 minutes.
Number of rounds:
11-inch 55
32-pounder 60
30-pounder rifle 48
12-pound howitzer 10
Total rounds 173

Very respectfully,
FRANKLIN A. GRAHAM,
Gunner, U. S. S. Kearsarge.

--------------------

Abstract log of U. S. S. Kearsarge, Captain John A. Winslow, June 14 to 21, 1864.

June 14.--Steering in for Cherbourg Breakwater. Stopped the engine off the entrance (eastern) and sent a boat in to communicate with the American consul. Found the rebel privateer Alabama lying at anchor in the roads.

June 19.--Lying off and on off Cherbourg. Moderate breeze from the westward; weather, b.c. [blue sky, cloud]. At 10:20 a.m. discovered the Alabama steaming out of the port of Cherbourg, accompanied by a French ironclad steamer and a fore-and-aft rigged steamer, showing the white English ensign and a yacht flag. Beat to general quarters and cleared for action. Steamed ahead, standing offshore, being distant from the land about 2 leagues; altered our course and approached the Alabama. At 10:57 the Alabama commenced the action with her starboard broadside at 1,000 yards range. At 11 we returned her fire and came fairly into action, which we continued until meridian, when, observing signs of distress in the enemy, together with a cessation of her fire, our fire was withheld. At 12:10 a boat, with an officer from the Alabama, came alongside and surrendered his vessel, with the information that she was rapidly sinking and a request for assistance. Sent the launch and second cutter, the other boats being disabled by the fire of the enemy. The English yacht, before mentioned, coming within hail, was requested by the captain to render assistance in saving the lives of the officers and crew of the surrendered vessel. At 12:24 p.m. the Alabama went down in 40 fathoms water, leaving most of her crew struggling in the water. Seventy persons were rescued by the boats. Two pilot boats and the yacht also assisted. One pilot boat came alongside of us, but the other returned to the port. The English yacht steamed rapidly away to the northward without reporting the number of our prisoners that she had picked up. From meridian to 4 p.m. hoisted up our boats and three of the enemy's cutters. Repaired our rigging temporarily. Took a French pilot and steamed away for Cherbourg. At 3:10 let go the port anchor in 7 fathoms water. From 4 to 8 paroled and sent on shore 63 prisoners.


Report of Captain Winslow, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, of the number of prisoners received from the C. S. S. Alabama.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, France, June 21, 1864.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy.

        SIR: I have the honor to report that the number of prisoners brought on board the Kearsarge belonging to the Alabama was 70---6 officers and 64 men; 1 officer (carpenter) and 2 men dying and 17 wounded are included in this number.
        As we have very contracted accommodations for our own crew without increase, it became indispensable to send these prisoners on shore, and their parole was taken, with exception of the doctor, noncombatant, who was put on parole that he might attend to his wounded; the officers were held as prisoners of war.
        I learn that 3 officers with 6 men were carried on shore at Cherbourg by pilot boats, but of the number who reached England in the Deer-hound I have no reliable accounts.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Captain.


Report of Acting Master Wheeler, U. S. Navy, commanding the conduct of the division under his command in the action between the U. S. S. Kearsarge and the C. S. S. Alabama.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Port of Cherbourg, June 22, 1864.

Lieutenant-Commander JAMES S. THORNTON,
Executive Officer.

        SIR: In obedience to your order I respectfully report that during the recent engagement with the Alabama the men of the first division, comprising the 11-inch forward pivot gun and rifle upon forecastle, without a single exception, displayed coolness and fortitude to a degree not anticipated under the excitement of receiving an enemy's fire. Indeed, I can not sufficiently express my commendation of their performance of duty.
        While I render to every man a praise so justly merited, I would make especial mention of James Haley, captain, John F. Bickford, first loader, Charles A. Read, first sponger, Edward Wilt, second sponger, of pivot gun, for their deliberation and coolness during the discharge of their respective duties.
        The marine guard, stationed at the rifle gun openly exposed to the fire of the Alabama, showed great coolness and efficiency in the discharge of their respective duties.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES R. WHEELER,
Acting Master of First Division, U. S. Navy.


Report of Acting Master Stoddard, U. S. Navy, commending the conduct of the division under his command in the action between the U. S. S. Kearsarge and the C. S. S. Alabama.

U.S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, June 22, 1864.

Lieutenant-Commander THORNTON,
U. S. S. Kearsarge.

        SIR: In obedience to your order I respectfully report that [in] an action like that of this ship and the Alabama it is almost impossible to mention any one where all performed their duties so faithfully and so satisfactorily, those serving the gun of the second division conducting themselves with as much coolness as though at general quarters firing at target.
        William Smith, second quartermaster, captain of the 11-inch pivot gun of the second division; Charles Moore, seaman, and George Harrison, seaman, sponger and loader, deserve special notice for the deliberate and cool manner in which they performed their duties.

Respectfully, etc.,
E. M. STODDARD,
Acting Master, U. S. Navy.

P. S.--It is stated by rebel officers that the pivot gun of second division was more destructive and did more damage than any other gun of this ship.


Report of Acting Master Sumner, U.S. Navy, commending the conduct of the division under his command in the action between the U. S. S. Kearsarge and the C. S. S. Alabama.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, June 20, 1864.

JAMES S. THORNTON,
Lieutenant-Commander and Executive Officer, U. S. S Kearsarge.

        SIR: In obedience to your desire I beg leave to submit my report of the conduct of the men of the third division, under my command, in the recent action with the rebel steamer Alabama. During the whole action entire steadiness of conduct prevailed among the men, and no one man could be distinguished from another in courage or fortitude. But among those showing still higher qualifications I am pleased to name Thomas Perry (boatswain's mate) and John Hayes (coxswain), first and second captains of No. 2 gun; George E. Read, first loader of same gun; also Robert Strahan (captain top), first captain of No. 1 gun; James H. Lee, sponger, and Joachim Pease (colored seaman), loader of same gun. The conduct of the latter in battle fully sustained his reputation as one of the best men in the ship.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. H. SUMNER,
Acting Master.


Report of Midshipman Preble, U. S. Navy, commending the conduct of the division under his command in the action between the U. S. S. Kearsarge and the C. S. S. Alabama.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, France, June 22, 1864.

Captain JOHN A. WINSLOW.

        SIR: In the late engagement between this ship and the Alabama, I would call to your notice the cool and effective manner in which the crew of the master's division conducted themselves during the action. As no acts of personal prowess were called for, those men who were especially noticed for their courage, coolness, and ability in their different positions I will recommend to receive such reward as may be awarded by the Government.
        Henry Cook (captain of afterguard) and Charles Butt (quartermaster) fought the 12-pound howitzer with much spirit, and delivered shrapnel to the enemy with great rapidity.
        James Saunders (signal quartermaster) was prompt in reporting damages done to ourselves and to the enemy.
        William B. Poole (quartermaster), stationed at the helm, steered the ship during the engagement in a cool and most creditable manner.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDWARD E. PREBLE,
Midshipman, Acting Master.


Report of Captain Winslow, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, requesting that action of the Department be annulled in the case of certain officers of that vessel.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, France, June 22, 1864.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

        SIR: I have the honor to state that a letter, reporting Acting Master D. H. Sumner for refusal to perform duty, was dispatched to the Department on the 23d ultimo. This was accompanied with applications from the acting masters for a leave of absence.
        In these communications it became necessary under the circular instructions to comment upon, for elucidation. I have now to inform the Department that when the action between the Alabama and this vessel was imminent Mr. Sumner volunteered for duty, and I could not under the circumstances refuse to accept an offer which afforded him the opportunity of redeeming his position. Mr. Sumner performed his duty in a creditable manner, and Mr. Wheeler fully regained the estimation I bad had of him at the early part of the cruise, I am convinced that these gentlemen, restive from the effects of the hard labor and exposure of a cruise in the English Channel through a long winter, forgot for a moment the demand of their country.
        They have now reinstated themselves by their conduct, and I should be pleased, if any action has been taken by the Department in their cases, to have it annulled.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. WINSLOW,
Captain.


Report of Captain Winslow, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, forwarding the names of those of the crew of that vessel especially commended for their conduct in the action of June 19.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, France, June 25, 1864.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

        SIR: I have the honor to enclose a list of the names of the men who, during the engagement of the Alabama and Kearsarge, exhibited marked coolness and good conduct, and of such as have been recommended by the divisional commanders as deserving special reference to.
        It affords me pleasure to report that William Smith, quartermaster, was captain of the 11-inch gun, which, according to the rebel accounts, did such execution that a reward was offered by Captain Semmes to silence his gun. Smith is well worthy, both from education and otherwise, to the appointment of a master's mate.
        John F. Bickford, who, during the engagement and from long example and good conduct, and also education, is entitled to this reward.
        Both of these men are so highly spoken of by the officers that it is but their due that my report should refer in a special manner to them.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Captain.

P. S.--I omitted to state that the carpenter's mate of this vessel, Mark G. Ham, of Portsmouth, is most particularly recommended for promotion by the executive officer. He is, in my opinion, fully entitled to it from his conduct in the action, but not more than from his faithful and ever-willing performance of duty during the cruise.

[Enclosure.]

James Haley, captain forecastle.
John F. Bickford, captain top.
Charles A. Read, coxswain.
William Smith, quartermaster.
William Bond, boatswain's mate.
Charles Moore, seaman.
George [H.] Harrison, seaman.
Thomas Perry, boatswain's mate.
John Hayes, coxswain.
George E. Read, seaman.
Robert Strahan, captain top.
James H. Lee, seaman.
Joachim Pease (colored), seaman.
William B. Poole, quartermaster.
Michael Ahern, paymaster's steward.
Mark G. Ham, carpenter's mate.


Report of Surgeon Browne, U. S. Navy, U. S. S. Kearsarge, regarding the treatment of those wounded in the engagement between that vessel and the C. S. S. Alabama.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Deal Roads, England, July 23, 1864.

Surgeon W. WHELAN,
Chief of Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Washington, D. C.

        DEAR SIR: I deem it appropriate to acquaint you with certain details appertaining to the engagement, and its results, between this vessel and the Alabama.
        The guns' crews were instructed in the application of tourniquets made for the occasion, and an ample supply furnished each division; cots for the transportation of the wounded were in convenient positions; yet neither were brought into use. This has explanation from the fact that the wounded refused assistance from their comrades, concealing the severity of injury, and one (Gowin, ordinary seaman) dragged himself from the after pivot gun to the fore hatch, unwilling to take anyone from his station. While I should ever make similar preparations on the eve of a contest, the example of the one in question would teach me that, under the excitement of battle, little reliance could be placed upon the fulfillment of my instructions. This vessel is exceedingly deficient in provision of conveniences for wounded men; there is no appropriate place for the performance of operations.
        Acting upon my recommendation, Lieutenant-Commander Thornton, executive officer, caused the forehold to be arranged for the accommodation of six wounded, after the application of temporary dressings, that they might have immunity from the exposure subjected to while upon the berth deck.
        The action continued for eighteen minutes without casualties. Then a 68-pound Blakely shell passed through the starboard bulwarks below main rigging, exploded upon the quarter-deck, and wounded three of the crew of the pivot gun. One, William Gowin, ordinary seaman, received a compound fracture of left femur at lower and middle third, and tibia and fibula, upper third, complicating the knee joint. No fragments of shell were found in the wounds. The hemorrhage was profuse, chiefly venous. Suitable dressings and stimulants were employed.
        Another, John W. Dempsey, quarter gunner, had compound comminuted fracture of right arm, lower third, and elbow, the forearm being completely lacerated--a shapeless mass. Arrangements were made for amputation before the close of the action, but its unexpected cessation caused the performance immediately after. Chloroform was administered, with happy results. The arm was amputated at the middle third, upper border.
        The third, James Macbeth, ordinary seaman, received a compound fracture of left tibia, upper third. No pieces of shell were found in the wound.
        The above comprises the total casualties. It is certainly surprising that the percentage should have been so small, considering the exposure and number of shots received. Probably no future similar combat will occasion like results. Shell were bursting over this vessel from the commencement to the termination of the fight, and a few of the ship's company were knocked down by the concussion derived from a passing projectile.
        Owing to the system of unshipping bulwarks at pivot guns, a considerable space is thereby exempt from the danger arising from splinters. The Kearsarge fired 173 shots, the Alabama about twice that number, her firing being rapid and nearly incessant up to the period of the striking of colors. The carnage on board the latter is reported terrific; many of her crew were literally torn in pieces by an 11-inch shell; others were much mutilated by splinters. By a merciful Providence our ship's company were spared such appalling accidents.
        The wounded of the Alabama were brought on board for treatment. Those whose names and nature of injury were noted are borne upon a list appended to the quarterly report. Others, with injuries less severe, were treated and subsequently went on shore with the uninjured paroled crew.
        Assistant Surgeon Dr. A. [David H.?] Llewllyn was drowned. The surgeon, F. L. Galt (acting paymaster), introduced himself while I was engaged in the amputation and proffered his assistance. I requested he would assist in attending to the wounded of his vessel, but as he was prostrated by excitement and fatigue, and had received certain contusions, he was inadequate for the duty. I sent him to my room, and without other professional aid attended to all the injured. Surgeon Galt was paroled the same evening.
        Upon the arrival of the Kearsarge at Cherbourg, owing to the number of wounded and the want of proper accommodation on board, all were transferred to the Hospital de la Marine, by permission of the admiral commanding the department. It is extremely fortunate that such facilities were afforded to the injured; every care and attention were bestowed upon the unfortunates. The skill and benevolence displayed by Monsieur Dufam, surgeon-in-chief, and Monsieur Aubin, surgeon of second class and provost of the hospital, claim especial commendation. I am pleased to report that his Excellency Mr. Dayton has made a proper representation of the valuable services rendered by these gentlemen to the minister of the marine at Paris and to the Department of State at Washington.
        I have previously reported the death of the brave Gowin. Hopes were reasonably entertained that his recovery would occur, but, anĉmic from hemorrhage and debilitated by previous attacks of malarial fevers, little vital power remained; phlebitis supervened, soon succeeded by death. Gowin was brought with a smile upon his face, although suffering acutely from his injury. He said, "It is all right and I am satisfied, for we are whipping the Alabama," adding, "I willingly will lose my leg or life if it is necessary." During the progress of the action he comforted his suffering comrades by assuring them that "Victory is ours!" Whenever the guns' crews cheered at the successful effect of their shot, Gowin would wave his hand over his head and join in the shout. In the hospital he was calmly resigned to his fate, repeating again and again his willingness to die, since his ship had won a glorious victory.
        His patience and cheerfulness during intense suffering and his happy resignation attracted general notice, enlisted sympathies for his recovery, and occasioned sincere regrets for his decease. To record the gallant conduct of this noble sailor is to me a gratification and my apology for mentioning these minor incidents. His shipmates will erect a proper monument to his memory at Cherbourg.
        I have in my possession a sum of money given by the resident Americans in Paris for a like memorial in his native town in Michigan.
        The coolness and fortitude displayed by our crew and the precision of the firing were remarkable. One was almost compelled to regard their conduct as that witnessed at the ordinary target practice. In the hour of victory they were generous, refraining from exultation in the presence of the captives and bestowing upon them every attention necessary for their comfort. I send by mail a pamphlet descriptive of the engagement, written by Mr. Edge, an Englishman. It is the best account yet published, being composed from data furnished by the officers of the Kearsarge, although a few inaccuracies exist.
        Captain Winslow desires me to present his regards.

I remain, dear sir, very truly, yours,
JOHN M. BROWNE,


Report of Captain Winslow, U.S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, regarding the death of William Gowin, seaman, of that vessel.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, France, July 5, 1864.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy.

        SIR: I have the honor to enclose the certificate of death of William Gowin, one of the wounded in the late action of this ship with the Alabama. He was a brave and gallant sailor, and by his cheerfulness when suffering under a most excruciating wound afforded a most encouraging example.
        When the cheer was heard on the surrender of the Alabama he insisted that the doctor should go up and join, saying he would be willing to bear a dozen such wounds to hear that cheer.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Captain.


Report of Captain Winslow, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, transmitting list of paroled prisoners from the C. S. S. Alabama.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Cherbourg, France, July 5, 1864.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy.

        SIR: I have the honor to enclose herewith a list comprising the names of prisoners from [the] Alabama landed at Cherbourg under parole not to serve against the United States.
        The Alabama brought into Cherbourg a crew of 149 in number, all told.
It is supposed that she received an addition, as several officers and others were arrested by the police of Cherbourg endeavoring to evade the laws by joining her.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Captain.

[Enclosures.]

U.S. S. KEARSARGE,
Port of Cherbourg, France, June 19, 1864.

        We, the seamen and others lately belonging to the steamer Alabama, and captured in the action between that vessel and the U.S. S. Kearsarge off this port on the 19th day of June, 1864, now prisoners of war, do hereby solemnly pledge our sacred word of honor not to engage in arms against or otherwise employ ourselves against the interest of the Government of the United States of America until we shall be regularly exchanged.

[Signatures.]--William Clarke, seaman; Win. McKenzie, coxswain; Jas. Broderick, coxswain; Wm. Fonestall, quartermaster; Jno. Emery, ordinary seaman; Wm. Wilson, coxswain; Edwd. Rawes, master at arms; Henry Tucker, officers' cook; David Leggett, seaman; Jno. Russell, seaman; Frank Cunian, first-class fireman; Henry Godson, ordinary seaman; Samuel Henry, seaman; Jno. Horrigan, first-class fireman; Edgar Tripp, ordinary seaman; David Williams, ordinary seaman; Richard Parkinson, officers' steward; Wm. Barnes, quarter gunner; Geo. Freemantle, quartermaster; Thos. Brandon, ordinary seaman; Henry Hestake, ordinary seaman; Thos. Watson, ordinary seaman; Jno. Johnson, ordinary seaman; John Smith, seaman; Henry McCoy, seaman; Thos. Parker, boy; Jas. Ochure, seaman; Edwd. Burrell, seaman; James Higgs, seaman; Patk. Bradley, fireman; Match Madick, ordinary seaman; William Miller, ordinary seaman; Jno. Benson, coal heaver; Joseph Puison, coal beaver; James Maguire, coal hearer; Jno. Casen, seaman; Henry Higgin, seaman; Frank Hammas, seaman; Nicholas Adams, landsman; Michael Shields, seaman; Peter Laperty, second-class fireman; Geo. Conroy, ordinary seaman; David Thurston, seaman; Richd. Evans, ordinary seaman; Thos. Potter, second-class fireman; John Wilson, boy; Jas. Clemens, yeoman; Geo. Peasey, seaman; John Riley, fireman; Henry Yates, seaman; James Wilson, boy.

In presence of J. Adams Smith, paymaster, U.S. Navy; Jno. M. Browne, surgeon, U.S. Navy.

--------------------

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Port of Cherbourg, France, June 19, 1864.

        We, the wounded prisoners of war, late seamen and others on board the Alabama, captured in the action off Cherbourg by the U. S. S. Kearsarge on the 19th of June, 1864, do solemnly affirm upon our sacred word of honor that we will not bear arms against or otherwise operate against the interest of the Government of the United States in any manner whatsoever until we shall have been regularly exchanged

Names.--Thos. (his x mark) Winter, second-class fireman; Jacob (his x mark) Verbor, seaman; Jno. (his x mark) Neat, seaman; Robt. (his x mark)Wright, captain maintop; Win. (his x mark) McGinley, coxswain; William (his x mark) Maguire, captain foretop; Martin (his x mark) King, first-class fireman; Samuel (his x mark) Williams, firstclass fireman; Peter (his x mark) Hughes, boatswain's mate; Robt. (his x mark) Devine, ordinary seaman.

Witnesses.--J. Adams Smith, paymaster; Jno. M. Browne, surgeon.


Letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Captain Winslow, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, expressing the thanks of the Department to the officers and crew of that vessel

NAVY DEPARTMENT, July 6, 1864.

Captain JOHN A. WINSLOW,
Commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, Cherbourg, France.

        SIR: Your very brief dispatches of the 19th and 20th ultimo, informing the Department that the piratical craft Alabama, or 290, had been sunk on the 19th June, near meridian, by the Kearsarge, under your command, were this day received. I congratulate you on your good fortune in meeting the Alabama, which had so long avoided the fastest ships and some of the most vigilant and intelligent officers of the service, and for the ability displayed in the contest you have the thanks of the Department.
        You will please express to the officers and crew of the Kearsarge the satisfaction of the Government at this victory over a vessel superior in tonnage, superior in the number of guns, and superior in the number of her crew. The battle was so brief, the victory so decisive, and the comparative results so striking that the country will be reminded of the brilliant actions of our infant Navy, which have been repeated and illustrated in this engagement.
        The Alabama represented the best maritime effort of the most skilled English workshops. Her battery was composed of the well-tried 32-pounders of 57 hundredweight, of the 68-pounder of the British navy, and of the only successful rifled 100. pounder yet produced in England. The crew were generally recruited in Great Britain, and many of them received superior training on board her Majesty's gunnery ship the Excellent.
        The Kearsarge is one of the first gunboats built at our navy yards at the commencement of the rebellion, and lacks the improvements of vessels now under construction. The principal guns composing her battery had never been previously tried in an exclusively naval engagement, yet in one hour you succeeded in sinking your antagonist, thus fitly ending her predatory career, and killed many of her crew, without injury to the Kearsarge or the loss of a single life on your vessel.
        Our countrymen have reason to be satisfied that in this, as in every naval action of this unhappy war, neither the ships, the guns, nor the crews have deteriorated, but that they maintain the ability and continue the renown which have ever adorned our naval annals.
        The President has signified his intention to recommend that you receive a vote of thanks, in order that you may be advanced to the grade of commodore. Lieutenant-Commander James S. Thornton, the executive officer of the Kearsarge, will be recommended to the Senate for advancement ten numbers in his grade, and you will report to the Department the names of any others of the officers or crew whose good conduct on the occasion entitles them to especial mention.

Very respectfully, etc.,
GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy.


Letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Captain Winslow, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, requesting supplemental report of the engagement of June 19.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, July 7, 1864.

Captain JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Commanding U.S. S. Kearsarge, Cherbourg, France.

        SIR: I enclose herewith extracts from regulations respecting the duties of commanding officers, and suggest the importance of your making a supplemental report of the action between the Kearsarge and the Alabama, embracing points mentioned in the extract. It is to be regretted that your reports of an action of so much interest and importance to the country should not have been more in detail. Full reports of all the circumstances would have been more gratifying to your countrymen and to the Department.
        I would also remind you that no muster roll of the Kearsarge has been received at the Department since the departure of the vessel from the United States. It is especially important now, in anticipation of legislation by Congress, that the Department should be in possession of a complete muster roll of the Kearsarge at the time of her engagement with the Alabama.

Very respectfully, etc.,
GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy.


Order of the Secretary of the Navy to Captain Winslow, U.S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, to forward to the Department muster roll of that vessel.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, July 8, 1864.

Captain JOHN A. WINSLOW,
Commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, Cherbourg, France.

        SIR: The Department will recommend to Congress to appropriate for distribution on board the Kearsarge the value of the Alabama, and you will please send a muster roll of your ship and all the information you can obtain as to the armament of the Alabama and her complement of officers and men.
        You do not inform the Department of the circumstances under which the yacht Deerhound was permitted to act as a tender to the Alabama and carry off, under your guns, the pirate captain and his first lieutenant and many of his crew. I notice by the last mail from England that it is reported you have paroled the foreign pirates captured on board the Alabama. I trust you have not committed this error of judgment. They should be held at every sacrifice, and either sent home in the St. Louis or brought here by yourself.

Very respectfully, etc.,
GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy.


Letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Captain Winslow, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, regarding his action in the matter of the survivors from the C. S. S. Alabama.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, July 12, 1864.

Captain JNO. A. WINSLOW, U. S. Navy,
Commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, Cherbourg, France.

        SIR: Your dispatch of the 21st ultimo is received, stating your efforts to save the lives of the survivors of the Alabama after the battle of the 19th of June, and after the formal surrender and destruction of that vessel. Your efforts in the cause of humanity in striving to rescue these men, most of them aliens, who have, under their ignoble leader, himself a deserter from our service and a traitor to our flag, been for nearly two years making piratical war on unarmed merchantmen, are rightly appreciated. It is to be regretted that the confidence and generous sympathy which you exercised, and which would actuate all honorable minds under similar circumstances, should have been so requited and abused by the persons on board the Deerhound, an English vessel of the Royal Yacht Squadron. That the wretched commander of the sunken corsair should have resorted to any dishonorable means to escape after his surrender; that he should have thrown overboard the Sword that was no longer his; that before encountering an armed antagonist the mercenary rover should have removed the chronometers and other plunder stolen from peaceful commerce, are not matters of surprise, for each act is characteristic of one who has been false to his country and flag. You could not have expected, however, that gentlemen, or those claiming to be gentlemen, would on such an occasion act in bad faith, and that having been called upon or permitted to assist in rescuing persons or property which had been surrendered to you, would run away with either. It is now evident that your confidence in the Deerhound and the persons connected with her was misplaced. The Department commends your efforts to save the lives of drowning men, although they had been engaged in robbing and destroying the property of those who had never injured them.
        In paroling the prisoners, however, you committed a grave error. The Alabama was an English-built vessel, armed and manned by Englishmen; has never had any other than an English register; has never sailed under any recognized national flag since she left the shores of England; has never visited any port of North America, and her career of devastation since she went forth from England is one that does not entitle those of her crew who were captured to be paroled. This Department expressly disavows that act. Extreme caution must be exercised that we in no way change the character of this English-built and English-manned, if not English-owned, vessel, or relieve those who may be implicated in sending forth this robber upon the seas from any responsibility to which they may be liable for the outrages she has committed.

Very respectfully, etc.,
GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of Navy.


Report of Captain Winslow. U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, of the patroling of Lieutenant Joseph D. Wilson, C. S. Navy, and transmitting communications on the subject.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Off Dover, July 15, 1864.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I have the honor to enclose herewith copies of two communications.
        On receipt of the letter of Mr. Adams, and deeming the circumstances warranted it, I patroled Mr. Wilson, handing to him the note, a copy of which is forwarded.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Captain.

[Enclosures.]

LONDON, July 13, 1864.

[Captain JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, Cherbourg, France.]

        MY DEAR SIR: Mr. Wilson, one of the persons taken at the time of the action with the Alabama, and now a prisoner on parole in your ship, has called to see me to ask a word from me to you in favor of giving him his liberty on parole.
        I decline to assume any authority with you in regard to the disposition you think proper to make of your prisoners. At the same time, I have reason to suppose that this young gentleman has acted honorably in this business by recognizing his obligations, and therefore I should regret that he should experience no more liberal treatment in return than one who disregarded them would deserve.
        Under these circumstances, if in your judgment this case, for any reason of the health of the person or any other good cause, is one in which you call make an exception, having a reliance on the honor of the individual, that he will take no improper advantage of it, I will very cheerfully concur in your opinion and approve your act.

I am, very truly, yours,
C. F. ADAMS.
[Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary.]

[Endorsement.]

Notify General Butler of this.

[WELLES.]

--------------------

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Off Dover, July 14, 1864.

[Lieutenant J. D. WILSON, C. S. Navy.]

        The conduct of Joseph D. Wilson, late lieutenant on board the Alabama, has been so honorable, first, in presenting himself on board the Kearsarge and surrendering himself when it was in his power to have gone on board the Deerhound and gained his liberty in the dishonorable manner which others had taken, and again, in his repudiation of the means pursued by those who obtained their liberty in this way, and his deportment while a prisoner having been of the same honorable standard, at the instance of Mr. Adams, minister of the United States at the court of St. James, I have paroled the said Wilson; and feeling a full confidence and trust in his word and honor, I recommend that all privileges which can be given a prisoner of war should be extended to him, believing fully he will never violate any obligation which he pledges himself to fulfill.

JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Captain.


Report of Captain Winslow, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, forwarding muster roll of that vessel.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
English Channel, July 29, 1864.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.

        SIR: I have the honor to enclose herewith the muster roll of the Kearsarge, comprising the names of the officers and crew at the time of the action with the Alabama.
        The letter of the Department states that no muster roll of this vessel has been received since her departure from the United States. I would beg leave to say that a regular quarterly pay and muster roll has been forwarded to the Fourth Auditor at the end of each quarter, and a muster roll was dispatched immediately following the action.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Captain.

[Enclosure.]

Muster roll of officers and crew of U. S. S. Kearsarge, June 19, 1864, in engagement with Alabama.

OFFICERS.

John A. Winslow, captain.
James S. Thornton, lieutenant-commander.
James R. Wheeler, acting master.
Eben M. Stoddard, acting master.
David H. Sumner, acting master.
Charles H. Danforth, acting master's mate.
Ezra Bartlett, acting master's mate.
William H. Yeaton, acting master's mate.
Edward E. Preble, midshipman.
John M. Browne, surgeon.
J. Adams Smith, paymaster.
William H. Cushman, chief engineer.
William H. Badlam, second assistant engineer.
Fred. L. Miller, third assistant engineer.
Henry McConnell, third assistant engineer.
Sidney L. Smith, third assistant engineer.
James C. Walton, boatswain.
Franklin A. Graham, gunner.
Seth E. Hartwell, captain's clerk.

[Officers, 19; crew, 144].


Report of Captain Winslow, U. S Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, giving the crew and armament of the C. S. S. Alabama.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
English Channel, July 30, 1864.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.

        SIR: The dispatch of the Department of the 8th instant, calling for information of the Alabama's armament and complement of officers and men, and also of the proceedings of the Deerhound, has been received.
        I have the honor to inform the Department that, according to a memorandum handed to me by American captains who were prisoners in the Alabama, that she carried into Cherbourg a crew (officers and men) of either 147 or 149; but what number joined her there I have no means of ascertaining. Several persons were prevented by the police at Cherbourg from going on board, but it appears that Mr. Sinclair (lieutenant) was one of those who succeeded in joining her.
        The rebel officers state their crew (officers and men) to have been about 150. I have no means of either falsifying or verifying these statements, but the American captains who were prisoners report that 13 men had been left at one port, and 4 at another, before the arrival of the vessel at Cherbourg, and her complement, therefore, when filled, was about 170 all told. The statement of some of the prisoners is that a number of men came on board at Cherbourg, and the night before the action that boats were going to and from the Alabama to the Deerhound, and in the morning of the action they saw strange men who were made captains of guns, who were 'supposed to be naval-reserve men, brought in the Deerhound.
        In my dispatch of the 19th ultimo I informed the Department that the battery of the Alabama consisted of one 100-pounder rifled pivot, one heavy 68-pounder (9,000 pounds), and six 32-pounder guns.
        My dispatch of the 21st ultimo informed the Department of the proceedings of the Deerhound yacht, her gradual edging to leeward, leading us to suppose she was seeking men who were drifting in the current, and then taking advantage of the hazy weather to make off while our boats were out, busy in rescuing the larger part of the prisoners, who were struggling in the water.
        It was my mistake at the moment that I could not recognize an enemy who, under the garb of a friend, was affording assistance.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Captain.

P. S.--[100-pounder above mentioned] since found to be a 110-pounder.


Report of Captain Winslow, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, giving his reasons for paroling the prisoners from the C. S. S. Alabama.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
English Channel, July 30, 1861.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

        SIR: The latter part of the dispatch of the Department of the 8th instant refers to the parole of the prisoners in these words:
        It is reported you have paroled the foreign pirates captured on board the Alabama. I trust you have not committed this error of judgment. They should be held at every sacrifice, and either sent home in the St. Louis or brought here by yourself.
        I beg the Department will consider the circumstances in which this vessel was placed at the termination of the action with the Alabama. The berth deck, contracted as it is, with insufficient stowage for our own men, was covered with bedding of the wounded; the quarter-deck was similarly crowded, and the forward part of the ship on the spar deck was filled with prisoners under guard. The ship was damaged both in rigging and hull; a shot had entered the sternpost, raising the transom frame and binding the rudder so hard as to require four men at the helm. It was therefore important that an examination should be made of the damages sustained. On our arrival at Cherbourg I received information from our consul at London that the Florida was in the channel on the French coast, and at the same time information came that the Yeddo was out, and the Rappahannock was expected to follow, and in addition to this, that the St. Louis had sailed for Madeira. The Kearsarge had been acting alone and independently for the last nine months, and I was not aware that any of our cruisers had been ordered in the [English] Channel. It became, therefore, to my mind, of the utmost importance that the Kearsarge should at once be put in a state to meet these vessels and protect our commerce. This could not be done with prisoners on board equaling the half of our crew, and the room occupied by the wounded taken to the exclusion of our own men; to have kept them would have required a quarter watch as guards, and the ship would have been wholly ineffective as a man-of-war to meet this emergency which threatened.
        Under these circumstances, and without an American vessel in port by which any arrangement could be made for transshipping the prisoners outside, I felt it my duty to parole them.
        A report appeared in the papers that the prisoners were paroled contrary to Mr. Dayton's instructions; this is erroneous. Communication was had with Mr. Dayton on the subject of the officers, and after these men were paroled.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Captain.


Supplementary report of Captain Winslow, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, of the engagement between that vessel and the C. S. S. Alabama.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
English Channel, July 30, 1864.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

        SIR: In obedience to instructions of the Department I have the honor to make the following supplementary report of the action between the Kearsarge and Alabama: On the morning of the 19th ultimo, the day being fine, with a hazy atmosphere, wind moderate from the westward, with little sea, the position of the Kearsarge at 10 o'clock was near the buoy which marks the line of shoals to the eastward of Cherbourg, and distant about 3 miles from the eastern entrance, which bore to the southward and westward. At 10:20 o'clock the Alabama was descried coming out of the western entrance, accompanied by the Couronne (ironclad). I had, in an interview with the admiral at Cherbourg, assured him that in the event of an action occurring with the Alabama the position of the ships should be so far offshore that no question could be advanced about the line of jurisdiction. Accordingly, to perfect this object, and with the double purpose of drawing the Alabama so far offshore that if disabled she could not return, I directed the ship's head seaward, and cleared for action with the battery pivoted to starboard. Having attained a point about 7 miles from the shore, the head of the Kearsarge was turned short round and the ship steered directly for the Alabama, my purpose being to run her down, or, if circumstances did not warrant it, to close in with her. Hardly had the Kearsarge come round before the Alabama sheered, presented her starboard battery, and slowed her engines. On approaching her, at long range of about a mile, she opened her full broadside, the shot cutting some of our rigging and going over and alongside of us. Immediately I ordered more speed, but in two minutes the Alabama had loaded and again fired another broadside, and following it with a third, without damaging us except in rigging. We had now arrived within about 900 yards of her, and I was apprehensive that another broadside, nearly raking as it was, would prove disastrous. Accordingly, I ordered the Kearsarge sheered, and opened on the Alabama. The position of the vessels was now broadside and broadside, but it was soon apparent that Captain Semmes did not seek close action. I became then fearful, lest after some fighting he would again make for the shore. To defeat this, I determined to keep full speed on, and with a port helm to run under the stern of the Alabama and rake, if he did not prevent it by sheering and keeping his broadside to us. He adopted this mode as a preventive, and as a consequence the Alabama was forced with a full head of steam into a circular track during the engagement.
        The effect of this maneuver was such that at the last of the action, when the Alabama would have made off, she was near 5 miles from the shore, and had the action continued from the first in parallel lines, with her head inshore, the line of jurisdiction would no doubt have been reached. The firing of the Alabama from the first was rapid and wild. Toward the close of the action her firing became better. Our men, who had been cautioned against rapid firing without direct aim, were much more deliberate, and the instructions given to point the heavy guns below rather than above the water line and clear the deck with the lighter ones was fully observed. I had endeavored with a port helm to close in with the Alabama, but it was not until just before the close of the action that we were in position to use grape. This was avoided, however, by her surrender. The effect of the training of our men was evident. Nearly every shot from our guns was telling fearfully on the Alabama, and on the seventh rotation on the circular track she winded, setting fore-trysail and two jibs, with head inshore. Her speed was now retarded, and, by winding, her port broadside was presented to us, with only two guns bearing, not having been able, as I learned afterwards, to shift over but one. I saw now that she was at our mercy, and a few more guns, well directed, brought down her flag. I was unable to ascertain whether they had been hauled down or shot away, but a white flag having been displayed over the stern, our fire was reserved. Two minutes had not more than elapsed before she again opened on us with the two guns on the port side. This drew our fire again, and the Kearsarge was immediately steamed ahead, and laid across her bows for raking. The white flag was still flying, and our fire was again reserved. Shortly after this her boats were seen to be lowering, and an officer in one of them came :alongside and informed us that the ship had surrendered and was fast sinking. In twenty minutes from this time the Alabama went down, her mainmast, which had been shot, breaking near the head as she sank, and her bow rising high out of the water as her stern rapidly settled.
        The fire of the Alabama, although it is stated that she discharged 370 or more shell and shot, was not of serious damage to the Kearsarge. Some thirteen or fourteen of these had taken effect in and about the hull, and sixteen or seventeen about the masts and rigging. The casualties were small, only three persons having been wounded; yet it is a matter of surprise that so few were injured, considering the number of projectiles that came aboard. Two shot passed through the ports in which the 32's were placed, with men thickly stationed around them, one taking effect in the hammock netting and the other going through the port on the opposite side; yet no one was hit, the captain of one of the guns being only knocked down by the wind of the shot, as supposed. The fire of the Kearsarge, although only 173 projectiles had been discharged, according to the prisoners' accounts was terrific. One shot alone had killed and wounded eighteen men and disabled the gun; another had entered the coal bunkers, exploding, and completely blocked up the engine room, and Captain Semmes states that shot and shell had taken effect in the sides of the vessel, tearing large holes by explosion, and his men were everywhere knocked down.
        Of the casualties in the Alabama no correct account can be given. One hundred and fifteen persons reached the shore, either in England or France, after the action. It is known that the Alabama carried a crew (officers and men) of about 150 into Cherbourg, and that while in the Southern Ocean her complement was about 170; but desertions had reduced this complement. The prisoners state that a number of men came on board at Cherbourg, and the night before the action boats were going to and fro, and in the morning strange men were seen who were stationed as captains of the guns. Among these there was one lieutenant (Sinclair), who joined her in Cherbourg.
        The Alabama had been five days in preparation; she had taken in 350 tons of coal, which brought her down in the water. The Kearsarge had only 120 tons in, but as an offset to this, her sheet chains were stowed outside--stopped up and down as an additional preventive and protection to her more empty bunkers. The number of the crew of the Kearsarge, including officers and sick men, was 163 and her battery numbered seven guns--two 11-inch and one 30-pounder rifle, and four light 32-pounder guns.
        The battery of the Alabama numbered eight guns--one heavy 68, of 9,000 pounds, one 110-pounder rifle, and six heavy 32-pounder guns. In the engagement the Alabama fought seven guns and the Kearsarge five, both exercising her starboard battery until the Alabama winded, using then her port side with one gun, and another shifted over.
        The collateral events connected with this action have already been laid before the Department. I enclose a diagram, showing the track which was described during the engagement, by the rotary course of the vessels.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Captain.
 


Report of Captain Window, U.S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge, commending the conduct of certain officers of that vessel.

U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
English Channel, July 30, 1864.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

        SIR: The Department having given instructions by letter of the 7th instant to report in cases of officers or men who, for conduct in the action of the Kearsarge and Alabama, were deserving of special mention, I beg leave to reply that in the report of the executive officer, which was fully endorsed by me, immediate attention was devoted to this subject, and the names of such officers and men were indicated as were deserving of merit by special mention.
        The divisions commanded by Acting Masters James R. Wheeler, Eben. M. Stoddard, and David H. Sumner were all well served, the officers in command setting an example of coolness and zeal worthy of commendation. And I beg to refer particularly to the services of Acting Master James R. Wheeler, who, in connection with the action, has been otherwise active in command of the Annette, and on other duty in the [English] Channel during the past severe winter; and his efficiency as an officer being of the highest standard, I deem a special mention in his case should be made.
        I would also refer again to Acting Master's Mates Charles H. Danforth and Ezra Bartlett. Both of these gentlemen, for services rendered in the action, for ability, and for unexceptional good conduct during the cruise are deserving of reward.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Captain.


Report of commandant navy yard, Boston, regarding the sternpost of U. S. S. Kearsarge.

COMMANDANT'S OFFICE, U. S. NAVY YARD,
Boston, January 28, 1865.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.

        SIR: Understanding from Captain Winslow that the President desired the shell from the sternpost of the Kearsarge, I have had the sternpost sawed off and the piece containing the shell has been boxed up and sent by the Supply to Norfolk, with a request to the commandant of the station that he would forward the box to you at the earliest opportunity.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. H. STRINGHAM,
Commandant.


Letter from late Acting Master Sumner, U. S. Navy, U. S. S. Kearsarge, to the President of the United States, setting forth the neglect of the Government to reward the crew of that vessel.

FEBRUARY 23, 1865.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

        SIR: For nearly a year the Kearsarge alone watched three rebel cruisers in the [English] Channel, and notwithstanding the enemies of the country gave them every support, such was the watch kept that not one of them could inflict any piracies. She relieved three or four hundred American vessels, who took shelter for fear of the pirates, and although taunted everywhere by remarks that the Alabama would soon use her up, yet quietly awaited. The Alabama at length came, and she was sunk by her. The effect in Europe was astounding, and the country rose in the estimation and fear of every enemy. The rebel Government, however, rewarded their officers and men--promoted their captain to admiral, promoted the second officer to commander, with advancement to others and double pay to the men. Well, what has our Government done for the victors? Advanced the captain a few numbers, calling him commodore; advanced the second officer a few numbers, with nothing given to the other men and officers; and now the amount due them as prize money, according to the law of the land ever since we had a navy, is not appropriated. Had the crew been on blockade duty and filled their pockets, as those have done with no fighting, some excuse might be alleged; but they have never had a cent. Sailors have no friends; politicians get for relatives for doing nothing all the rewards, but those who serve the country faithfully go to the wall. Truly this may be called for the Government a small-potato business.

Respectfully,
D. H. SUMNER,
Late Acting Master in the Kearsarge.

[Endorsement.]

        D. H. Sumner, late acting master on board the Kearsarge, asks that something be done in the way of a reward to the men and officers on that ship for the destruction of the Alabama.

Respectfully referred by the President to the honorable the Secretary of the Navy.
JNO. G. NICOLAY,
Private Secretary.

FEBRUARY 23, 1865.

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