Today in History:

735 Series I Volume XXVIII-I Serial 46 - Ft. Sumter - Ft. Wagner Part I


overboard in the hope that they would be picked up by the enemy's boats. Engineer Toombs, finding no quarter was being given by the enemy, returned to the vessel, rebuilt the fires, got up steam, and, with the assistance of the pilot, brought the vessel, back to the city, after running the gauntlet of the enemy's fleet, passing within 3 fleet of one of the monitors, and subjected during the whole time to a continuous fire of small-arms. Lieutenant Glassell and James Sullivan, fireman, were last seen swimming in the direction of the enemy's vessels, and it is believed were captured.

The conduct of all engaged in this affair is deserving of commendation, and thought the attempt to destroy the Ironsides was not successful, the practicability at some future period was demonstrated. The want of success is believed to be owing to the small charge of 70 pounds of powder used in the torpedo.

OCTOBER 16, 1863.-Engagement at Fort Brooke, Fla.

Report of Captain John Westcott, Second Florida Battalion.*

TAMPA, October 18, 1863.

I arrived here on Monday, 12th, and assumed command on Wednesday, 14th. On Thursday two gunboats made their appearance above Gadsden's Point. On Friday early they moved up and shelled the whole day, throwing 126 shells in all, 30, 64, and 200 pounder Parrott guns maintaining their positions.

On Friday night at 11 o'clock they landed 130 men at Ballast Point-12) men and 20 guides, traitors and negroes. From the landing they marched through the woods (drawing a boat 2 miles and abandoned it) to the steamer of Captain Blakeny, about 4 miles above here. Our men burned the boat [A. B. Noyes]. They were disappointed and attempted to march back, but before they got to and into their boats they were badly whipped, the boats shelling our battery during the time.

I have 5 prisoners; 1 died this morning and 1 severely wounded. We killed and wounded, it is believed, about 50 while they were getting to and into their barges. Fifty-seven rifles, spy-glasses, rockets, &c., have been picket up. One dead body floated ashore to-day.

Captain [A. A.] Semmes, of the Tahoma, sent a flag to-day to inquire about his men in my possession. The steamer Adela had had her colors at half-mast the whole day. Both have hauled off and gone below. My force here is too small. I may be overpowered, but will fight them to the last. I will report in detail by next mail.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain Co. A, 2nd Batt. Fla. Vols., Commanding Fort Brooke, Tampa, Fla.

Lieutenant J. R. FINEGAN,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

P. S.-My judgment did not fail me in the whole movement, and if I had had more men I could have captured the whole concern.


*For report of Acting Rear-Admiral Theodorus Bailey, U. S. Navy, see Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy, December 7, 1863.