Today in History:

785 Series I Volume XXXIX-II Serial 78 - Allatoona Part II


army in Mobile Bay. Of my own ability to meet this increasing force I will only say that, like Forrest, I have to take what I can get and make the best of it. If you knew all you would, I think, perceive that Forrest is probably stronger, relatively, than any other commander. I have full expectation that the next twenty-four hours will throw the balance of force on our side. But, even should this fail, I feel confident and hopeful of the result, and believe that we have the means of success within our reach. If we have difficulties to contend against the enemy has greater. I need not reiterate my sincere desire to co-operate with you. If I do not come up to your expectations it will be from lack of means, now of will.

Sincerely and respectfully,


MERIDIAN, MISS., August 20, 1864.


Macon, Miss.:

Will send from here 790 arms to Macon to-morrow, 21st; 1,000 arms will be ready for you here on 22d. Inform Captain Evans of your wishes about them. Ammunition on hand very limited, but enough will be furnished in time I believe.


Major-General, Commanding.

MOBILE, August 20, 1864.

Lieutenant J. T. E. ANDREWS,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the general, that on the morning of the 5th instant the enemy's fleet, consisting of four monitors and about sixteen heavy vessels of war, steamed through the main entrance to Mobile Bay, under a heavy fire from Fort Morgan and the fleet. By the course they took running in it is evident they were well informed as to the location of the torpedoes we had planted, as they kept well in on the east side of the channel where we had none, that part being left open by orders of the Chief of Engineer department for our steamers to pass in and out. The monitor Tecumseh, not keeping as far to the eastward as the others, struck one of our torpedoes and sunk almost instantly carrying down with her all of her officers and crew but six, who saved themselves by swimming to the shore, and were taken prisoners by the garrison at Fort Morgan. From their account and from eye- witnesses there is no doubt she was sunk, as above described. Her bottom must have been almost entirely destroyed, as she went down in less than twenty-five seconds after the explosion. The sinking of this monitor demonstrates the fact that if we had been allowed to plant torpedoes entirely across the channel, leaving no entrance for vessels to pass in and out, or even if we had extended our line 300 yards farther to the eastward, very few, if any, of their vessels would have got through, but many of them no doubt would have been sunk. We had planted, by order of Lieutenant-Colonel Sheliha, Chief of the Engineer Department, twenty-three torpedoes in the main channel between the two buoys and thirteen between the WEST buoy and the