Gunboat engagement

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“Engagement between the United States gunboats, commanded by Commodore Davis, and the Confederate Mosquito Fleet, under Commodore Tatnall, near Fort Pulaski, Savannah River, January 28th, 1862. Our artist described this spirited sketch as follows: ‘On Monday night Lieutenant Barnes was dispatched in the Ottawa’s gig to scout up the creek and report. Passing the piles with ease, he pulled silently up the stream with muffled oars, and with no opposition succeeded in reaching the mouth of the creek where it enters the Savannah River. He came upon the fleet of Tatnall lying there, and approached near enough to see the watch on deck. As he was too near them in case they discovered him, and as he had accomplished the object of reconnoisance, he returned and reported the facts to Captain Davis. On Tuesday forenoon Tatnall’s fleet was again discovered standing down the Savannah. We beat to quarters, and when the flagship had got within range we opened on her with an eleven-inch gun from the Ottawa. The signal for action having been given, the gunboats opened fire. The Confederates returned a few shots, which fell short. The engagement lasted nearly two hours, during which time the Confederate Flagship was struck three times, seriously damaging her. One eleven-inch shell struck her on her wheelhouse, and so much disabled her as to compel the commander to signal for assistance, and one steamer turned round and went to her aid. The other three steamed down toward Fort Pulaski faster than they ever went before.’” —Leslie, 1896


Frank Leslie Famous Leaders and Battle Scenes of the Civil War (New York, NY: Mrs. Frank Leslie, 1896)


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