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Benjamin Drummond - The First Patient

USS Morning Light - Reports of Capture

Extract from proceedings of a Court of Enquiry, held on board the U. S. S. Tennessee, at New Orleans, April 12, 1863 (Page 2 of 3). This is in Volume 19 of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion.

Extract from proceedings of a court of enquiry, held on board the U. S. S.Tennessee, at New Orleans, April 12, 1863

(This report is continued from page 562) returned on board. At 7:45 gunboats New London and Cayuga got underway and steamed off northward and eastward. At 8:30 a three-masted schooner hove in sight: the Brooklyn and Owasco steamed off toward her. At 10:30 the Owasco returned and came to anchor. At 1 p. m. the Brooklyn returned and came to anchor; at the same time she made signal for Captain Childs to repair on board. At 2 oclock Captain Childs returned, hove up anchor and steamed toward the stranger; she proved to be the U. S. schooner Kittatinny. At 3 she sent a boat to us. Acting Master Partridge left this ship to report for duty on board the Kittatinny.

Extract from proceedings of a court of enquiry, held on board the U. S. S. Tennessee, at New Orleans, April 12, 1863.

Statement of Acting Master John D. Childs, as sworn to by him:

At 6 p. m. reported from the masthead a vessel in sight, ahead; steered for the sail. At 7:30 p. m. saw a ship a half a mile ahead; went alongside, a ships length off, and hailed, What ship is that?; Was answered The Morning Light; I said, Send a boat. This is the Tennessee, I wish to communicate; Was answered, We have no boat; We saw a boat hanging to her stern. Hailed the same again; was answered, We have no boat nor crew; Asked, Where is Captain Dillingham?; Answered, ;He is on shore a prisoner, and this ship is in Confederate hands; This ship being near ashore at the time, I saw fit to head her off from shore. I saw at the time two small vessels in side the Morning Light. After having full command of the ship, I held a short consultation with some of the officers in regard to attacking the Morning Light, and deemed it improper under the circumstances. Stood out of the harbor for Galveston to report to Commodore Bell.

Acting Masters Bennis and Partridge were the officers with whom I consulted, respecting the Morning Light. Several others gave opinions; I cannot say positively who they were now. All on ship, except one, agreed with me.

Statement, which is hereunto appended and marked "C:"

The log book was then produced and the following record found:

January 23d, 1863 - 7:15 p. m., spoke the ship Morning Light, a prize to the rebels; kept away for Galveston; at 7:30 steered south.

Having received the foregoing testimony, the court beg leave respectfully to report the following facts:

About 6 p. m., 22d of January, 1863, the Tennessee made a sail, which she approached about 7:15 p. m. Acting Master Childs, commanding the ship Tennessee, hailed the vessel, What ship is that? Answer, Morning Light. Acting Master Childs said, - This is the Tennessee, send a boat. I have a communication for you. Answer, I have no boat. The officers of the Tennessee saw a boat hoisted at the Morning Light's stern davits. Acting Master Childs then asked, Where is Captain Dillingham? Answer. Captain Dillingham is a prisoner on shore, and this vessel is in the hands of the Confederates. Captain Childs gave the order to put the helm hard (This statement is continued on page 564)

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Last updated November 9, 2008