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Pensacola Navy-Yard, FL

September 14, 1861

near Pensacola, Florida

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, September 14, 1861.


COLONEL: A naval boat expedition, under command of Lieutenant [John H.] Russell, of the flag-ship Colorado, this morning, at 2 o'clock, burned the piratical schooner Judah and spiked the gun of the only battery in the navy-yard. The schooner was armed with five guns, and was lying in the slip in front of the battery, evidently awaiting an opportunity to go to sea. We lost three killed [one of them instantly, by one of our own party], four badly and three or four slightly wounded, among the latter Lieutenants Russell and [F. B.] Blake, [Captain E. McD.] Reynolds, of the Marines, and a midshipman. The whole affair was well conceived, well managed, and entirely successful.


I took it for granted it would cause the opening of the rebel fire on this fort, but until the present time no demonstration has been made.


I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


Report of Brigadier General Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army.


HEADQUARTERS TROOPS OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES, Near Pensacola, Fla., September 16, 1861.


SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the Department, that a row-boat, with nine enlisted men of marines, sent on patrol duty on the night of the 8th instant in the harbor, failed to return. The crew has no doubt deserted to the enemy. It was a gross neglect on the part of the officer in charge of this service in not sending an officer in command on such a duty.


On the night of the 13th a boat expedition of three ships' launches, heavily armed, made an attack on a point at the navy-yard where the boats of our harbor police were moored, and succeeded in setting fire to and destroying a small armed vessel in our service. Our guards were not surprised, but by some strange neglect, which is now under investigation, permitted the success of this daring exploit, led, no doubt, by our deserters. I hope to fix the responsibility and make an example of the guilty parties.


I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Richmond, Va.

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