Report of Lieutenant Jeffers

        U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Underwriter

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Off  Elizabeth City,

February 10, 1862.


SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report:

This morning I steamed up the river toward Elizabeth City, in the position assigned me. On arriving within less than a mile of the rebel battery and ships, when the general signal was made, "Make a dash at the enemy," I opened fire and went ahead full speed. On nearing the ships, I directed the pilot to put this vessel alongside the Sea Bird; but, on closing within a couple of hundred yards, I observed two steamers turning to escape, therefore passed on in pursuit. One of them was cut off, and, endeavoring to pass across my stern, was met by another vessel and captured. The other ranged ahead, keeping up a lively fire of musketry, which was returned with the 12-pounder rifle, but did not succeed in disabling her machinery, and she soon disappeared around a turn in the river.

Arriving in front of the town, a battery of horse artillery standing at the head of Main street moved off. I went alongside the wharf and remained until directed to drop down off the battery.

The occasion offered no opportunity for the display of individual gallantry on the part of officers and crew; all merit my approbation. I, however, mention particularly Mr. Walter B. Griffith, master's mate, and Mr. John Cahill, second assistant engineer (acting chief). The former, as in the actions of the 7th and 8th, worked the rifled gun with coolness and precision. The latter was of great service in his own department and also assisted at the after gun.

      Ammunition expended: For 8O-pounder rifle, 9 shells; for 12-pounder rifle, 18 shells and 1 stand of grape; for 8-inch gun, 4 shells; for 12-pounder howitzer, 1 shrapnel, 2 canister.

      Respectfully, your obedient servant,



Lieutenant, Commanding.


Commander S. C. ROWAN,

Commanding Flotilla, Albemarle Sound


Navy Official Records

Series I, Volume 6

Atlantic Blockading Squadron

From October 29, 1861, to March 8, 1862.

Pg. 611