Report of Lt. Quackenbush

        U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Delaware.

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Off Elizabeth City,

February 11, 1862.


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

On the 9th instant, at 2:30 p.m., the U. S. naval flotilla, consisting of fourteen armed steamers under your command, weighed anchor for Elizabeth City.

Late in the afternoon two rebel steamers were discovered standing for Elizabeth City. The U. S. S. Lockwood, with this vessel, immediately gave chase, but darkness prevented our overtaking them.

At 8 p.m. the flotilla came to anchor, distant about 14 miles from Elizabeth City.

On the morning of the 10th, at 6 a.m., signal was made from this ship for the flotilla to get underway, and at 8 a.m., when standing on our course, discovered the enemy's gunboats, consisting of 7 steamers and 1 armed schooner of 2 guns, a fine battery on our left of 4 guns, and 1 gun in the city facing us.

When within range signal was made, in accordance to the orders of the commanding officer of the flotilla, to "Make a dash at the enemy," which signal was again repeated within 600 yards of the enemy, at the same time doing terrible execution with our guns, filling the air with shot and shell.

At 9:25 a.m., precisely nineteen minutes from the time the first gun was fired, the schooner struck her colors, and was found to be on fire. About the same time the rebel flag on the battery at Cobb's Point was taken down and waved by the garrison, whereupon the rebel gunboats, with two exceptions, ran close inshore and were instantaneously set on fire and abandoned by their crews, some of whom escaped in boats and others, jumping overboard, swam and wailed to the shore.

I now gave the order to my acting aid, Assistant Paymaster F. R. Curtis, to have the cutter manned and bring off a rebel flag for Commander Rowan, which was flying on board the rebel steamer Fanny. J. H. Raymond, acting master's mate, together with a part of his division, jumped into the boat with F. R. Curtis and boarded the steamer Fanny, which was at the time on fire, hauled down the rebel flag, and then proceeded on shore to the battery, being the first to land, where the stars and stripes were planted by Mr. Raymond, amidst tremendous cheering from the flotilla. After which, in obedience to a recall, they returned on board this vessel, which was moored to the wharf at Elizabeth City, at 9:45 a.m., thus ending one of the shortest and most brilliant engagements that has occurred during this unfortunate civil war.

Too much praise can not be awarded to the officers and men attached to this vessel for their gallant conduct during the action of the 10th instant.

Great credit is due to our pilot, Nassa S. Williams, for invaluable services rendered during the engagement.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



Lieutenant, Commanding


            STEPHEN C. ROWAN,

            Commanding U. S. Flotilla, in Pamlico Sound


Navy Official Records

Series I, Volume 6

Atlantic Blockading Squadron

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

pg. 612