The Rebel Naval Officers

The defenses of Mobile Attacked by Admiral Farragut Fleet.
The Contending Forces and Their Strength.

The following is a description of the contending forces now
at Mobile, and by it our readers will be able, in a measure,
to see that since this rebellion commenced, no two such
formidable fleets have met in combat. We shall await with
much anxiety the result of this struggle for the supremacy of
the great bay of the Gulf City. The map which we give will
enable all to see how well fortified the rebels are, and at
the same time be able to comprehend the difficulties the
dashing Old Salamander will have to overcome before he can
claim a full victory: -


Mobile has been threatened on two occasions previous to the
present movement, one shortly after the capture of New Orleans
and again in February of this year, the first movement being
made by Portermortar flotilla, and the second by Admiral
Farragut. The latter was made at GrantPass, and was
intended only to distract attention from other points.


The present movement is probably designed not so much for
the capture of the city of Mobile as it is to obtain
possession of Dauphin Island and Mobile Point, so that the
harbor can be effectually blockaded, and at the same time
relieve the large Union fleet now off that place, who have been
hourly threatened with an attack from the rebel iron-clads
lying under the guns of Fort Morgan.


Mobile is perhaps the best defenced place in the Gulf, and
it will require all the dash of Farragut to gain a foothold
inside of the defences. It is not only protected by
heavyforts, well armed, but by a formidable flotilla of
iron-clad rams, gunboats and cotton-clads; and this fleet must
be destroyed or driven well up the bay before it will be safe
for the wooden vessels to pass in. Nature, in laying out the
bay, ran out a long, sandy peninsula, called Mobile Point,
upon which the United States government placed a strong work
mounting one hundred and thirty-six guns, two tiers in casemate
and one en barbette. This is situated on the starboard or
right side of the entrance to the bay, through the swash
channel. On the port or left hand side is situated Dauphin
Island, on whose eastern extremity is located Fort Gaines; also
a casemated work mounting some fifty guns or more, commanding
the middle channel and the passage up the bay. Outlying from
these two points of land is a small island known as Sand
Island. From Fort Gaines, on Dauphin Island, in a northerly
direction, and on the shore line, is a water battery mounting
nine guns of long range, and from this battery to the northward
and westward ad up to GrantPass are a series of earthworks,
and a work known as Fort Powell, mounting twelve guns.


Extending from Fort Morgan across the swash and middle
channels is a line of spile obstructions, being under the
cover and protection of the guns of both forts. These were
placed there some time since, and are represented to be quite
formidable and not readily passed through or removed. A small
passage way has been left to allow the blockade runners to pass
in and out t sea. This opening, lying close to the fort, is
carefully watched over at night by small picket boats, which
can, at the approach of our vessels, give a signal, and the
guns of Fort Morgan - a number of which are always trained
upon that spot - will open upon the invaders; and in addition
to this safeguard the rebel iron-clads are moored so that they
can move readily to the further assistance of the fort in
preventing any vessel passing through. So much for the outer
land defences.


The energies of Admiral Buchanan, who has commanded that
naval station since the war, have been directed to the
preparation of a flotilla to aid the land forces in repulsing
any attack upon that stronghold, and, as Mobile was thought at
the beginning of the rebellion to be too near the sea for a
naval depot, it was located at Selma, where it would be secure
from attack. Here no less than one ram and four or five
gunboats have been constructed for the navy of the
confederacy. To give an idea of the importance of this naval
station we have only to append a list of the officers on duty
there: -

Commander - E. Farrand.

First Lieutenant - Van R. Morgan.

Assistant Paymaster - G. H. O'Neil.

Master - John Pearson.

First Assistant Engineer - W. Frick, Jr.

Carpenter - John T. Rustio.

In addition to these officers there have been attached to
the station at various times ordnance officers of the best
talent in the rebel service, and several hundred men have been
constantly employed in the construction of new gunboats and in
refitting old vessels; and at the present time the rebel navy
in Mobile bay consists of the following vessels: -

Names of Vessels Class No. Of Guns. Tennessee.............Iron-clad ram, flagship.....7
Coast guard - four small steamers................10


Total, vessels......12 Total guns..........50

Admiral FRANKLIN BUCHANAN commanding. 
Lieutenant - J.R. Eggleston. 
Surgeons - L.W. Miner, O.S. Englehart. 
Commander - E. Farrand. Lieutenant - Alphonso Barbolt. 
Paymasters - T.W. Ware, G.H. O'Neil. 
Master - John Pearson. 
Midshipman - W.S. Hogue. 
Engineer - W. Frick, Jr. 
Gunner - B.F. Hughes.

The New York Herald 
August 6, 1864

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