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IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES.
FEBRUARY 6, 1854.—Ordered to be printed.
Mr. JOHNSON made the following
[To accompany Bill S. 160.] The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred Senate bill (No.
160) for the relief of the heirs and representatives of Colonel A. G. Morgan, having had the same under consideration, report :
Upon an examination of the papers accompanying this bill they find the history of this case to be as follows:
On the 18th of August, 1837, Alexander G. Morgan addressed the Secretary of War, offering to raise three hundred volunteer riflemen for the Florida service. (See letter A.)
On the 25th of August, 1837, the Secretary of War authorized General H. Atchison to raise four companies, (as spies,) to be at Tampa Bay by the 15th of October. (See letter B.) On the 31st August, the Secretary of War replied to letter A, and expressed his gratification at Colonel Morgan's offer, informing him also that General Atchison was authorized to raise the four companies of spies. (See letter C.) On the 5th of September, the Secretary of War acknowledges the receipt of A. G. Morgan's letter of the 12th of August, (see letter D,) and says: • General Atchison has been instructed to accept your offer of three hundred men as spy battalions for Florida.” On the 1lth of September, 1837, General Atchison enclosed to A. G. Morgan a copy of the order of the Secretary of War to raise four companies of spies, and appoints him to command as lieutenant colonel. (See letter E.) On the 6th of November, General Gaines ordered Lieutenant Colonel Morgan to equip his company of Florida spies by the 16th of November. (See letter F.) General Armistead ordered Lieutenant Colonel Morgan's company of spies to proceed with Captain Sconcis, and report to Colonel 2. Taylor. (See letter G, November 30, 1837.)
In February, 1838, Colonel Taylor (see letter H) returns his thanks to Colonel Morgan's and other companies for their soldierly conduct, and orders them to report to the commanding general for discharge.
On the 12th of January, 1838, Colonel Morgan is ordered (see letter I) by General Armistead to repair to Fort Gardner, and report to Colonel Taylor for field duty; on the 15th, they are ordered (see letter K) to equip for Fort Gardner.
From the above it is evident that Alexander G. Morgan was appointed lieutenant colonel on the 11th of September, 1837, by General Atchison, under the authority of the Secretary of War, and discharged in February, 1838, and that he was recognized as such in all the military orders. He was not paid for these services, “because he was not regularly commissioned,” but the committee, being satisfied that he acted in that capacity, report a bill for the relief of his legal representatives, authorizing and directing the accounting officers of the treasury to audit and settle the claim.
: No. 85.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES.
FEBRUARY 6, 1854.-Ordered to be printed.
Mr. Shields made the following
(To accompany Joint Resolution S. No. 9.] The joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives, to whom was referred the resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives “to inquire and report in what form the acknowledgment of Congress may be most appropriately expressed to those benevolent and courageous men who, under Providence, were the means of rescuing from death so many citizens of this republic,” have had the same under consideration, and submit to the respective houses the following report:
The steamship San Francisco, the property of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company of New York, was chartered by the War Department to convey United States troops and military stores to California, via Cape Horn.
She left New York on the 22d December, 1853, having on board, in addition to the crew of the vessel, the third regiment of United States artillery and several passengers, among whom was a number of women and children; in all about eight hundred souls.
On the night of the 23d she encountered a severe storm, which rendered her wholly unmanageable. On the morning of the 24th she was struck by a violent wave, which shattered her quarter-deck, her hurricane-deck, and carried away her upper saloon, and all the officers, soldiers, and passengers who had taken shelter in it from the storm, amounting to about two hundred in number. The vessel was very seriously damaged by this terrible shock, and continued afterwards to leak so badly that it required the utmost efforts of all on board to keep her afloat. On the same day, and soon after this dreadful occurrence, she spoke the brig Napoleon, of Portland. The captain of this brig promised to lie by her, but was separated from her during the night. The next day, the 25th, the San Francisco spoke the brig Maria, of Liverpool. The captain of the Maria also promised to lie by her, but the night separated the vessels.
On the 27th the barque Kilby, of Boston, Capt. Low, hove in sight. This vessel had suffered much in the storm that wrecked the San Francisco. She was short of provisions and water, and leaking badly, yet her captain promised to stand by the wreck, which promise he faithfully kept through the night. The next day, the 28th, upwards of one hundred persons, men, women, and children, were transferred from the San Francisco to the Kilby. This operation was arrested by the in
leanno usly damaged "buwo hundred inen shelter in it from
crease of the gale at night, but it was intended to be resumed the next day, until all should be removed from the wreck: the storm, however, increasing with the night, the vessels were unavoidably separated. The Kilby cruised in search of the wreck for some time, until her own crippled and disabled condition compelled her to abandon the search and provide for her own safety. It was full time, as she afterwards encountered great difficulties in getting safely into port.
On the 31st, the ship Three Bells, of Glasgow, Captain Creighton, came in sight, and, on learning the condition of the passengers and crew, promised to lie by them and succor them at all hazzards. This vessel had suffered severely from the storm, was short of provisions and water, and leaked so badly that her condition was scarcely less critical than that of the San Francisco; but her gallant commander faithfully kept his promise. At the most imminent risk-to his vessel, he lay by the wreck for several days of storm and danger, having for this purpose to perform the most skilful and perilous manquvres, passing frequently under the lee of the wreck to cheer and encourage those on board.
On the 3d of January, 1854, the ship Antarctic, bound for Liverpool, fell in with the San Francisco, and generously tendered assistance and succor to those on board. On the 4th and 5th all the surviving passengers, not previously transferred to the Kilby, were removed on board the Three Bells and Antarctic, On the 6th all the officers and crew were taken from the wreck, Capt. Watkins being the last man who abandoned the ill-fated vessel.
The barque Kilby, after struggling with the winds and waves for fourteen days, finally reached within ten miles of New York, when a storm arose and she was again driven to sea. The next day she fell in with the ship Lucy Thompson, of New York, whose commander, upon learning her perilous and distressed condition, kindly volunteered to take the passengers on board. This removal was immediately effected, and the Lucy Thompson supplied the Kilby with provisions and water, of which she stood greatly in need. The Lucy Thompson brought these suffering passengers in safety to New York.
The Kilby was afterwards found in a helpless condition, and was towed into Boston harbor by the steamer “City of New York.”
The Three Bells arrived safely in New York, but sufficient time has not yet elapsed to hear of the arrival of the Antartic at Liverpool.
The committee are deeply impressed with the generous conduct of these gallant men, who aided in rescuing our distressed countrymen from the wreck of the San Francisco.
The commanders of the Three Bells, Kilby, and Antarctic deserve the grateful acknowledgments of the country for their humanity and intrepidity.
Thanks and praise are especially due to Captain Creighton, of the Three Bells, who, for six tempestuous days and nights, in a spirit of disinterested humanity, and at the imminent peril of himself and crew, stood by the sinking steamer until her gallant commander, who remained the last man on board, abandoned the doomed and deserted vessel.
Captain Watkins and his officers and crew appear to great advantage on this trying occasion. Lieutenant Francis Key Murray, of the