The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 39, July 1935 - April, 1936 Page: 16
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
accurate fire of shotguns and rifles of many sharpshooters behind
the cotton bales.
Lieutenant Commander Wainwright of the Lane, and his execu-
tive, Lieutenant Edward Lea, and two men, were killed, and one
officer and eleven men were wounded on the ship. The Neptune
was sunk, either by a cannon ball or by the shock of collision.
The Westfield, carrying the Federal commodore, got aground and
was blown up, by mischance killing Commodore Renshaw and his
officers. The other Federal gunboats retreated from the harbor
and the blockade, but the alert Confederates captured the supply
ships and the Federal infantry. The victory was complete. It
was the greatest setback which had been administered to the Fed-
eral forces at sea, and was accomplished by about three thousand
local troops-partly cavalry, together with four river steamers.
The chief floating prize of the victory was the Harriet Lane, a
handsome and nearly-new vessel. She was the first successful
steamer of the U. S. Revenue Cutter Service, still clinging since
1790 to graceful topsail schooners except at the chief seaport.
Congress had appropriated $150,000, in 1857, for the new ship,
inviting designs from the shipbuilders of the country. Over a
dozen competed, and the contract was awarded to William H. Webb,
of New York, for a wooden steamer of 670 tons, 180 feet long, 30
feet beam, 12 feet, 6 inches depth, propelled by two inclined
engines and side wheels, with the handsome sail rig of a brigantine.
She at first carried a long 32-pounder, four Dahlgren 24-pounder
howitzers, and a 12-pounder boat howitzer. Her name was that
of the beautiful niece of President James Buchanan, who, being
unmarried, asked Miss Harriet Lane to do the honors of the White
House as First Lady. Captain John Faunce of the U. S. Revenue
Marine was the first commanding officer of the new ship, watched
her launching on November 19, and took command November 30,
1857. The ship's first duty was in the suppression of the slave
trade, and her first prize the slaver Wanderer.
In 1858 the Lane was a most efficient member of a naval expedi-
tion to Paraguay, to make a demonstration because of some inter-
ference with American trade; Captain Faunce and the ship were
highly praised for work there. They returned to chasing slavers
until 1860, when a royal Japanese delegation was entertained on
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 39, July 1935 - April, 1936, periodical, 1936; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101095/m1/24/: accessed June 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.