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gun.' The gun was got ready and pointed, and was about to be discharged, when Lieutenant Terry called out: ‘Hold on ; you are about to fire into the Hartford.’ And such was the fact ; for the flash of the Hartford's guns at that moment revealed the spars and rigging of that vessel. Consequently the gun was not fired, nor was it discharged during the engagement, the fighting being confined entirely to the starboard side. Still the fight went on. * * * “So thick was the smoke, that we had to cease firing several times; and, to add to the horrors of the night, it was next to impossible to tell whether we were running into the Hartford or going ashore, and, if the latter, on which bank, or whether some of the other vessels were about to run into us or into each other. All this time the fire was kept up on both sides incessantly. It seems, however, that we succeeded in silencing the lower batteries of field pieces. “While a brisk fire was kept up from the decks of the several vessels, the howitzers in the tops were not permitted to remain idle. * * * * * * “I would occasionally get up and walk about the topgallant forecastle for a change of position. During one of these peregrinations a terrific explosion took place beneath me. A shell had entered the forward port on the Starboard side, and exploded right under the gun, splintering a part of the “arriage in front, indenting the gun itself, and cutting off the two legs of a boatswain's mate at the knees and an

arm at the elbow, shaking the topgallant forecastle as if with an earthquake. I knew nothing of what had taken place till some time afterward. * * * “This battery [the writer is alluding to the central battery] stands on a bluff so high, that a vessel in passing immediately underneath cannot elevate her guns sufficiently to reach those on the battery; neither can the guns on the battery be sufficiently depressed to bear on the passing ship. In this position the rebel batteries on the two horns of the crescent can enfilade the passing vessels, pouring in a terrible cross fire, which the vessel can return, though at a great disadvantage, from her bow and stern chasers. We fully realized this last night; for, as we got within short range, the enemy poured into us a terrible fire of grape and canister, which we were not slow to return—our guns being double-shotted, each with a stand of both grape and canister. Every vessel in its turn was exposed to the same fiery ordeal on nearing the centre battery, and right promptly did their gallant tars return the compliment. This was the hottest part of the engagement. We were literally muzzle to muzzle, the distance between us and the enemy's guns being not more than twenty yards, though to me it seemed to be only as many feet. * * * “Shortly after this close engagement we seemed to have passed the worst. The enemy's shot and shell no longer swept our decks like a hail-storm ; but the fire from the batteries was kept up in a desultory manner. The starboard bow gun could no longer be brought to bear. Consequently Lieutenant Terry ordered the men on the topgallant forecastle to leave the guns in that part of the ship, and to descend to the main deck to help work the broadside guns. Our stern chasers, of course, were still available. I left my station on the topgallant forecastle shortly after the men who had been working the bow guns, and passed under where I had been sitting, taking up my station on the port side, Just opposite the forward gun on the starboard side, where but a few minutes before a shell had exploded. “I was not long in this position when there came a blinding flash through the very port I was opposite to, revealing a high bank right opposite, so close that a biscuit might have been tossed from the summit on board the Richmond. Simultaneously there came a loud roar, and I thought the shot had passed through the port I was opposite to. Indeed, so close were we to the battery, that the flash, the report, and the arrival of the shot, crashing and tearing through our bulwarks, were instantaneous, there not being the intermission of a second between. * * * “It was no easy matter, in the midst of such a dense cloud of smoke, to know where to point our guns. Even the flashes of the enemy's guns shone dimly through the thick gloom. Several times the order was given to cease fire, so as to allow the smoke to clear away; but, as there was scarcely a breath of wind stirring, this was a very slow process; still the order was necessary, to prevent

the several vessels from running into each other. * * * “While it was yet clear enough to distinguish objects on the river, lights were seen rapidly moving up the river, above the batteries. They were on the rebel gun-boats, that were making all speed to get out of the way of the dreaded Hartford and the Albatross, and the rebels on board of the disloyal craft knew not how many other Union vessels besides. * * * * * * “Denser and denser be

came the dark volume of smoke, render

ing it next to impossible for the pilot to know where to put the vessel's head. Lieutenant Terry, therefore, stationed himself at the head of the ship, where there was a better chance of penetrating the gloom than on the bridge. Loud rose his voice, even amidst the roar of cannon and the shrieking of shot and shell, directing how the vessel's head should be placed. The order was taken from him by the men all along the deck, and by them conveyed to the quartermasters at the wheel. At times this was a difficult matter; for the noise of battle would sometimes drown the necessary orders thus conveyed. As it was, it seemed to me that a great deal of the manoeuvring was sheer guess work. It could scarcely be otherwise. This was the moment of peril for the Richmond ; for had she gone on shore under the batteries, it would have been all up with her. * * * “Matters had gone on in this way for nearly an hour and a half—the first gun having been fired at about half-past

eleven o'clock—when, to my astonishment, I heard some shells whistling over our port side. Did the rebels have batteries on the right bank of the river ? was the query that naturally suggested itself to me. To this the response was given that we had turned back. I soon discovered that it was too true. Our return was, of course, more rapid than our passage up. The rebels did not molest us much, and I do not believe one of their shots took effect while we

were running down rapidly with the

current. It was a melancholy affair, for we did not know but what the whole expedition was a failure ; neither could we tell whether any of our vessels had been destroyed, nor how many. We had the satisfaction of learning soon afterward, however, that the Hartford and the Albatross had succeeded in rounding the point above the batteries. All the rest were compelled to return.” Two, only, of the vessels of Admiral Farragut's squadron, his flag-ship the Hartford and the gun-boat Albatross, succeeded in passing the batteries at Port Hudson. The Mississippi was destroyed, and the rest, after being more or less damaged, were forced back. The former unfortunately got aground opposite the centre and strongest of the forts, and thus became the object of the enemy's Concentrated fire. Her commander, after Persisting for half an hour in the unequal struggle, gave orders for the burning and abandonment of his vessel. In the mean time the enemy continued "heir fire, riddling her with shot and destroying many lives. While the crew

were preparing to burn and abandon her, two shells struck her and set her in flames. As the fire approached the magazine, all, including the wounded men, left in the boats, and landed on the shore opposite the batteries. A loud cry of exultation arose from the enemy when they beheld the burning ship. The Mississippi, lightened by the departure of her 300 men, swung off into deep water, and, after turning with her head down stream, exploded. The Hartford and Albatross, which had succeeded in passing the batteries at Port Hudson, continued their course up the river. At Grand Gulf they were unexpectedly forced to run the gauntlet of a formidable battery lately established ; but they moved on undauntedly, though roughly treated on their way. Both vessels were more or less injured by the fire of the enemy, but returned it vigorously. The Hartford was struck fourteen times, and had three men killed. Again, on their passage, they were met by a heavy cannonade from the enemy's batteries at Warrenton. After a severe engagement, they passed and anchored on the 26th of March below Wicksburg, at the mouth of the canal cut by the Unionists through the neck of land opposite. Admiral Farragut was thus enabled to send his secretary to communicate with General Grant and Admiral Porter. The messenger arrived in safety, and soon an attempt was made by Admiral Porter to send reinforcements and supplies. Two rams, the Switzerland and Lancaster, and several flat-boats with coal, were dispatched from above. One of the rams, the Lancaster, was destroyed while striving to pass the batteries at Wicksburg; the other, the Switzerland, was disabled, but was rescued by the Albatross, which towed her to a safe position, while the coal barges fortunately floated down the stream without damage. The Switzerland having been repaired, joined the Hartford and Albatross, and, all three now fully supplied, prepared for a cruise down the Mississippi. In the mean time, during a heavy blow from the north, on the 29th of March, the Vicksburg, with which Colonel Ellet had his famous encounter under the guns of the enemy, drifted from her moorings, and floating down the river, went ashore opposite the anchorage of the Hartford and Albatross. Farragut sent an officer to board her, who reported that all her machinery had been removed. While the Admiral was hesitating as to what disposition to make of the empty hull, the enemy came down, on the night of the 30th of March, and burnt her. On the morning of the 31st of March, the Hartford, Albatross, and Switzerland passed Warrenton, on their course down the river. On reaching their anchorage at Turner's plantation, inquiries were made in regard to the wreck of the Indianola, which had been seen at this place on the passage up the river. No traces of her were left, and it was reported that she had slid off into deep water during the late gale. At six o'clock in the evening (March 31st),

the three steamers weighed anchor, and, moving down, engaged the batteries at Grand Gulf. “This battery,” reported Admiral Farragut, “consisted of some two or three heavy guns, sent down from Vicksburg. One of these guns was mounted upon a steamer, which had been concealed up the Big Black River. The enemy had also a light field bat

tery. “They struck the Switzerland twice,

doing no damage, however. The Alba

tross was not struck at all. The Hart

ford was struck only once, but this shot struck an iron hammock stancheon, and threw a fragment of it forward nearly half the length of the ship, and killed a man named Jones, a landsman. This was the only casualty. “We passed this battery in about fifteen minutes, and anchored below Grand Gulf for the night.” On the 1st of April, the little squadron again got under weigh, and proceeded to the mouth of the Red River, where it anchored, after destroying on its passage a large number of skiffs and flat-boats. The three steamers were now principally engaged in blockading the Red River, through which the enemy were obtaining their supplies from Western Louisiana and Texas. They also kept a vigilant guard along that part of the Mississippi over which they held command. On the 6th of April they moved down to Bayou Sara, and seizing some ten thousand sacks of corn, threw them into the river. They then sailed down to within five miles of the

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batteries of Port Hudson, where they anchored. As Admiral Farragut was thus, by his position between the batteries of Wicksburg, Warrenton, and Grand Gulf above, and those of Port Hudson below, cut off from his communications by water, and unable to restore them without a fight, there was great inquietude felt in regard to his safety. The enemy affected to be sure of catching him. The Admiral, while trusting confidently in the power of his good ships and himself to force their way past the enemy's cannon, wherever the object would justify the risk, contented himself, in the mean time, with such communications as he could hold through an occasional adventurous messenger. On the 7th of April, his secretary boldly faced the dangers of passing the enemy's position, and succeeded in reaching Baton Rouge. Admiral Farragut continued to blockade the Red River, occasionally sending out the Albatross to reconnoitre, while the Switzerland joined Admiral Porter's fleet, which had come down from above and was co-operating with General Grant's movements by land. The Albatross, in the course of an expedition up the Red River, had a severe fight with two of the enemy's boats near April Gordon's Landing, the Mary T. 27, and the Grand Duke. Though the Estrella and Arizona, two Union gun-boats, followed the Albatross, they engaged the enemy only at long range, since they had been ordered not to

advance. The Albatross moved up to

within 400 yards of her antagonist, but was prevented from approaching nearer, in consequence of a strong raft which spanned the river and separated them. A vigorous fight now began. “Almost the first shots from the rebel steamers,” says an eye-witness,” “demolished the pilot-house of the Albatross, killing one of her pilots and carrying away a hand of the other. They rigged relieving tackles aft, and thus steered the steamer during the remainder of the action. Her mainmast was also cut nearly in two ; a ball passed through her hull, near the water line, injuring her machinery, but not so seriously as to prevent its use. “The first broadside of the Albatross carried away the steam connection-pipe of the Mary T., killing and wounding thirty persons. The Grand Duke was also struck several times, her cotton flying at every shot, or our well-aimed broadsides taking effect in different parts of her works. The action continued about forty minutes, without interruption of firing on either side. The Grand Duke then finding it too hot for them, backed up stream under cover of the woods, leaving the Mary T. disabled. The Albatross then dropped down and communicated with Captain Cook, of the Estrella, as to the practicability of capturing the disabled steamer. The raft across the river, however, was still intact, and interposed an impassable barrier between our own and the rebel steamers. Meantime, the Grand Duke hitched on to her crippled 9 N. Y. Tribune.

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