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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 42: Red River expedition.--continued. (search)
? It was only intended to take eight vessels to Shreveport, viz.: the Lexington, Osage, Gazelle, Cricket, Fort Hindman, Juliet, Ouichita and Neosho. These vessels mounted 50 guns, some of them heavy ones. The other vessels that passed the Falls were necessary to guard Grand Ecore, and a sufficient force was left to protect Alexandria. If the Navy delayed the Army, how is it the gun-boats arrived so much ahead of the latter at Grand Ecore? In fact, at any time previous to the 29th or 30th of March, a medium-draft gun-boat and any transport had no difficulty in passing above Alexandria. A hospital boat, belonging to the Marine Brigade, was lost at the Falls, but this was due to the stupidity of her pilot. There was none of the danger that Banks mentions, or anything more than the ordinary accidents likely to occur among so many vessels. No delay was caused by stopping at Alexandria to establish a depot of supplies. The depot was established before Banks arrived, and there was
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 43: operations of the Mississippi squadron, under Admiral Porter, after the Red River expedition. (search)
shell pierced the bow casemate on the right of No. 1 gun, mortally wounding the first sponger, who dropped his sponge out of the port on the forecastle. Melloy immediately jumped out, picked it up, and sponged and loaded the gun under a heavy fire from sharp-shooters. Johnson, though very severely wounded himself in the hand, took the sponge from a wounded comrade and continued to use it throughout the action. The casualties in the flotilla were only two killed and eleven wounded. On March 30th, a plan was discovered to blow up by torpedoes all the vessels of the fleet. A Confederate mail carrier was captured, crossing the Mississippi with a mailbag full of official correspondence, in which an atrocious scheme was exposed. It was nothing more nor less than to introduce torpedoes in the shape of lumps of coal into the coal piles or bunkers of the naval and merchant vessels, in hopes that they would be shovelled into the furnaces by the firemen, and there explode. Acts of this k