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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 1. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones) 5 1 Browse Search
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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 1. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Letter from Captain William L. Ritter. (search)
of which I was a member, I desire to relate a few incidents connected with the closing scenes of his life, and to mention the fate of his successor, Lieutenant William Thompson Patten. When the two gun detachments were put aboard the steamer Archer, January 23d, 1863, and sent down the river in charge of Sergeant Langley, theremanaeuvering his piece mounted on wheels, within a most contracted space, is certainly deserving of the very highest commendation. The 1st of March, 1863, Lieutenant Patten, of the Third Maryland Artillery, was ordered to Shreveport, Louisiana, to take command of the section which up to this time had been so efficiently commande About twenty minutes afterward the fire reached the magazine, and the career of this celebrated boat was closed. After discovering the boat to be on fire, Lieutenant Patten rolled a cotton bale off the side of the vessel and jumped upon it, but it turned with him and he sank, not being able to swim. Thus perished one of the nob