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Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 20: events West of the Mississippi and in Middle Tennessee. (search)
ey found her five miles above Baton Rouge, when an engagement ensued. Owing to defects in her engines, the Arkansas became unmanageable, when she was headed to the river-bank, and set on fire. Her magazine exploded, and the monster was blown into fragments. Soon after the repulse of the Confederates at Baton Rouge, that post was evacuated by the Nationals, and Porter ascended the river to reconnoiter batteries said to be in course of construction at Port Hudson. He passed up above to Bayou Sara to coal, where guerrillas fired upon him. The little town was destroyed in consequence. Because of the fiendish act of armed citizens of Natchez in firing on a boat's crew who went on shore to procure ice for sick men, that city was bombarded by the Essex, set on fire, and captured. The Essex then turned back, and on her passage down the river had a short and sharp contest Sept. 7, 1862. with the growing batteries at Port Hudson. General Butler was satisfied, at the beginning of Sept