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[428] target of which the enemy took every advantage. The gallant Crocker still kept up a constant fire from both bow and broadside guns, the quick rifles, loaded with double charges of grape, being poured into the main work, sweeping the parapet clean at every discharge, and killing the enemy by scores, while with his broadside guns he administered dose after dose of shell and solid shot to the battery on the left. Lying as he did, he would probably have succeeded in silencing the main work, thus enabling the troops to land, had it not been for the broadside work; for it was from that his boat was disabled. Up to time she has sustained no material damage. The shots which had struck her had been harmless to the ship, and but very few of his crew were injured. But fate was against him, and he was obliged to succumb. A shot from the small battery struck his boat about the centre, passing through her side and entirely through the boiler, leaving her a stranded wreck at the enemy's mercy. The flag was instantly lowered; but the firing still continued, both from the boat and the batteries. It must have been lowered without the Captain's knowledge, or he may have been killed and the crew left without a leader. An instant more, and just after a shower of grape was poured into the noble little craft, the white flag was run up and the firing ceased. The engagement was concluded. Brave hearts and manly forms had been sacrificed upon the altar of their country, but without success. There was but one available gunboat left uninjured, the Arizona, and she was incapable of offensive operations against works of such strength. She was immediately withdrawn from the unequal contest, and the order reluctantly issued to the fleet to withdraw.

Considering the number of the forces engaged, it is doubtful if any affair of the whole war can compare with the battle of Sabine Pass in obstinacy of fighting, loss of life, and the amount of interest involved. To the enemy it was a matter of life and death, and to the Union forces it was the opening battle of a most brilliant campaign. The enemy retained their prize; but their loss has been undoubtedly without precedent in the annals of the war, and they will, in the midst of their rejoicing, tremble at the thought of a repetition of the attack. There were on board the Clifton, beside her crew, a party of seventy-five sharp-shooters and three of the signal corps, and on the Sachem a detachment of thirty sharp-shooters. Of the crew of the Clifton, five soldiers, one sailor, and one signal man escaped down the beach, and were taken off by a boat from the fleet. The number of killed and wounded must have been large, particularly on the Clifton, as she was not only exposed to a cross fire, but was raked from stern to stern by grape. As to the killed and wounded on the Sachem nothing is known; but the loss is supposed to be light, and mostly from the escaping steam, as but the one shot was known to have struck her. The loss of the enemy was undoubtedly enormous, as the huge nine-inch shell apparently searched every nook and corner of the earthwork; and when the Clifton was aground the same guns poured in a murderous fire of grape, sweeping the parapet from end to end. Their loss, however, will probably never be known.

Where the blame is to rest in this affair it is difficult to determine, as the arrangement appeared to be of the most perfect character throughout, and the action of all engaged unsurpassed in determination. There appeared to be a failure in some respects in the quartermaster's department; but the result of the entire affair will probably, and with justice, be ascribed to those accidents which so often determine the fate of armies as well as nations.



Another account.

New-Orleans, September 12, 1863.
On arriving at the spot on which our troops were destined to land, it was soon found to be impossible to attempt any thing of the kind, owing to the marshy nature of the ground and the excessively shallow water. It soon, therefore, became evident that upon our gunboats would devolve the whole task of attacking; and gallantly did some of them go into an engagement that is pronounced by all who saw it one of the most desperately contested of the whole war.

The attack was commenced about half-past 3 o'clock on the afternoon of the eighth, by the gunboat Clifton, Captain Crocker commanding, carrying nine heavy guns, two of which--one at the bow and the other at the stern — were nine-inch pivots.

Captain Crocker opened fire at a distance of about two miles from his bow pivot, and after an experimental shot or two, acquired the range, pouring in upon the enemy a continuous stream of fire.

The Sachem, Captain Johnson commanding, in the mean time took up a position where she could pour a raking cross-fire, and also opened with her broadside of rified pieces, which were served with equal precision and effect.

About the same time the powerful battery of the Arizona, Captain Tibbetts, from a position at the stern of the Sachem, also opened upon the enemy with screaming shell and hissing round shot — every one of which could be plainly seen plowing up the interior of the fort and crashing through the breastworks.

This continued for some time before the enemy replied, the ships gradually nearing the fort and increasing the rapidity of their fire until they were within point-blank range, and the Sachem had nearly passed by the works — on the right hand side of the oyster reefs fronting them — when the enemy suddenly opened a terrific fire from his entire battery.

The firing now continued hot and fierce, the enemy's shot being generally aimed too high, passing over the tops of the vessels, and striking in the water beyond them; while on the other hand nearly all the shots from the vessels were effective, searching every portion of the larger


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