Commander Hollins, formerly of our Navy, and more notorious than famous for his bombardment of Greytown, Nicaragua, had drawn rather liberally on his imagination in the above. His prize was a deserted coal-boat; he had not sunk the Preble; and his “peppering” was done at a prudent distance, and with little or no effect. But he had burst upon our squadron blockading the mouths of the Mississippi, at 3.45 A. M. of that day, with a flotilla composed of Ills ram Manassas, three fire-rafts, and five armed steamers. The ram struck our flag steamship Richmond, Capt. Pope, staving in her side below the water-line, and, for the moment, threatening her destruction. Our squadron, consisting of the Richmond, Preble, Vincennes, and Water Witch, instantly slipped their cables, and ran down the South-west Pass, very much as they would have done had all on board been considerably frightened. Commander Robert Handy, of the Vincennes, ran his vessel aground in the flight, and deserted her, with all his men; setting a slow-match to destroy her, which happily failed. His vessel was recovered unharmed. The fire-rafts were entirely avoided; the Rebel steamboats not venturing within range of the Richmond's guns; while Hollins's haste to telegraph his victory seems to have cost him all its legitimate fruits. Beyond the destruction of the fire-ships, the losses on either side were of no account. On the 29th of October, another and far stronger naval and military expedition set forth from Hampton Roads, and, clearing the capes of Virginia, moved majestically southward.
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