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[548] joining the Cricket below in enfilading the enemy's battery, the Champion was enabled to tow the Juliet to a place of comparative safety.

Still, the Hindman dared not attempt to pass: so Porter, in the Cricket, ran down three or four miles to a point where he had directed two iron-clads from below to meet him; getting aground by the way, and losing three hours in getting afloat again. He reached the appointed rendezvous after dark; finding there the iron-clad Osage fighting a Rebel field-battery on shore, at which the Lexington had been firing also; having been hulled fifteen times, but had only one man killed. Darkness now fell; and it was impossible to return to the Hindman; which, however, ran tile battery above, having her wheel — ropes cut away by their shot, and hence whirling around as she drifted by, being badly cut up in the process. The Juliet likewise got by, badly damaged, with 15 of her crew killed or wounded; while the Cricket had been hulled 38 times and had 25 disabled — half her crew. The Hindman had 3 killed and 4 wounded. The Champion was disabled, set on fire, and destroyed.

No further annoyance was experienced in reaching Alexandria. Admiral Porter estimates that he had killed and wounded at least 500 of the Rebels on his way down; while his own loss was less than 100. The loss of Gen. Green was severely felt by the enemy. Porter attributes his reverses to the low state of the river; saying:

I can not blame myself for coming up at the only season when the river rises. All the [other] rivers are full and rising; but Red river is falling at the rate of two inches per day — a most unusual occurrence — this river being always full till the middle of June.

It was reported that the Rebels had induced this anomaly, by damming the outlets of several of the quite capacious lakes which discharge into this river.

Gen. Banks remained at Grand Ecore till the fleet was well on its way below; meantime, the Rebel General Bee, with some 8,000 men and 16 guns, had taken a strong position at the crossing of Cane river, 40 miles below, and, with the river on one hand and an impenetrable swamp on the other, expected to stop here our army; which, when it should be deeply involved in front, the rest of the Rebel army was to strike in flank and rear. Banks, apprised of this arrangement, moved suddenly at daybreak1 from Grand Ecore, marching his army nearly the whole 40 miles, before halting for the night, so as to strike Bee unexpectedly next morning.

Arrived at the river,2 Emory, with his 1st division, menaced the enemy directly in front; while Gen. H. W. Birge, with his own brigade and Col. Francis Fessenden's of the 19th (Franklin's) corps, moving three miles up stream, flanked the Rebel position, striking heavily on its right; the charge being led with great gallantry by Col. Fessenden, who was here severely wounded. The movement was a complete success: the worsted Rebels abandoning their position and retreating in disorder, on the Fort Jessup road, leading south-westward into Texas. Of course, the attack on Kilby Smith, covering our rear, failed also; the Rebel charge being repulsed, and not renewed. Mower's (16th) corps was in line on Kilby

1 April 22.

2 April 23.

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