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[57] Monarch thereupon made at the Beauregard, and struck her heavily on the bow, causing her to fill rapidly and sink, while the Monarch took the Queen in tow and drew her out of peril. Com. Davis's flag-boat, the Benton, threw a 50-pound ball from a rifled Parrott into the Rebel gunboat Gen. Lovell, striking her aft, just above the water-line, and tearing a great hole, into which the water rushed in a torrent. In four minutes, she had sunk in 75 feet of water, carrying down a part of her crew. There remained but four of the Rebel boats; and these, which had been for some time drifting, though firing, now turned their bows toward the Arkansas shore, which the Jeff. Thompson soon reached, when her officers and crew leaped off and ran into the woods, while a shell exploding on her deck, set her on fire, and she was burned down to the water. The crew of the Gen. Bragg and the Sumter escaped in like manner; while the swifter Gen. Van Dorn fled down the river. The battle had lasted a little over an hour, and its result was most decisive. No man was killed on board our fleet. Memphis, whose population had all been interested spectators of the combat, surrendered immediately.

An expedition, comprising four gunboats and a steam transport, conveying the 46th Indiana, Col. Fitch, was soon dispatched up the Arkansas and White rivers, to open communication with Gen. Curtis, known to be approaching from the West. Reaching St. Charles, the Mound City, then in advance, was fired on from two concealed batteries, and replied, while our troops were landed below to take those batteries in the rear. A ball, from a siegegun on the bluff, pierced the side of the Mound City, and passed through her steam-drum, filling the vessel instantly with the scalding vapor. Of the 175 persons on board, barely 23 escaped injury. Many jumped overboard, frantic with pain, and were drowned; while the boats sent from the Conestoga to their relief, were fired on by the Rebels with grape and canister, killing most of our scalded and frantic fugitives. In a few minutes, Col. Fitch had carried the works by a charge, capturing 9 guns and about 30 prisoners, including Col. Frye, the commandant. The expedition failed to effect its purpose.

The triumphant Union fleet soon proceeded down the river, encountering no serious obstacle till near Vicksburg,1 where it communicated with Com. Farragut, whose fleet from the Gulf lay below this natural stronghold, accompanied by Gen. Williams, with four regiments of infantry. The Rebel fortifications were bombarded2 for several hours, without result; but Lt.-Col. Ellet, with two rains, went that day up the Yazoo river, to capture three Rebel gunboats, which, on his approach, were set on fire and impelled down the current, with intent to envelop our vessels in the flames. The Rebel boats were destroyed.

The siege of Vicksburg was continued by our fleet, and a determined attack made on it July 1, but defeated. The Rebel ram Arkansas came down3 the Yazoo, ran through the astonished Union fleet, and took

1 June 24.

2 June 26.

3 July 15.

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