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[92] mile and a quarter of Fort Jackson, when he was opened upon from that Fort and repeatedly struck. Still steaming directly for the fort, and replying only from his two forecastle guns, when within half a mile he sheered and gave them broadsides of grape and canister, which soon drove every man from their barbette guns; but those in the casemates rendered full and quick returns for every volley received. The Richmond, closely following, hurled grape and canister in profusion. The Brooklyn, bringing up the rear, ran over one of the hulks which had upheld the chain, during a hot fire from Fort St. Philip. Hardly had she been feed from the hulk and her head turned up stream, when the ram Manassas came butting into her starboard gangway, first opening her iron trap-door at ten feet distance and firing at the smoke-stack of the Brooklyn a heavy bolt, which was caught and stopped by the sand-bags protecting her steam-drum. A guard of chain armor, which had been woven over her sides, shielded her from destruction by the rain, which soon slid off and disappeared in the darkness. A few minutes later, while still under a raking fire from Fort Jackson, the Brooklyn was attacked by a large Rebel steamer, to which she gave a broadside at 50 yards, setting it instantly on fire and putting an end to its career. Still groping onward in the thick darkness, Capt. Craven soon found himself abreast of Fort St. Philip, and so near that his leadsman reported 13 feet of water. Bringing all his guns to bear for a few moments, he poured in grape and canister so that the fort was completely silenced, and her garrison were seen by our men in the tops of the Brooklyn, by the fitful flashes of their bursting shrapnel, running like sheep to their coverts. Thus passing the upper fort, Capt. Craven engaged several of the Rebel gunboats, at 60 to 100 yards. He was an hour and a half under fire, lost 8 killed and 26 wounded, while his ship was badly cut up by shot and shell; but she bore her full part in the attack on the Rebel batteries below New Orleans next morning.

The Cayuga, having saluted and passed Fort St. Philip at short range, still pushing on, encountered, when just out of fire of the fort, the entire Rebel flotilla, consisting of 18 gunboats, including the Manassas and Louisiana. For a moment, her doom seemed certain, as no supporting ship was to be seen. By skillful steering, however, Capt. Bailey avoided all their attempts to butt and board, and had already forced three of the less formidable to surrender, when the Varuna and Oneida were seen coming to the rescue. At early dawn, perceiving a Rebel camp on the right bank of the river, Capt. Bailey anchored close beside it, and ordered the Rebels to pile their arms on the bank and come on board as prisoners, which was obeyed. The captives proved to be the Chalmette regiment, Col. Sysmanski. Their flag, tents, and camp equipage, formed a part of the spoils.

The Varuna, having safely passed the forts, found herself “amid a nest of Rebel steamers,” 1 into which she plunged, firing broadsides at each as she passed it, exploding the boiler of the first, which appeared to be

1 Commander Boggs's official report.

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