crowded with troops; when it drifted ashore, a wreck.
Three other vessels, one of them a gunboat, were likewise driven ashore and blown up. At 6 A. M., the Morgan
, partially iron-clad, commanded by Beverly Kennon
(late of our navy), attacked the Varuna
, giving her a raking fire along the port gangway, which killed 4 and wounded 9 of her crew, then butted her on the quarter and again on the starboard side, but without sinking or disabling her. Mean-while, the Varuna
had planted three 8-inch shells in her assailant, abaft her armor, with several shot from one of our rifled guns; when she drifted out of the fight, partially disabled.
Ere this time, another Rebel iron-clad, with a beak under water, had struck the Varuna
in the port gangway, doing considerable damage, while our shot glanced harmlessly from the armor of the Rebel boat.
The enemy then backed off for another blow, and struck again in the same place, crushing in the Varuna
's side; but she being under full headway, her enemy's beak for a moment stuck fast in her side, and the ram was drawn around nearly beside our steamer, which was thereby enabled to plow her with five 8-inch shells abaft her armor.
This finished her performance, and she drifted ashore, a burning wreck; while the Varuna
, now in a sinking condition, was run into the bank by her commander, her anchor let go, and her bow made fast to the trees ; her guns all the time at work crippling the Morgan
, which was making feeble efforts to get up steam.
When the water had risen over his gun-trucks, Commander Boggs
turned his attention to getting the wounded and crew out of his vessel.
, seeing her sinking, had rushed to her assistance; but Boggs
waved her on to the Morgan
, which, already in flames, surrendered; she had lost over 50 of her crew killed and wounded, and was set on fire by her commander, who left his wounded to the flames.
Fifteen minutes after she struck, the Varuna
was on the bottom, with only her top-gallant forecastle out of water.
Her crew gained the shore, losing every thing but the clothes they stood in.
Our loss in this desperate fight, not including 6 or 7 previously disabled on the mortar-boats, was reported as only 30 killed and 119 wounded; the fleet surgeon adding that several vessels had not yet made their official return.
, and Iroquois
, had suffered most severely.
, who had witnessed the combat of our fleet with his forts and flotilla, and its triumph, hastened up to the city on horseback, narrowly escaping capture on the way, and gave orders to Gen. Smith
, in command of the land defenses, to make all possible resistance at the earth-works below the town; but the high stage of water, causing the guns of our vessels to command the earth-works, rendered them untenable by infantry.
An attempt was made to raise 1,000 desperate volunteers who would undertake to board and carry our vessels by assault; but only 100 could be found.
In short, New Orleans was lost when our fleet had passed the forts; and all her intelligent Rebels knew it.
, after consultation with the municipal authorities, began