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[498] proceeded down the Mississippi River, opposite to this place, making an extensive reconnoissance. On our way down we exchanged a few shots with some of the enemy's batteries on the Tennessee shore, and on our way back we attacked two siegeguns, twenty-four-pounders, which had engaged us. We disabled and spiked these guns without receiving any injury. The remainder of the enemy's batteries fired upon us on our way to New-Madrid as long as we were within range.

After my return to New-Madrid, Gen. Pope informed me of your intention to send another gunboat, and requested that I should go down the river, and destroy the remaining rebel batteries above Point Pleasant. At dawn the following morning, and after a given signal, he informed me he would land his army, and attack that of the enemy at or near Island No.10. The Pittsburgh did not arrive till five o'clock A. M.; but as the transports, one at least, were under way with our troops on board, going down, I got under way at half-past 6 o'clock, having ordered Com. Thompson, verbally and by signal, to follow my motions, and proceeded down to the enemy's lower and heaviest battery, consisting of one sixty-four-pounder, and two sixty-four-pound siege-howitzers. We opened a constant, deliberate and well-directed fire upon it, for three fourths of an hour, feebly assisted by our own batteries on shore, when the enemy slackened his fire. Shot passed through our fourth cutter and starboard quarter, cutting away the sheave of our wheel-rope, striking our stern-gun, and bounding over our stern.

About this time the Pittsburgh commenced firing at long range, as she came down. As soon as our steering-gear was repaired, I gradually closed on the enemy, firing a shot now and then — the Pittsburgh, at a distance astern, throwing shell in a dangerous position across our bow, until the fort was deserted by the enemy. I spiked and disabled the guns of this fort, and I then proceeded up three hundred yards further, and found a sixty — four--pound siege — howitzer, dismounted. Still further up, I spiked another sixty-four-pound howitzer, and yet further, we found a fine sixty-four-pound gun, on a pivot, spiked and deserted by the enemy, who had set fire to a private residence there, and upon whom we fired as they ran off. A large quantity of ammunition was left by them at each fort.

I then made the required signal, crossed over to our army, received further instructions from Gen. Pope, and covered their disembarkation on the Tennessee shore, at the captured fort, above Point Pleasant.

At evening, we steamed down to our camp, opposite the enemy's fort, at this place, headed the gunboats for the enemy's battery, until early this morning, when we got under way, and crossed over to Tiptonville, the enemy having disappeared.

The officers and crew of this vessel, during the trials and dangers of the battle, conducted them-selves with admirable coolness and ability. To do justice to many of them, will require a more detailed letter.

Most respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

H. Walke, Commander U. S.N. To Flag-Officer A. H. Foote, Commander U. S. Naval Forces, Western Waters.

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