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[556] division, who was sick, and thus met his death. He was in the act of speaking to some one down in the cockpit when a solid shot came through the ship's side and severed his head down to his shoulders. His head was literally torn to pieces, and but fragments of it could be found, while his body fell across the edge of the hatch, and his life's blood gushed in torrents down in the orlop. He was a clever fellow, and he and I were fast friends.

The same shot that killed poor Lounsberry also struck a colored cook, taking half of his head off, and also wounded several others. A man named Cameron was also struck in the head and his head partly taken off, on the spar-deck, and but a few feet from where I stood. Our loss in the engagement is three killed and six wounded. The rebels seemed, as usual, to concentrate all their fire on the “Old Hartford.”

All of Commodore Davis's vessels, except the captured steamer Sumter, are still above the city to prevent the ram from going up, and all of our fleet are lying below with steam up, ready for action at a moment's notice. The ram could be seen moving about in front of the city yesterday, but she has not attempted to run the gauntlet again. Capt. Porter, of the Essex, says he can take the ram, and Flag-Officer Farragut says he may do so, but I don't know whether it will be tried or not. Owing to the darkness and the smoke, no one in the fleet saw a sign of the ram on the night we passed, otherwise an attempt would have been made to sink her by running into her.

Lieut. Heisler, of the marine corps, died on his way to Memphis. He was attached to this ship and was going home on account of ill-health. I have no more room and must now close, and remain your affectionate son,


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W. D. Porter (1)
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