mortar defence, we would triumph. “Now, my gallant boys, all who are willing to stand by me, and by your arms, hold up your right hand.” Every hand went up accompanied by a shout that had meaning in it, as their gallant conduct proved during the fight. The men were marched rapidly to their respective positions, and while this was being done, the Belfast opened fire — the first shell falling and exploding close to their posted artillery, killing two or three of their men. A second and a third shell were fired by the Belfast, but with what effect I do not know. The small piece drawn by two horses now opened fire on the rebel side. The first shot struck the water one hundred yards this side the Belfast, and skipped over the water near her wheel. The rebels were now coming down into the streets, and while being cut down terribly by our men, falling thick and fast on the pavement and street, I observed both boats moving up the river, side by side, the Belfast next the Ohio, and the Miller next the Kentucky shore. I thought at first it was to get a better position, and doubtless it was, so far as they were concerned, but off they went, and, as they went, some two hundred of the rebels charged down to the water's edge, in full view and in line, and still no grape or canister came from either boat. Would it have retarded the speed of either boat to have fired a few shots of grape and canister? and when, as the gunner of the Belfast said, he could kill fifty at a shot? For what were these boats sent here? “Ah! There's the rub.” While our brave and gallant men were perilling their lives against large odds, and their deadly fire turning whole companies of disciplined men into disorder and hiding-places, while our own houses were smoking and crumbling to ashes in a gallant defence, without regard to dollars and cents, we were left to surrender, after killing, to every one of our men engaged, two of the enemy. Wo! be to such officers. Let their conduct be “bitter in every mouth, and infamous to all posterity.” The rebel loss, according to their own record, has been greater than any fight in which they have been engaged, numbering, they say, some twenty odd fights. After the fight was over, it was found that the rebels had not a shell left, and only a few rounds of grape and canister. Their shells did no harm to the gunboats, and but little to the town. It is now conceded on all hands, if the gunboats had done their duty, the town would never have surrendered, and a complete rout and triumph would have crowned our efforts. The rebels had seven companies, numbering about six hundred men. In conclusion, allow me to return my profound thanks to the gallant boys who stood so bravely by their arms. In some instances “Greek met Greek,” and in some instances of a hand-to-hand fight, where the doors were broken in, some of our young men displayed a heroism, and traces of cool, manly courage, worthy of regulars on any battle-field.
J. Taylor Bradford, Commanding Forces.
Report of Judge Doniphan.
Colonel Bradford received intelligence of the approach of between four and five hundred rebels, under command of Bazil Duke. The Colonel immediately proposed to defend the town, his force consisting of about one hundred home guards and militia, and the gunboat Belfast, Captain Sedam commanding. About one o'clock the gunboat Allen Collier moored alongside the Belfast, and Colonel Bradford despatched a messenger to the Collier, requesting her to remain, as we would certainly be attacked by two o'clock. A few minutes later the Florence Miller, carrying a gun, came along and anchored in front of our town. Colonel Bradford then posted his men up the houses along Front street, and up Mill to Second street. The enemy, in the mean time, had reached the hill back of the town, and were rapidly surrounding us. Hardly had our forces taken their position than the rebels, with two small pieces of artillery, appeared on the hill. The Belfast then threw a shell, and so well was it aimed, that it struck within thirty feet of the enemy's gun, killing two or three of the rebels, and causing them to change the position of their gun. The enemy then opened fire, throwing shells with little or no accuracy, and the Belfast fired two more shots with good effect. Up to this time the forces in the houses were not engaged; but, to the surprise and sorrow of our people, the Belfast weighed anchor and abandoned us to our fate. The Florence Miller, without firing a gun, did the same thing; the Allen Collier, although importuned to stay with us, steamed off before the fight, and never returned. Then came a shout from the rebels, and they were upon us. From every window our true and trusty boys were firing, and for one half-hour the leaden hail was doing its work of death; rebel after rebel was made to bite the dust, while our boys, thus secreted, were fighting for their homes and firesides. But what a scene now followed! The houses in which our forces were posted were set on fire, the cannon of the enemy was planted in our streets, and, disregarding the women and children, they were firing shell into the houses. Yet, true to their work, the little band of Union men fought on until it was madness to try to hold out longer. Colonel Bradford ordered a surrender. As soon as this was done, then commenced the pillage and plunder-every rebel acting for himself. Stores were broken open and rifled of what was wanted by the rebels. This, however, was soon over, the rebel bugle was soon sounded, and the enemy retired from our town in good order, though in haste. The fighting was desperate, and although our loss is small, yet gallant and brave men have gone from us forever. Our killed and wounded amount to twelve or fifteen, while that of the enemy number between seventy-five and one hundred--among them some eight or ten officers. We had no means of ascertaining the names of