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[182] miles above the city with steam up. At the same time seven Federal regiments were landed and marched down from Mound City to Hopefield, and deployed on the Arkansas shore to the distance of four miles below the city. At nine o'clock on Thursday evening the scout-boats of Com. Montgomery notified him of the presence of the Federals, by sending up rockets, which was the sign agreed upon, when a signal-gun was discharged from the flag-ship. Contrary to public expectation the enemy did not advance during the night, but at early dawn they were discovered slowly rounding the point behind which they had lain concealed. They formed in line of battle at the foot of the island above the city.

The confederate fleet consisted of the following boats: General Van Dorn, (flag-ship,) General Price, General Bragg, Jeff. Thompson, General Lovell, General Beauregard, Sumter, and Little Rebel, all rams, and was under the command of Corn. Montgomery. Owing to the fact that the Van Dorn had on board over two hundred thousand dollars' worth of public property — a part of which was one hundred thousand pounds of powder — the flag of the Commodore had been transferred to the Little Rebel. Each of these boats carried an armament of two guns, with the exception of the Jeff. Thompson, which had four. The instructions given in by the Commodore to the captains, were that they should fight as long as their coal lasted, or until they were disabled, when they were to sink, burn, or blow up their respective crafts, rather than allow them to fall into the hands of the enemy.

The Federal gunboats consisted of the following: the gunboat Benton, (flag-ship of Commodore Davis,) Captain Phelps commanding; she mounts fourteen guns; gunboat St. Louis, Capt. McGanegle, thirteen guns; gunboat Mound City, Captain A. W. Kelley, thirteen guns; gunboat Louisville, Captain Dove, thirteen guns; gunboat Cairo, Captain------, thirteen guns; gunboat Carondelet, Captain Walke, thirteen guns; three mortar-boats, and twenty rams and transports, including the Monarch, Queen of the West, Lancaster No. Three, John H. Dickey, Henry Von Phul, Cheeseman, and others, the whole fleet numbering forty-two. This overwhelming force advanced, as near as we can describe it, with several of their rams in front, their iron-clad gunboats in the centre, two and three abreast, and their mortar-boats and transports bringing up their rear.

The fight was commenced by the confederate ram Jeff. Thompson, which fired several shots, to which no reply was made. Soon after, however, the firing became general, and for three quarters of an hour the booming of the heavy artillery was incessant, the Federal fleet firmly advancing and our own little fleet slowly retiring. During this cannonade an attempt was made by a Yankee ram, the Lancaster Number Three, to run into the Beauregard; but, by a skilful manoeuvre, the latter eluded the shock, and in turn dashed into her Federal antagonist, striking her a tremendous blow just forward of her wheel-house, which so disabled her as to make it necessary to run her ashore to prevent her from sinking, and the crew from drowning.

The Federal ram Monarch made directly for the confederate fleet, and passed down rapidly. The Beauregard and the Price now made for the Monarch, all three coming rapidly together, but, unfortunately, the blow aimed by the Beauregard at the Monarch missed its object, and struck the Price on the wheel-house, which was entirely torn off, and from which injuries she subsequently sank in shoal-water on the Arkansas side. Her hull is still visible.

Soon after these collisions had taken place, it was discovered that the General Lovell had been struck by a shot, which disabled her machinery. She was then headed for the Tennessee shore, but before reaching the same she was struck by a ram, and instantly sunk in deep water about two hundred yards from shore, at the foot of Huling street. While the Lovell was sinking, several boats, manned by non-combatants, left the shore to aid the crew who were struggling in the water, when, with a brutality characteristic of Yankee conduct during the war, two broadsides were fired at them from two of the passing gunboats of the enemy. Among the killed, by the sharp-shooters, of the crew of the Lovell, was Capt. William Cabell, the pilot, who received a shot through the head and died instantly. Another boat, the Little Rebel, was disabled about this time by a ball, when a Federal gunboat ran alongside, and depressing her guns, poured in a broadside below her guards, which, to use the language of one of her crew, “fairly blew her bottom out.” Most of those on board escaped by swimming ashore, Com. Montgomery being among the number. His escape was made after an encounter with three Yankee pickets, who demanded his surrender as he was nearing the shore. In the fray we have every reason to think somebody was hurt.

Here the narrative of the fight terminates. The Jeff. Thompson, Beauregard, Sumter, and Bragg were respectively disabled, run ashore, or set on fire, their crews meanwhile escaping to the woods. The Jeff. Thompson is blown up, the Beauregard sunk near the shore, her upper-works remaining above the surface. The Sumter and Bragg were the only boats that could be brought off, and these were subsequently anchored in front of the city, with the odious flag of the invaders flying at their mast-heads.

Finding that the Van Dorn, after a long pursuit, could not be overhauled, a portion of the Federal fleet returned to a position in front of the city, when a boat, bearing a white flag, approached the levee and landed an officer and three men, who at once proceeded to the Mayor's office, and presented the following demand for the surrender of the city:

U. S. Flag-steamer Benton, off Memphis, June 6, 1862.
sir: I have the honor to request that you will surrender the city of Memphis to the authorities

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