immediately commenced, and at eight o'clock were partially completed, though she was not in a condition to engage many of the Yankee vessels on account of the injury received. At four o'clock, almost to a minute, General Breckinridge opened the attack on Baton Rouge. A messenger was despatched at eight o'clock to ascertain the strength of the enemy's fleet, and the Arkansas proceeded to a point five miles above Baton Rouge, when she was cleared for action. We learned from the guerrillas on shore that there were only three gunboats. On rounding the point the starboard engine again broke down, and the ship drifted ashore in sight of Baton Rouge, on the Arkansas side. Repairs were immediately commenced, and the ship got afloat at five o'clock the same evening. The, engineer reported that the engines were unreliable. It was determined to make a trial trip up the river to ascertain the strength of the engines — proceeded some five hundred yards up the river when her engines again broke down more seriously than ever. The crew were engaged all night in repairs. Next morning at eight o'clock the lookouts reported the Federal fleet coming up. The ship was moored head down-stream, and cleared for action, and in this condition was determined to fight to the last. At nine o'clock the Essex came round the point and opened fire. At this moment the engineers reported the engines ready, and that they would last half a day. The lines were cut, and the Arkansas started for the Essex with the intention of running her down. Proceeded about three hundred yards in the direction of the Essex, and the larboard engine suddenly stopped. She then makes for the bank, her stern down, the Essex pouring a hot fire into her. In this condition we opened fire with the stern. The Essex continued to advance, and when within four hundred yards the crew of the Arkansas were ordered ashore, and the vessel fired. After all hands were ashore the Essex fired upon the disabled vessel most furiously. In an hour after her abandonment the fire communicated to her magazine, and all that remained of the noble Arkansas was blown up. Lieut. Stevens was in command of the Arkansas, and displayed remarkable coolness under the most perilous and distressing misfortunes. Our informant, Lieut. Reed, states that but for the misfortune to her engines the expedition would have been a most brilliant success, and the Yankees would have been driven from New-Orleans in a few days.
Grenada “appeal” narrative.
camp on Comite River, Thursday, Aug. 7, 1862.On Saturday, July twenty-sixth, we received marching orders, and on Sunday the train left for Jackson. Thence by the New-Orleans Railroad, we were quickly spirited to Tangipanoa, in Louisiana, seventy-eight miles from the Crescent City, and sixty from Baton Rouge. This point--one of those railroad mushroom towns, located in the pine woods of St. Helena parish--was to be the base of our operations. Camp Moore was in the immediate vicinity, where for several months the Louisiana troops had been fitted for active duty in the field. It was now occupied by a regiment or two, with one battery, and some odds and ends of cavalry, the whole under the command of Ruggles. Upon the arrival of Gen. Breckinridge, he assumed chief command, and the troops were separated into two divisions. To Gen. Clarke were assigned Gen. Ben. Hardin Helm's brigade, consisting of the Fourth and Fifth Kentucky, Fourth Alabama battalions and Thirty-first Mississippi regiment, Col. Stratham's brigade of Tennessee and Mississippi troops, and Cobb's Kentucky and Hudson's Mississippi batteries. To Gen. Ruggles were given his old force, the Fourth Louisiana, Col. Allen; Louisiana battalion, Col. Boyd; the Partisan Rangers, and Semmes' battery, together with Preston's brigade, commanded by Colonel A. P. Thompson, of the Third Kentucky, composed of the Third, Sixth and Seventh Kentucky, and Twenty-sixth Alabama regiments. These troops were mostly war-worn veterans, but their long marches and the arduous picket-duty at Vicksburgh had nearly decimated their ranks, so that they were but skeletons of regiments. It was now announced that a descent upon Baton Rouge, and the possession of the Mississippi River was contemplated. The plan was a very feasible one, notwithstanding our limited land forces. Gen. Breckinridge was to attack the enemy in the rear of the town, and destroy or capture his troops, while the ram Arkansas would engage the gunboats, and prevent their rendering any assistance to their comrades on shore. The Arkansas had been repaired, her crew renewed, and she was again ready for action. We waited at Tangipanoa several days to ascertain definitely that she was prepared. In the mean while the quartermasters were busy hiring teams, and engaging transportation. But with all their endeavors, their success was in no way commensurate with the wants of the army. At last we were off. Gen. Van Dorn had telegraphed Gen. Breckinridge that the Arkansas was ready, and there was no obstacle to our success but the long, sandy, blazing road of sixty miles. The boys stepped gayly away to the sound of music's inspiriting strain,, their battle-flags streaming proudly, and their hearts pulsating quickly at the prospect of punishing the foe. Yet one third of the small number with which we had left Vicksburgh were prostrate with sickness, and it appeared as if more troops remained than went forward. The heat was terrible, and the men fell out of ranks rapidly. Almost every farm-house on the roadside was converted into a hospital. On Sunday, the third inst., Gen. Breckinridge advised Gen. Van Dorn that he would be prepared to attack Baton Rouge at daylight the following morning. Gen. Van Dorn replied that the Arkansas would not reach a position where