Chicago Tribune account.
A rebel account.
A correspondent of the Jackson (Miss.) Appeal
, writing from Fort Pemberton
on the eighteenth of March, gives the following account of the fight:
Last Wednesday morning the Yankee
fleet of gunboats and transports, to the number of thirty-seven, led by a broad-horned iron-clad, which our boys called the Chilly Coffee
, started from a point on the Tallahatchie
three miles above us, (where they had tied up the night before,) and came tearing round the bend of the river in full gallop, as though they were going on down to Snyder's Mill
We knew they were coming; as, just as the Chilicothe
poked her nose round the corner, she ran against a percussion-shell from a thirty-two-pounder rifle that had been playfully and courteously forwarded for her reception and welcome.
This was followed by a plug from our Whistling Dick, (alongside the thirty-two-pounder,) and the electrified Yank
backed up the river, around the bend, where, exposing nothing but her bow-guns--eleven inches--she replied to us. After firing four times at our battery, a shell from the thirty-two-pounder exploded in our cotton breast-works, making the balls fly, and she drew off. We struck her, in the short engagement, seven times.
That afternoon another gunboat came in her place, and, as a consequence, it took them from dark to daylight next morning to repair damages.
We lost that day one killed and four wounded by fragments of shell, and four slightly burned by the ignition of a small quantity of powder.
On Thursday the engagement was unimportant.
No injury sustained by us.
On Friday morning we discovered that they had succeeded in masking a battery of heavy pieces in the dense forest in our front; and from this, two gunboats, and a thirteen-inch mortar, they opened upon us at ten o'clock A. M. The fight was kept up furiously throughout the day, closing at sunset.
One of the guns on a gunboat — I think the St. Louis
— was a two-hundred-pounder; the others on the boats eleven inches; the mortar thirteen inch, and the land battery twenty-four pounder rifles.
It is fair to say that a projectile was in the air all the time.
They appeared to be of every conceivable shape, from spherical to the lamp-post style of architecture; and some of them, I verily believe, had long tails, which were defiantly switched in our faces as they went whizzing and howling spitefully but harmlessly by. Our shot, shell, grape, and canister fell so thick and fast in the timber, that we succeeded in spoiling one of the guns in their battery; but they are an industrious set of skunks, and in two hours they had substituted it for a set of smaller calibre.
At about one o'clock P. M., one of the gunboats withdrew badly damaged.
The other stood it out, however, though struck several times, until just as the sun was setting, when your correspondent noted the direction of the three shots from Whistling Dick.
They were to the point, and the broad horn went round the corner à la
crawfish, and disappeared.
It is proper to say that they stand bow on, and only two can come at a time.
They dare not turn round when they want to withdraw, as that would expose their tenderest parts.
You may know that backing a clumsy gunboat up-stream is no easy business.
Since then, the engagements have been of little or no importance, so far as we can see.