have been worthy of a better cause. The Mississippi was riddled through and through. Four men were known to have been killed ere the ship was abandoned. Among them was Acting Master Kelly, the whole of whose abdomen was shot away. Three were ascertained to have been wounded. There may have been some more casualties, but it is impossible to tell to what extent at present, though a great many exaggerated stories are afloat on the subject. Several were known to have jumped overboard soon after the ship was set on fire, and there can be no doubt that some of them were drowned. Soon after the vessel had been fired two shells came crashing through her, exploding and setting fire to some turpentine and oil which they upset. This caused the flames to spread, whereupon a master's mate hurried on to the gun-deck and reported that the flames had reached the entrance to the magazine. The ship was then at once abandoned, and all hands on board, including the wounded men, were put on shore on the bank of the river opposite Port Hudson. This was accompanied by a deafening yell of exultation from the rebels on perceiving the blazing up of the fire. The Mississippi burned till she became lightened, to which the removal of nearly three hundred men contributed, when she swung off into deep water. She had grounded with her head upstream; but on swinging off she turned completely round, presenting her head down the river, which position she retained till she blew up. At length it was reported on board the Richmond that the Mississippi was coming down, and we all turned out on the poop-deck to see the sight. It was a most magnificent spectacle. From the midships to the stern the noble vessel was enveloped in a sheet of flame, while fire-wreaths ran up the shrouds, played around the mainmast, twisted and writhed like fiery serpents. Onward she came, keeping near to the right bank, still bow foremost, as regularly as if she was steered by a pilot. It was, indeed, a wonderful sight. Captain Smith, her recent commander, and several of her officers, who had by this time arrived on board the Richmond, assembled on the poop-deck, their emotion almost too great for words. Next to his wife, children or sweetheart, there is nothing that a sailor loves more than his ship — nothing that he regrets the loss of so much; and, in the absence of the above-mentioned domestic ties, his ship is to him wife, child, and sweetheart. The feeling of regret at the loss of his ship is enhanced when, as in the case of the Mississippi, the gallant craft has achieved historical renown. No wonder, then, that the officers of the Mississippi should feel a sinking at the heart on witnessing the destruction of their floating home, while they were powerless to save her. As she arrived opposite the port side of the Richmond, some apprehension was entertained that her port broadsides might give us a parting salute of not a very agreeable nature. Captain Smith assured Captain Alden, however, that her port guns had all been discharged. Just as she had cleared us, her starboard guns began to go off. This was accompanied by the explosion of the shells she had on deck, ready for use. These exploded at short intervals. The flames now began to increase in volume from amidships to the stern, and the howitzer on the maintop was discharged with the heat. Majestically the gallant craft — gallant even in its last moments — moved down the stream, till, turning the bend at the lower part of Prophet Island, she was hidden from our view, and nothing more was seen but a bright glare, shooting up skyward. Shell after shell still exploded at intervals, and thus a couple of hours passed away, till the Mississippi was some eight or ten miles below the Richmond. The shells now begin to explode more rapidly, indicating that the fire had reached the shell-room, and cannot be far from the powder magazine. This proves to be the fact; for presently a sudden glare of bright flame shoots upward toward the zenith, spreading skyward, in the form of an inverted cone; an interval of a few seconds elapses; then comes a stunning roar, causing the Richmond to tremble from truck to keelson, and the gallant Mississippi, that so long “has braved the battle and the breeze,” is no more; all that remains of her is sunk in the bosom of the mighty river from which she derived her name. Passing through the starboard side of the Richmond, amidships, a conical eighty-pounder passed through a pile of cordage on the berth-deck, narrowly missing some powder-boys who were handing up ammunition. Thence it entered the machinery-room, passing through and smashing the steam-drum, and damaging both safety-valves, so as to prevent them from closing. Taking its course under the steam-chest, the shot came out on the other side, when it broke in two, and both pieces dropped below. Here I may take this opportunity of mentioning that confederate iron, in these regions, is a very inferior metal. It is not half smelted, but right in the centre are large stones. Early this morning the decks of the Richmond presented a melancholy spectacle. Where the two men fell there was a great pool of clotted gore, which I saw a seaman tossing overboard with a shovel. The whitewashed decks, too, were any thing but tidy; but, hey! presto! as if by magic, the stalwart arms of some two or three hundred men, with the aid of a plentiful supply of Mississippi water, have made every thing as clean and neat as a lady's boudoir. The bodies of the two men who were killed have been removed forward, and to them has been added the body of the boatswain's mate, who lost both legs and an arm, and who has since died. The three bodies have been neatly sewed up in their hammocks, and they are to be put into coffins for interment on shore. Headboards, with their names inscribed on them, will be placed at the heads of their graves, so that the bodies may be reclaimed at any time by their friends or relatives.
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Rebel reports and Narratives.
Doc . 91 .- General Sherman 's expedition.
Memphis appeal account.A correspondent of the Appeal, writing on the fifteenth, furnishes the subjoined details of the
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