venture, and having prepared his vessel with extra planking and chain cables, and taking alongside a barge loaded with baled hay, started on the night of April 4th to pass the batteries.
The feat was accomplished during a terrific rainstorm, and although it was repeated by Lieutenant Thompson
in the Pittsburgh
a night or two later, Walke
was the first to tempt what seemed in the minds of the other officers annihilation.
The passing of the batteries sealed the fate of Island No.10
, and it was surrendered on April 7, 1862, leaving the Federal fleet free to proceed toward the strongly built Fort Pillow
A word must be said of the efforts of the Confederate naval forces to resist the downward progress of the Western Flotilla
A number of wooden steamers had been purchased or seized at New Orleans, and six of these, their bows, and in some cases their engines, protected with iron plating and carrying six or seven guns apiece, ascended the river with Commander George N. Hollins
They were the McRae, Livingston, Maurepas, General Polk, Pontchartrain
, and Ivy
. The ram Manassas
was with them, but receiving an injury from a snag, she was sent back to New Orleans.
remained below New Madrid, in the vicinity of Tiptonville
, for some time, engaging the shore batteries now occupied by the troops of Generals Pope
He had resolved to stop the Federal
gunboats if they should pass Island No.10
, but he soon began to doubt his ability to do this, and, besides, his powder supply became almost exhausted.
So he went down the river in response to an urgent summons from Commander Whittle
at New Orleans, incurring thereby the displeasure of the Richmond Government
Most of the fleet was burned at the mouth of the Yazoo
, after its guns had been left behind at Fort Pillow
, to prevent its falling into the hands of the Federals
The scout-boat Grampus
and six transports were sunk at Island No.10
before the surrender.
The latter were raised, and one of them became famous as the hospital-ship Red Rover
' ships were now replaced by a somewhat strange