passed between them, and made for the Oneida
, which was not under steerageway.
It was at this exciting moment that the monitors drew up, and the Winnebago
, forging ahead, took her position between the ram and her seemingly helpless prey.
The Federal vessels had been hampered, in a measure, by being lashed side by side in couples, in the way that Farragut
had run the batteries at Port Hudson
, but now having passed the forts they began to cast off their lashings.
Enabled, in the broader water, to maneuver and use their broadsides, they drove the little Confederate fleet before them, the Selma
surrendering to the Metacomet
, the Gaines
being disabled and soon in flames.
sought the protection of Fort Morgan
, and during the night steamed ahead to the inner harbor and anchored under the batteries protecting the city of Mobile
The Federal vessels, being now out of range of the forts, dropped anchor and their crews were sent to breakfast.
It was a meal that was never finished.
, who had passed through the whole Union line, stopped under the protecting guns of Fort Morgan
and looked back up the bay. Turning to Commander Johnston
, the brave old admiral, who had taught many of the commanders of the ships opposed to him their lessons in naval tactics, said, “Follow them up, Johnston
; we can't let them off that way.”
On came the Tennessee
, one vessel against the entire Federal fleet!
Signals flew from the flagship; the monitors were given orders to come into close action, and the Monongahela, Lackawanna
, and Ossipee
, which had false iron prows, were ordered to prepare to ram. The Tennessee
was as unwieldy as a raft of logs; she made no attempt to dodge the blows of her more agile antagonists.
struck her square amidships, with the only result that she carried away her own bow, and the Lackawanna
, striking the Tennessee
on the other side, suffered likewise.
The Confederate ram was uninjured.
came bearing down upon her now; the ships met almost bows