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The “Osage” in 1864: one of the new leviathans of the river The low, rotating monitor-turret of this ironclad and her great guns saved both herself and the transport “Black Hawk” from capture during the return of the Red River expedition. The “Osage” was a later addition to the squadron; she and her sister ironclad, the “Neosho,” were among the most powerful on the rivers. Porter took both with him up the Red River. On the return the “Osage” was making the descent with great difficulty, in tow of the “Black Hawk,” when on April 12th she ran aground opposite Blair's plantation. A Confederate force twelve hundred strong, under General Thomas Green, soon appeared on the west bank and, planting four field-pieces, advanced to attack the stranded ironclad. The brisk enfilading fire of the “Lexington” and the “Neosho” did not deter them. Lieutenant-Commander T. O. Selfridge waited till the heads of the Confederates appeared above the river bank. Then he let drive at them with his two big guns, pouring upon them a rain of grape, canister, and shrapnel. General Green, who behaved with the greatest gallantry, had his head blown off. After an hour and a half the Confederates withdrew from the unequal contest, with a loss of over four hundred dead and wounded. The “Osage” was sent to Mobile Bay in the spring of 1865 and was there sunk by a submarine torpedo on March 29th.

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