|The “Winona” --last in the line This little vessel, mounting but two guns, brought up the rear of the third division in the passage of the New Orleans forts. Following the red stern-light of the “Itasca,” she became entangled in the logs and driftwood of the Confederate obstructions on the smoke-clouded river. In backing out she fouled the “Itasca” ; both vessels lost nearly half an hour in getting under way again. By this time most of the squadron had passed the forts and daylight was coming fast. Undaunted, Lieutenant Edward Tatnall Nichols of the “Winona” pressed on, a fair mark for the gunners of Fort Jackson. The first shot from the Fort killed one man and wounded another; the third and fourth shots killed or wounded the entire gun-crew of her 30-pounder except one man. Still Lieutenant Nichols pressed on to Fort St. Philip. There his vessel and the “Itasca” became the center of such a terrific storm of shot that Commander David D. Porter, of the mortar-boat flotilla, signalled the two little vessels to retire. The “Itasca” had to be run ashore below the mortar-boats. The “Winona” had been “hulled several times, and the decks were wet fore and aft from the spray of the falling shot.” She survived to run the batteries at Vicksburg with Farragut. She exchanged a few shells with Fort Morgan in Mobile Bay while on blockade duty there, August 30, 1862.|
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