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[271]

The blue and the gray: ‘by the flow of the inland river—whence the fleets of iron have fled’ Finch's noble lines were evoked by a happening in a Mississippi town, as the opposite page sets forth. The war-time photographs show Union gunboats before they had left the river to peace. The four vessels on this page, Baron DeKalb, Cincinnati, and Mound City at the top, and the Louisville at the bottom, were among the most powerful of the Mississippi flotilla. They were all of the same class, 175 feet long and 51 1/2 feet beam. Each carried three bow guns, four broadside guns on each side, and two stern guns. They were in addition plated with 2 l/2-inch iron, yet they drew only six feet of water, and made nine miles an hour. They were constructed in the first year of the war by Captain James B. Eads, and some of them took part in every important action on the western rivers from the evacuation of Fort Henry to the capture of Mobile, 18G64.

 

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