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[260] the class called tin-clad, mounting eight guns and protected by about an inch of iron, were discovered lying near De Loach's Bluff in Red river.

Benton's Rifle section, Captain Benton, commanding, and Nettles's Smooth-bore section, Lieutenant Smith, commanding, (Captain Nettles present), supported by Major Williams, with a battalion of sharpshooters, were placed in position and opened fire on the tin-clad, who, after severe punishment, rapidly fled after an engagement of thirty minutes.

The iron plated monitor poured a heavy enfilading fire on the artillery and its support, but no attention was paid to it, in obedience to general artillery orders not to reply to the fire of the iron-plated monitors, and our whole fire was directed on the eight-gun gunboat.

On the 28th of April, General Majors, with his division, attacked and drove the enemy on the Bayou Rapides road back towards Alexandria, and Major Semmes took McMahon's battery with him to support the movement. Captain McMahon gallantly performed his part, moving his battery to the front and firing on the enemy repeatedly, at 600 and 800 yards, with considerable effect.

From the 2nd to the 8th May inclusive, Captain Mosely, with his battery, reporting to Brigadier-General Steele, was engaged in many affairs with the enemy on Bayou Rapides.

On the 5th and 7th, at Middle Bayou, Graham's and Long's, he was of efficient service in checking advances of the enemy made in great force.

On the 6th and 7th, Captain H. C. West, with his battery, also reported to Brigadier-General Steele.

On the 7th, Mosely's and West's batteries covered the withdrawal of our forces over Gordon's bridge, driving back the enemy, when they pressed on too rapidly, and delivering some rounds of canister.

On the 5th May, Captain Benton, reporting to Brigadier-General Bee, after a night march of twenty-two miles, engaged the advance of the enemy at Polk's plantation, and punished him severely. He held one position with sufficient tenacity to enable him to fire canister upon the advancing enemy.

On the 6th May his battery covered the crossing of the cavalry when driven over Polk's bridge; and Captain Benton reports that he only crossed the bridge in rear of the cavalry. Just before our forces fell back to Lecompte, this battery was exposed to a heavy and flank fire of the enemy's much more numerous artillery, and stubbornly sustained the engagement, until both rifle guns were disabled by rapid firing. In

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Thomas H. Benton (3)
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