Sandy, the former place some five miles distant by river from the latter, as the most available from which to obstruct the navigation of the Tennessee river
and cut off communication with Johnsonville
These points were admirably suited to entrap any passing boat from above or below.
Lieutenant W. O. Hunter
's section — Walton
's battery — of twenty-pounder “Parrotts” under the personal command of Captain E. S. Walton
, was placed in the upper fort at Fort Heiman
. Lieutenant T. S. Sale
's section (Sale had been left sick in Mississippi
's battery — in charge of Lieutenant J. W. Brown
, was placed on the river bank some 800 yards below Hunter
's position, both sections being supported by General H. B. Lyon
's brigade of cavalry.
Lieutenant Joe M. Mason
's section (Mason
had been left sick at Jackson, Tenn.
's battery--Sergeant Lemuel Zarring
in charge, was placed in position at Paris Landing, and Lieutenant Trantham
's section — Walton
's battery--Sergeant Crozier
commanding, was ordered into position about 1,000 yards above Paris Landing, near the mouth of Sandy.
The guns at these positions were supported by General Tyree H. Bell
's brigade of cavalry, dismounted and deployed as skirmishers.
The entire command received strict orders not to disturb any transport, gunboat, or passing troops on the opposite bank of the river.
The batteries being well masked and men concealed, at daylight of the 29th we awaited the coming of a gunboat or steamer with nervous delight.
Our patience was not long taxed, for about 9 A. M. the transport Mazeppa
, with a barge in tow, both heavily laden, unaware of the lurking danger, was allowed to pass Brown
's three-inch “Rodmans,” and when well above us I ordered Brown
to run his guns from under cover up close to the water's edge and open upon her. This was promptly followed by Walton
's heavy “Parrotts,” and with such effect that her machinery was speedily disabled, and she drifted helplessly to the opposite bank, and was deserted by her crew.
's trouble and anxiety to secure this valuable prize was soon relieved by Captain Frank P. Gracey
, a gallant artillery officer, temporarily attached to Lyon
's brigade, who offered to swim the river and bring the boat over, and soon the Captain
, with the aid of a log, was breasting the current amid the shouts and plaudits of his comrades.
Not to be outdone, private Dick Clinton
, of Walton
's battery, and private T. H. “Sack” Moore
, of Morton
's battery, dropping the equipments of the cannoneer, followed the noble example of Captain Gracey
, threw themselves into the water and swam the swollen stream, reaching the Mazeppa
just after Captain Gracey
had taken possession of her. A yawl was lowered,