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 She was in a nearly sinking condition at the close of the engagement, and was towed to the east bank of the river and there made fast. A lieutenant (of infantry, it is said), with a small detachment, was put in charge of her till repairs could be made. Her reappearance under the Confederate flag was so much dreaded by the Federals above Vicksburg, that they devised the following trick to secure her total destruction by her captors: A coal-barge was covered with timber and plank, and so painted as to resemble closely an iron-clad. Imitation guns were provided, and every means employed to give the imitation the character of a formidable verity. Thus prepared, it was turned adrift to float down near the Indianola. Its real character was detected by the batteries at Vicksburg, but it met with better success when it came near the inexperienced infantry officer in charge of the Indianola. Fearing an attack, the Lieutenant did just what the shrewd Federals had hoped — fired his boat and decamped. I am glad to be able to adduce the testimony of an eye witness, who was throughly acquainted with the whole transaction, in the shape of a letter from Lieutenant William T. Patten, to Lieutenant John B. Rowan, of the Third Maryland artillery.
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