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[475] which if they declined to do I would do myself. I charged, they surrendered, and in a few minutes I had them in front of me in the bow of the boat, while the boys on the other shore were yelling like madman at my success. Fortunately the prisioners, three in number, proved to be old river men — and good men, as I have found since the war. Having been engaged in that interest myself before the war, I was in my element. I ordered the prisoners into a lifeboat, whilst I passed them coil after coil of rope, until the boat would carry no more. After fastening one end to the Mazeppa's cavil, the prisoners proceeded to row across the river, playing out the cable as they progressed. They soon reached the shore, when a thousand hands reached out to draw the boat across the river.

General Buford took charge of the life-boat as soon as the rope was removed from it, and by it succeeded in getting on the Mazeppa while she was in mid-stream. The General mounted the hurricane roof, rang the bell, gave orders to imaginary crews, and exhibited many evidences of delight in securing a prize loaded with sufficient supplies to feed and clothe his entire division for a year; and thus quietly and uneventfully was landed the first great prize in the Johnsonville campaign.

The following day more serious affairs demanded our attention. The Cheeseman and Venus soon became our prey. The gunboat Undine, or No. 55, after a long and stubborn conflict, was abandoned by her crew. She was perfectly riddled with shell, but, strange to say, her machinery and boilers were uninjured. Gunboats from above and below added their din to the uproar, but to no purpose. Our light guns on the bank were too much for their heavy ones on water, and they withdrew out of range.

In the meantime, the Mazeppa, stripped of her valuable cargo, and a hopeless cripple, was consigned to the flames as worthless property. But I will not tire you with a description of this day's glory, as my share was small, and you know better than any other living man who the heroes of it were.

During the succeeding day I was informed by General Lyon that Forrest intended to utilize his captured vessels in transporting his command across the river, with the view of capturing the supplies at Johnsonville, and then load them on our transport for General Hood, who was at Tuscumbia awaiting supplies by a tortuous route from Mississippi. Had this programme been carried out, Hood would have been in Middle Tennessee thirty days sooner than he did arrive. You can imagine how much smaller would have been the forces to oppose him. The General also informed me that he had recommended me to General Forrest as a

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