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[205] taking his camps, and forcing him to seek protection under cover of the guns of his fleet. Major General Breckinridge attributes his failure to achieve entire success to the inability of the Arkansas to cooperate with his forces, and adds:
You have given the enemy a severe and salutary lesson, and now those who so lately were ravaging and plundering this region do not care to extend their pickets beyond the sight of their fleet.

The Arkansas in descending the river moved leisurely, having ample time to meet her appointment; when about fifteen miles above Baton Rouge, her starboard engine broke down. Repairs were immediately commenced, and, by 8 A. M. on August 5th were partially completed. General Breckinridge had commenced the attack at four o'clock, and the Arkansas, though not in condition to engage the enemy, moved on, and, when in sight of Baton Rouge, her starboard engine again broke down and the vessel was run ashore. The work of repair was resumed, and next morning the Federal fleet was seen coming up. The Arkansas was moored head downstream and cleared for action. The Essex approached and opened fire; at that moment the engineers reported the engines able to work half a day. The lines were cut, and the Arkansas started for the Essex, when the other—the larboard—engine suddenly stopped, and the vessel was again secured to the shore stern-down. The Essex now valiantly approached, pouring a hot fire into her disabled antagonist. Lieutenant Stevens, then commanding the Arkansas, ordered the crew ashore, fired the vessel, and, with her flag flying, turned her adrift—a sacrificial offering to the cause she had served so valiantly in her brief but brilliant career. Lieutenant Reed, of the ram Arkansas, in his published account of the affair, states, ‘After all hands were ashore, the Essex fired upon the disabled vessel most furiously.’

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