On the following day, with a view to protect the river near Vicksburg
until the works in process of construction there could be sufficiently completed, he ordered the heaviest steam-rains down from Fort Pillow
His telegram to General Villepigue
to that effect speaks for itself:
On the 19th he asks General Smith
, at Vicksburg
, if it is true that more iron is needed for the Arkansas
, and if ‘no work is being done on her,’ and on the 21st he telegraphs Hon. S. R. Mallory
, as follows:
I want a general order to get what rope is necessary for this army.
Steamram Arkansas reported, “cannot be got ready for one month.”
Is it not, possible to expedite its construction?
Safety of the river depends on it now.
These despatches invite us to give here the after-history of the Confederate iron-clad whose name has just been mentioned.
The manner in which she was saved from destruction, completed, and officered has already been described.
The feats she performed under her dauntless commander, Captain Isaac N. Brown
, who, upon General Beauregard
's demand for an able officer, was judiciously selected by the Hon. Mr. Mallory
, Secretary of the Navy
, are deserving of enthusiastic praise; the more so, since Commodore Lynch
, after inspection, said of her, she is ‘very inferior to the Merrimac
in every particular; the iron with which she is covered is worn and indifferent, taken from a railroad track, and is poorly secured to the vessel; boiler iron on stern and counter; her smoke-stack of sheet iron
Nevertheless, on the morning of the 15th of July, 1862, that Confederate iron-clad, the Arkansas
, mounting ten guns, with a crew of two hundred men, descended the Yazoo River
to attack, not one or two Federal gunboats, but the fleets of Admirals Farragut
, then near Vicksburg
She was met at sunrise,