Doc. 112. capture of the Queen City.
St. Louis, July 2, 1864.The rebel General Shelby attacked the gunboat Queen City, No. 26, on the morning of the twenty-fourth instant, while lying off Clarendon, on White River, at anchor. The attack was made between three and four o'clock A. M., with a battery of four guns, two ten and two twelve pounders, at a range of about one hundred yards. The combat was terrible for a short time. The machinery of the Queen City was soon disabled, and the Commander, Captain Hickey, commenced dropping with the current, with a view to get a range for his guns, which it was difficult to do owing to the high banks and narrow stream. After a contest of nearly an hour he was compelled to surrender, previous to which he informed his men, and gave them the privilege of trying the only means of escape (swimming to the shore on the opposite bank), if they preferred that to surrender. Many of the men took to the water, most of them reaching the shore in safety. A few were shot in the water. The boat was surrendered to Shelby in a disabled condition, together with about thirty officers and men. Most of the men were colored seamen and of their fate there is no reliable intelligence. The officers were divided into three squads and sent in different directions under flags of truce; one to Duvall's Bluff with Captain Hickey, his pilot, and a cabin boy, another to Helena, which had been there two days when the Platte Valley passed; the third not heard from. Upon getting possession of the Queen City, Shelby improved his time by taking her effects ashore as quickly as possible. The paymaster is supposed to have had about $6,000 in money. She had a good supply of clothing, which was appropriated by Shelby's men, as was evident from the amount of rags left on the bank. He also got a twelve-pound howitzer, mounted on two wheels, which gave him five guns to hold the point with. At about nine o'clock the same morning he was apprised of the approach of the gunboats Tyler, Fawn, and Naumkeag, in convoy of a fleet of ten transports, in command of Captain Bache, of the Tyler. He having learned of the disaster to the Queen City, through the refugees from her had ordered the transports back to the bluff, and proceeded with despatch to Clarendon. On his approach to the bluff, Shelby fired her to make his work of destruction more complete. The explosion was heard many miles, and the Queen City was a thing of the past. Before the smoke had cleared away, Captain Bache, of the Tyler, Captain Grace, of the Fawn, and Captain Rogers, of the Naumkeag (a noble trio), approached. General Shelby had chosen a position to give them battle, and, with a bravery worthy of a better cause, the rebel General, with his men, worked their batteries. Well did they stand the repeated broadsides of the boats, as they ran the batteries; nor was there any apparent flinching on the part of the rebels until the gunboats rounded to, after having run past. Then came the enfilading fire from a range that gave Shelby's men more than was congenial, and he precipitately decamped to the woods, leaving his prize gun and considerable of the captured ordnance on the bank, to be retaken by our brave sailor-boys. The Tyler received eleven shots. Eight or ten men were wounded; all doing well. The pilot was seriously wounded in the head. Hopes are entertained of his recovery. It is thought there was no one mortally wounded in this engagement on our side, nor do we know the casualties of the enemy. They must have been severely punished when they abandoned a good twelve-pound gun on a light carriage, that could have been drawn by four men out of the reach  of the gunboats. General Shelby having retired from the river, Captain Bache collected he wounded and stragglers and brought them to Duvall's Bluff, and communicated with General Steele, and he immediately ordered a force under General Carr to proceed to the scene of action. General Carr, with about three thousand infantry and cavalry, on transports, accompanied by the above gunboats, landed at Clarendon on the morning of the twenty-sixth instant, to again contest General Shelby's position. Skirmishing commenced immediately, but it was soon apparent to the most experienced commander, that Shelby was not disposed to make a stand. General Carr followed him some twenty miles to the interior, with slight skirmishing, and having no transportation returned to the river by easy marches. The General arrived at Clarendon about midnight of the twenty-eighth instant. He captured one twenty-four-pounder gun (that must have been taken from the Queen City after she was sunk, while the gunboats were away with their wounded), and one thirty-two-pounder that he brought with him from the south side of the Arkansas. General Carr captured one rebel Colonel, wounded, believed to be Colonel Schenck, and many wounded were found, but owing to the excessive heat, were left in care of their friends. Our losses could not be ascertained, from the fact that we did not know how many there were taken prisoners; could learn of but five deaths and twenty wounded. There were many cases of sunstroke; among them, Lieutenant-Colonel Stephens, of the Eleventh Missouri cavalry, well known in St. Louis, who was carried from the field, supposed to be dead, but he lives to fight another day.