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[235] to the sky in the form of an inverted cone. For a moment the whole horizon seemed ablaze with fiery missiles. Then came booming over the waves a peal of heaviest thunder. The very hills shook beneath the awful explosion. This was the dying cry of the “Mississippi” as she sank to her burial beneath the waves of the river from which she received her name.

Captain Caldwell, of the “Essex,” who, as soon as he saw the “Mississippi,” to be on fire, gallantly steamed to her aid, directly under the concentrated fire of the batteries, succeeded in picking up many who were struggling in the waves, and in rescuing others who had escaped to the shore. There were about three hundred men on board the “Mississippi” Of these sixty-five officers and men were either killed, wounded, or taken prisoners. Seventy, who escaped to the shore, wandered, for many miles, down the western banks of the stream, in constant danger of being taken captive, wading the bayous, and encountering fearful hardships, until they finally reached the ships below. Two ships, the “Hartford” and the “Albatross,” succeeded in running the gauntlet.

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