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[463] duel of ponderous ordnance a magnificent and imposing spectacle.

Still we pushed her broadside — to before us, our engine at full speed, pressing our bow deeper and deeper into her. Still she gave way. ... It was a grapple for life. A silent but fearful struggle for the mastery, relieved only by the sharp, scattering volleys of musketry, the whizzing of leaden bullets, and the deep, muffled explosion of hand grenades, which the brave fellow in our foretop was flinging in the enemy's hatch, driving back their sharpshooters, and creating consternation and dismay among the closely packed crew of the iron-clad; but not until our pilot house and smoke stack had been spattered all over with the indentation of rifle balls. No one had yet fallen. We had thrown shot and shell square into her ports from our rifle guns on the hurricane deck, and driven volley after volley of musketry through every aperture in her iron shield, and now our heavy one hundred pounder was training for another crushing blow.

At this juncture, the sharp, false stern of the “Sassacus,” which had cut deeply into the side of the ram, gave way under the pressure, and the two vessels swung around abreast of each other, their guns thundering away with simultaneous roar. At the same moment a shot from the “Albemarle” pieced the boiler of the “Sassacus,” and then was heard the terrible sound of unloosed, unmanageable steam, rushing in tremendous volumes, seething and hissing as it spread, till both combatants were enveloped and hidden in the dense, suffocating vapor. Now the contest deepened in intensity, it was a savage fight for life. The gunners of the

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Sassacus (2)
Albemarle (1)
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