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 the midst of a furious rain, and in the face of a powerful army of the enemy, it was hardly possible to have everything brought off. Gen. Gantt laboured assiduously to save whatever he could, at Fort Thompson, and was himself among the last who embarked. Our greatest loss was in heavy guns. These it was found impossible to get away; but they were spiked, and otherwise disabled. Some three or four transports were ordered to each fort, to take off the troops and munitions. Gen. Walker's brigade, from Fort Bankhead, was landed at the foot of the highlands about four miles below the Island; Gen. Gantt's from Fort Thompson, at Tiptonville. But although the Confederates had surrendered New Madrid so easily, they had no idea of giving up Island 10. We have already stated that when Gen. McCown reached the Island the position was nearly destitute of defences. Now there were five fine batteries erected on the Island, and well armed, and an equal number on the Tennessee shore-mounting in all nearly sixty guns. Magazines had been provided, the ammunition assorted and arranged, and everything put in readiness for action. From the Island to New Madrid by the river, it is about twelve miles --from New Madrid to Tiptonville about sixteen, and from Tiptonville across to the Island by land, about four miles. There was a river shore of twenty-seven miles, between the last two places, though they were in fact but a short distance apart. This shore had to be closely watched, for the enemy held possession of the Missouri side, from New Madrid to a point below Tiptonville. The brigades of Gantt and Walker were placed along the river, to guard it, with instructions to concentrate and drive the enemy back, if he should anywhere attempt a crossing. On the morning of the 17th the enemy's fleet commenced shelling the Island at long range, to which the Confederates paid but little attention. About ten o'clock, however, they came within range, and opened on Rucker's battery. This battery was on the Tennessee shore, about a mile above the Island. It was located before Gen. McCown took command at the Bend, on rather low ground, but at an excellent point for commanding the river. The Mississippi was very high, and this battery was separated from the others by a wide slough. The platform was covered with water, and the magazine unsafe from dampness. The attack was made by five iron-clad gunboats (three of them lashed together about the centre of the stream, and one lying near either shore) together with the whole mortar fleet. The conflict was terrific. For nine long hours, shot and shell fell in, over and around the battery, in horrible profusion-tearing up its parapet, and sending death through the company engaged in its defence. The men worked their pieces standing half-leg deep in mud and water. The company was small and the labour great. In the afternoon, Capt. Rucker, finding his men exhausted by fatigue, asked for reinforcements, which were
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