was injured in the whole engagement and only one horse was hit.’
Another member of the battery writes: ‘Probably few grander sights were to be had during the war than we saw that morning as Farragut
in the Hartford
, just going enough to prevent the current getting the better of him, led his fleet of wooden vessels through that deluge of shot and shell.’
S. P. Skilton
At an inspection the next afternoon, Captain Nims
said that Commodore Farragut
expressed much pleasure at the performance of the battery and the aid it had rendered and stated that it was the hottest fire he was ever under.
The only part taken by the land forces in this expedition was by the two Massachusetts batteries.
A few days later the fleet passed back down the river under a heavy fire from Vicksburg
and remained for some time in the vicinity of the city.
Before Vicksburg the river made one of those gigantic bends for which it is famous.
For three miles it flowed directly toward the city and then bending suddenly flowed in an exactly opposite direction.
Between these lines lay a peninsula scarcely a mile wide.
When following the course of the stream, a vessel going up or down the river was under fire of the batteries for a distance of six miles. It was thought that if a canal be dug across this peninsula the current of the river might wear a channel by which boats could pass leaving them exposed for only one mile. Accordingly General Williams
was commissioned to gather a force of negroes from the surrounding plantations to carry out this enterprise.
Some 1500 were brought in and set to work, but the plan did not succeed.
The position was not well chosen and before the work was completed the river rose suddenly and destroyed all that had been accomplished.
It was now evident that while it was possible to send a