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[202]

A fiercer engagement followed on February 1st. According to the report of Colonel Anderson, the attack began at 7:45 a. m., participated in by the monitor, three gunboats and one ironclad. As the vessels approached, Capt. Arthur Shaaff, commanding the First battalion sharpshooters, lined the river bank with his men, prepared to annoy the enemy if the obstructions were passed. Martin's light battery and Captain McAllister's troop were held in reserve; two rifle guns of the Chatham artillery, under Lieutenant Whitehead, were placed in pits on a bluff a mile to the rear, and the guns of the Nashville were taken out and mounted about seven miles up the river under the command of Captain Baker, while the steamer was put in readiness to be sunk if necessary to keep her from capture by the enemy. The Federal monitor took position at a distance of 800 to 1,000 yards, while the wooden boats lay two miles east. The fort opened fire and for five hours the combat continued. According to the Federal report, the Confederate fire was accurate and the monitor was hit forty-six times, but the weight of metal thrown at her was not sufficient to do harm. Colonel Anderson's official account of this fight was as follows:

The enemy fired steadily and with remarkable precision; at times their fire was terrible. Their mortar firing was unusually fine, a large number of their shells bursting directly over the battery. The ironclad's fire was principally directed at the 8-inch columbiad, and at about 8:15 o'clock the parapet, in front of this gun was so badly breached as to leave the gun entirely exposed. The detachment did not leave their gun or evince the slightest fear, but in a most gallant and determined manner fought their gun to the close of the action, refusing to be relieved. The name of the brave officer who commanded this gun is First Lieut. W. D. Dixon, of the Republican Blues, First Georgia volunteer regiment. At 8:30 a. m. one of the 32-pounders was disabled, one of the trunnions being knocked off. The same shot also killed Maj. John B. Gallie, Twenty-second battalion

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R. H. Anderson (2)
Charles L. Whitehead (1)
Arthur Shaaff (1)
J. L. McAllister (1)
Robert Martin (1)
John B. Gallie (1)
W. D. Dixon (1)
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February 1st (1)
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