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‘ [201] have to abandon my plan of fighting the ram, lashed to the Southfield. The army ought to be reinforced at once. I think I have force enough to whip the ram, but not sufficient to assist in holding the town as I should like.. If we whip the ram the [Confederate] land force may retire.’

Flusser died bravely in action, fighting his formidable antagonist, at 4 A. M. the day following.

On the morning of the 18th, between three and five, the enemy tried to carry Fort Gary by storm, but were repulsed. In the afternoon heavy artillery opened fire upon the town and breastworks. Then the fight became general. Up to this time the gunboats Southfield and Miami were chained together in preparation to encounter the ram. They were then separated. The Southfield, moving up the river, opened fire over the town. The Miami, moving down the river, opened a cross-fire upon the enemy, who were charging upon Fort Williams. The firing being very exact caused the enemy to fall back. After three attempts to storm the fort, at nine o'clock the firing ceased from the enemy, they having withdrawn from range.1

General Wessels, who commanded the troops, said of this naval co-operation: ‘The fire from the naval vessels was very satisfactory and effective—so much so that the advancing columns of the enemy broke and retreated.’ He desired that the Miami might be kept below the town to prevent a flank movement by the enemy. At 10.30 P. M. the Southfield came down and anchored near. At 12.20 A. M,. April 19th the Southfield came alongside to rechain the two steamers, as speedily as possible, the ram having been seen by Captain Barrett, of the Whitehead, and reported by him as coming

1 Report of Well-s, commanding the Miami.

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