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[202] down tile river. At 3.45 the gunboat Ceres came down, passing near, stating that the ram was close upon her.

Commander Flusser was informed of this fact, immediately came on deck, and ordered both vessels (which were lashed together) to steam as fast as possible to run the ram down. The order was instantly obeyed; the chain was slipped, and ‘bells rung to go ahead fast.’ The vessels were moving up the river to meet the ram, and it was making for the vessels.

Within two minutes the ram struck the Miami on the port-bow without serious injury. At the same time the Southfield was pierced nearly to her boilers and sank rapidly. As soon as the batteries of the two vessels could be brought to bear on the ram, they opened on her with 100-pounder rifles and Ix-inch guns. The guns had been loaded will sells. ‘Flusser fired the first shots personally from the Miami, the third being a 10-second Dahlgren shell. It was directly after that fire that lie was killed by pieces of shell.’

Several of the guns' crews were wounded at the same time; the bow-hawser had parted, and the Miami swung around to starboard. The after-hawser was then either cut or parted, and the Southfield sank directly, while the engines of the Miami had to be reversed to keep her off the bank. The ram again made for the Miami, and the officer then in command, says in his report: ‘From the fatal effects of her prow upon the Southfield, and of our sustaining injury, I deemed it useless to sacrifice the Miami in the same way.’ Certainly he was not wrong in keeping out of the way of the ram, at least until he determined how to attack her effectively.

When running into the two vessels the ram had made use

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C. W. Flusser (2)
Dahlgren (1)
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