previous next
[23] would endeavor to pass out and destroy the transports, and the vital duty of the flanking column was to take care of Tatnall, and destroy his vessels if he attempted that movement.

With these explanations the reader is prepared to consider the vessels with a speed of six miles per hour, fairly formed in two columns and at 9.26 coming within long range of the earthworks, when the enemy opened. The force of Commodore Tatnall lay just within an imaginary line connecting the two forts. The vessels composing it were poorly adapted for successfully opposing those advancing and now within fair range of the earthworks. Tatnall's were what are known as ‘river steamers,’ extremely vulnerable, boilers and machinery fully exposed, and the guns carried, although rifled, were of inferior calibre.

The vessels entering were not long in replying to the guns of the enemy; with carefully studied elevations and well-directed aim, the heavy shells fell fast within the earthworks, burying themselves and exploding, throwing sand into the guns, covering platforms and gun-traverses with sand, and disturbing much the accuracy of aim and rapidity of fire of the enemy.

As the columns advanced, Tatnall's steamers withdrew, but when the main column turned they again put their bows toward the fleet, perhaps under the impression that the vessels found the fire from the earthworks too heavy to be borne, and were withdrawing. However that may be, seeing the vessels again returning, the Seneca was again headed toward them from a position just reached north of Fort Walker, and on her opening fire, they entered Scull Creek, the entrance to which has no great depth and is intricate; it is situated four miles northwest of Fort Walker.

The Wabash, followed closely by the Susquehanna, swept

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Hilton Head (South Carolina, United States) (2)
Scull Creek (Kansas, United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Josiah Tatnall (4)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: