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[99] although a corps of skilful workmen under able supervision were engaged at it.

The commanding officer of the Keokuk states that at 3.20, the flag-ship having made signal to disregard her motions, he found it necessary to run ahead of the Nahant to avoid getting foul of her in a narrow channel and strong tide. In consequence, he was forced to take a position slightly in advance of the leading vessel of the line, which brought the Keokuk under a concentrated fire between Sumter and Moultrie, about five hundred and fifty yards from the latter. This position was maintained about thirty minutes, during which time the vessel was struck ninety times. Nineteen shots pierced her at and just below the water-line. The turrets (casemates) were pierced in many places and one of the forward shutters shot away; in short, the vessel was completely riddled.

Finding it impossible to keep her afloat many minutes more under such an extraordinary fire, at 4.40 she was reluctantly withdrawn from action. The gun-carriage of the forward turret was disabled, and so many of the crew of the after gun wounded as to disable that gun. She was anchored out of range of the fire of the enemy and kept afloat during the night, as the water was smooth. At daylight the breeze sprung up, the leakage increased, and it was apparent the vessel must soon go down. Signal was made, assistance arrived, and an endeavor to get the head of the vessel around to tow her into shoaler water, but in that effort she filled rapidly and at 7.20 A. M. of the 8th sunk, her smokestack alone remaining partly above water. The wounded had been put on board of a tug a few minutes before the vessel sunk. The casualties were 16 seriously, and as many more slightly wounded.

Commodore Turner, commanding the flag-ship, states that

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