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[109] she began hastily backing her engines to escape the shock. The Queen necessarily struck her coal barge, cutting entirely through it and into her side, disabling her engines. After the blow, the Queen backed out. The Webb was close behind and, dashing up at full speed, struck the Indianola on the bow. This tore away her other barge, injuring her severely. The Indianola fired her forward guns at the Webb, which the Webb escaped. Twice did the Queen, coming up again to ram her, crush her paddle-box. The kestrel, in her peril, had gained desperation. She poured her heavy shot into the Queen from her rear casemates, killing six men and disabling three guns. The Webb, coming up again, rammed also, striking the paddle-box, displacing the iron plates and crushing the timbers. Fighting in the night was a dramatic touch too common in the war. The Queen and the Webb were preparing for another blow. Nothing could be seen through the night—only voices heard calling out from the Indianola that she was sinking. Major Brent, after the surrender, carried his prize to the east side of the river, where she sank on a bar. As a memento of the battle, the gun deck of the Indianola remained above water. Another fight between Confederate river boats and Federal gunboats, in which victory remained with the Confederate makeshifts:

Maj.-Gen. Frank Gardner, in command of the works at Port Hudson, was a thoroughly earnest man. He was untiring in his efforts to prepare the works for the conflict which had become inevitable after New Orleans had been captured and Vicksburg menaced. Port Hudson is situated on a bluff on the east bank of the Mississippi. Baton Rouge is 22 miles below it. Its heavy batteries at the time of the war were located along the bluff at points commanding extended ranges above and below them. The elevation above the water line was 85 feet at the highest point. The water battery was about 45 feet above the water line of the Mississippi and was pierced

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