Nothing came either of that battery or of Banks
The battle clock was clearly at fault.
An error had crept in between 8 p. m., when Banks
thought that the batteries were to be passed that night, and 11:30 p. m. when the fleet, belching forth flame and broadsides, was actually rushing past.
At that hour Banks
was out on the Bayou Sara
road, idly reconnoitering when fleet and batteries clashed together, and his hope lay in ruins.
The broadsides could not have been very appalling.
The Confederates in the batteries received each broadside with laughter.
an open Mississippi
had always been the paramount object.
The fleet, guided and directed by his courage, was his main factor in the duty which had been confided to him by the government.
In fronting Forts Jackson
and St. Philip
the first step had been taken.
It had settled forever the possibility of a fiery transit of war-steamers rushing past a given point, behind which might be heavy guns, manned by skillful gunners.
liked the exhilaration of the trial, as he enjoyed a storm at sea. He regretted the disabled steamers of his second venture, but with the Hartford
and the Albatross
, one-fifth of his venturous fleet, the admiral found himself abundantly able to blockade Red river
With these two sisters he could control the Confederate
trade down that stream.
No supplies could come down to victual the gunners of Port Hudson
or those behind the batteries of Vicksburg
One more trial; one more triumphant gathering together of his fleet; one more order to rush in concert, would tell the story of an open stretch from Itasca
to the Gulf
, in March, 1863, was still seated upon her hills, conscious that by land and water foes were gathering around her, but still in her armor invincible.
One result was assured to Banks
What had been done before Port Hudson
was in favor of his hopes, at some future day, of effecting a consolidation with the victorious