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[109] flag. One of the shots passed through her steam drum. The Clifton in the meantime had attempted to pass through Texas channel, but received a shot which carried away her tiller rope. She became unmanageable and grounded about 500 yards below the fort, which enabled me to concentrate all my guns on her, which were six in number—two 32-pounder smooth-bores, two 24pound-er smooth-bores, two 32-pounder howitzers. She withstood our fire some 25 or 35 minutes, when she also hoisted a white flag. During the time she was aground she used grape, and her sharpshooters poured an incessant shower of minie-balls into the works. The fight lasted from the time I fired the first gun until the boats surrendered; that was about three-quarters of an hour. I immediately boarded the captured Clifton and proceeded to inspect her magazine, accompanied by one of the ship's officers, and discovered it safe and well stocked with ordnance stores. I did not visit the magazine of the Sachem in consequence of not having any small boats to board her with. The gunboat Uncle Ben steamed down to the Sachem and towed her into the wharf. Her magazine was destroyed by the enemy flooding it.

During the engagement I was nobly and gallantly assisted by Lieut. N. H. Smith, of the engineers corps, who by his coolness and bravery won the respect and admiration of the whole command. This officer deserves well of the country. To Asst.-Surg. Geo. H. Bailey I am under many obligations, who, having nothing to do in his own line, nobly pulled off his coat and assisted in administering Magruder pills to the enemy, and behaved with great coolness. During the engagement the works were visited by Capt. F. H. Odlum, commanding post; Col. Leon Smith, commanding marine department of Texas. Capt. W. S. Good, ordnance officer, Dr. Murray, acting assistant surgeon, behaved with great coolness and gallantry, and by them I was enabled to send for reinforcements, as the men were becoming exhausted by the rapidity of our fire; but before they could accomplish their purpose the enemy surrendered.

Thus it will be seen we captured with 47 men 2 gunboats mounting 13 guns of the heaviest caliber, and about 350 prisoners. All my men behaved like heroes; not a man flinched from his post. Our motto was, ‘Victory or death.’ I beg leave to make particular mention of Private

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N. H. Smith (1)
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