this landing and the sharpshooters placed behind cypress trees a short distance on the left.
The purpose was to capture the gunboat Columbine
, which had passed up the river the night before.
At 3 o'clock in the evening she came in sight, and Captain Dickison
cautioned his men to be cool and not fire without orders.
The boat moved slowly on and though bearing dread missiles of destruction was truly a ‘thing of beauty.’
She was allowed to come within sixty yards before a gun was fired.
The wildest confusion ensued.
By the time she was opposite our guns we were ready to fire again.
By this round the boat was disabled and floated down the river about 200 yards from our battery and 100 yards from our sharpshooters, striking a sand bar. Then a hot fire ensued, the enemy having two fine 32-pounder rifle guns and 148 men with small arms, but after forty-five minutes she hoisted her flag of surrender.
Only 66 of the 148 men were found alive when Lieutenant Bates
went aboard to receive the surrender, and of this number one-third were wounded.
Several of them died that night.
The officers were all killed or wounded excepting the commanding officer
This officer informed Captain Dickison
that his first lieutenant, who was killed, was one of the best officers in the navy.
He requested to be permitted to bring the remains of this officer to Dickison
's headquarters for interment, and that his winding sheet should be one of the three captured United States
flags—which request was granted.
Never did a command fight with more gallantry than our artillery and sharpshooters in this daring affair, every man displaying remarkable coolness and bravery.
There was not a casualty on our side.
After removing the prisoners and the dead, the arms, etc., at sundown Captain Dickison
ordered the boat burned, as it was impossible to save her from the enemy, several gunboats being in the river below.
was almost entirely new, and considered a very fast and superior boat.
The orders from Major-General Foster