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The deputation proceeded to a point a mile below the fort, where it met the yawl. Lieutenant Faulks, bearing the flag of truce, stated that Commodore Woodworth, commanding the fleet, demanded the unconditional surrender of the fort; and, in case the demand was not acceded to, we would be allowed one hour to move the women and children out of the town. The deputation replied as they had been instructed, and stated that the women and children had already been removed. The yawl then returned to the gunboats, and within a half hour their fire was opened on the fort. When this fire had continued about a half hour, the boats gradually approaching the fort, I sighted and fired the signal gun, as I then considered them within range. All our rifle pieces and heavy guns immediately opened fire, striking the boats several times, evidently with such effect that they dropped down some distance, when I immediately ordered a cessation of our fire. After keeping up their fire for some time, whilst out of our range, the boats began approaching the fort again. When within our range we re-opened our fire, and a close combat raged until 6 1/2 o'clock P. M., when the enemy retreated down the river, evidently crippled. They laid up during the night some four miles down the river. Our officers and men remained at their guns during the night, expecting that the boats would attempt to pass under cover of darkness; but they did not make their appearance until 11 o'clock next morning, when they renewed their attack more vigorously than the day previous, with only the iron-clad and two other gunboats, however. They approached nearer the fort, fired more briskly and accurately (striking the lower casemate alone six times), and exploded most of their shells in the fort. Our fire was most effective, striking the boats repeatedly and exploding rifled shells in their midst.

Captain Purvis, about this time, with a body of sharpshooters, proceeded down the river in the rear of an Indian mound near the boats, and, at the time when the decks were most crowded, opened fire upon them from ambush, and continued firing until they retreated, annoying them to such an extent that they shifted their guns and opened fire with grape and canister.

At about 2 o'clock the same day they retired, evidently much damaged, from the fact that quantities of broken timber from the wooden boats were found floating down the river. I also learned that eight men were buried from off the boats, at a point just above Trinity, and from their own statements there were some thirty or forty wounded on board.

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Trinity, La. (Louisiana, United States) (1)

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