This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 by Captain Brown, who, with the First Lieutenant, Henry K. Stevens,1stood on a platform entirely exposed to the enemy's fire. This was the signal for fresh girding up, last inspections and final arrangements for battle. Lieutenant John Grimball and myself divided the honor of commanding the eight-inch Columbiads. He fought the starboard and I the port gun. Midshipman Dabney M. Scales was his Lieutenant, and a youngster named John Wilson, of Baltimore, was mine. Lieutenant A. D. Wharton, of Nashville, came next on the starboard broadside, with Midshipman R. H. Bacot for his assistant. Lieutenant Charles W. Read, of Mississippi, had the two stern chasers, both rifles, to himself, and the remaining two guns on the port side were under command of Lieutenant Alphonse Barbot (recently died in New York). Each Lieutenant had two guns. Grimball and myself had each a bow-chaser and a broadside gun. The two Masters, John L. Phillips and Samuel Milliken, were in charge of the two powder divisions. Stephens busied himself passing about the ship, cool and smiling, giving advice here and encouragement there. Our commander, Lieutenant Isaac Newton Brown, passed around the ship, and after making one of his sharp, pithy speeches, returned to his post with glass in hand to get the first sight of the approaching enemy. In a few moments we see three gunboats round a point in full view, steaming towards us gallantly and saucily, with colors streaming in the wind. The iron-clad Carondelet, of twelve guns, commanded by Lieutenant Walke (a renegade Virginian), was on the right. The A. O. Tyler, the vessel which annoyed our troops at Shiloh, commanded by Lieutenant Gwin,2my classmate, was in the centre, and the unlucky river-ram, Queen of the West, commanded by an army ‘mustang’ named Hunter, was on the left. It is quite probable that they imagined we would take to our heels when we saw the odds which were against us. They were mistaken. Owing to the fact that our bow-ports were quite small, we could train our guns laterally very little; and as our head was looking to the right of the enemy's line, we were compelled to allow them to begin the action, which was quite agreeable, as we had levelled all our guns with a spirit-level the day before, marked the trunnions, and agreed that we would not fire until we were sure of hitting an enemy direct, without elevation. The gunnery of the enemy was excellent, and his rifle bolts soon began to ring on our iron front,
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.