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[211] army refused to allow the detail of men to work on gunboats. Thus cramped for want of money and mechanics, the work necessarily progressed slowly. One vessel, the Arkansas, was finally launched before the fall of New Orleans, and the other was burned on the stocks. Orders came from Richmond to tow the Arkansas up the Yazoo, and when the writer joined her she was at Greenwood. Captain Brown assumed command of her at that place, and fearing that the water would get too low to float her out after she was completed, he at once took her down the river to Yazoo City. Upon arriving at the latter place the outlook was certainly anything but encouraging. There was neither foundry or machine shop in the place. The ship was in a very incomplete condition. The iron of her armor extended only a foot, or a little more, above the water line, and there was not a sufficiency of iron on hand to finish the entire ship. Of guns, we had enough, but were short four carriages. In the matter of ammunition and outfit for the battery we were also very deficient. It was fearfully discouraging, but Brown was undismayed. He summoned the planters from the neighborhood and asked for laborers, and all the blacksmiths' tools they could furnish. In a few days we had several hundred laborers and their overseers. Numbers of forges were sent in, and the work commenced. The hoisting engine of the steamboat Capital was made to drive a number of steam drills, whilst some dozens of hands were doing similar work by hand. A temporary blacksmith shop was erected on the river bank, and the ringing of the hammer was incessant. Stevens went to Canton and got the four gun carriages. I have often been greatly amused when thinking of this latter achievement. He made no drawing before his departure, not knowing that he could find a party who would undertake the job. Being agreeably disappointed in this latter respect he wrote back for the dimensions of the guns. With two squares I made the measurement of the guns (all different patterns) and sent on the data. In a week or a little more Stevens appeared with four ox teams and the carriages. However it would take more space than is necessary to recite all that was done, and how it was done. It is sufficient to say that within five weeks from the day we arrived at Yazoo City we had a man-of-war (such as she was) from almost nothing—the credit for all of which belongs to Isaac Newton Brown, the commander of the vessel.

The following is a complete list of the officers who served in the Arkansas during her four great battles. Some others were attached to her but were not present at the time indicated:

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