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 over fourteen inches of solid timber, held together with two-inch iron bolts. She was constructed something after the order of the old Merrimac, but much stronger; her sharp iron prow would have been formidable as a ram, but she lacked speed for this purpose. Her port-holes were protected by heavy iron shutters, which proved a disadvantage in the fight. The Federal fleet moved up majestically in single file. It was a sublime spectacle, ‘but distance lends enchantment to the view.’ It was at once perceived that Farragut had received large accessions to his force during the night, among which were three double turreted ironclad monitors, one of which formed the van. Suddenly a white cloud of smoke enveloped the front, and roar of artillery begins, the fleet pouring broadside after broadside into the fort as they pass in. The iron monitor Tecumseh, just in advance of the flagship Hartford, as it is entering the channel, strikes a torpedo, and sinks in a few minutes. The whole crew, one hundred and thirty, except four, are drowned. This caused the fleet to halt, and just here Farragut's biographer Mr. Lossing, says he prayed for divine guidance, whether he should proceed or not. Being answered in the affirmative, he gave the order to advance. I don't know about the prayer; it was short, but the poor fellows on the Tecumseh did not have time to say that much. As they came inside the Bay our guns opened on them, and our little wooden ships fought gallantly, but were soon disabled and captured. But one escaped ingloriously like the Spartan at Thermopylae, to tell the tale. We had now to fight the whole fleet single handed. They poured their shot thick and heavy upon us at short range, but with little effect, while our guns played havoc on their wooden ships. After a severe engagement of thirty minutes or more, a strange thing was seen; a whole Federal fleet, consisting of the strongest vessels in the navy, manned by the best men in the service, retreating before one single ship. They ran up the Bay beyond reach of our guns, and anchored. We held the field. The admiral ordered the men to have breakfast. As soon as this was over the crew was mustered on deck. He mounted a gun-carriage and addressed them in a stirring speech. As he closed in the language of Nelson at Trafalgar in ‘The country expects every man to do his duty,’ with a wild huzza the men rushed to their guns. As we bore down upon them under a
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