struck the “Arkansas,” one of her 10-inch solid shorts struck the armor of the “ Arkansas.” * * * killing eight men and wounding six, half of the crew. The “Essex” swung alongside of the “Arkansas,” when the latter gave her a port broadside with guns depressed, apparently disabling her, for she ceased firing and drifted down the river.The ‘Essex’ fired only three shots; and, but for the short-handed crew of the ‘Arkansas,’ would not have escaped capture. “The Queen of the West” was now close to us, evidently determined to ram us. The guns had been fired and were now empty and inboard. Somehow we got them loaded and run out; and by the time she commenced to round to, the columbiads were ready, as also the broadside guns. Captain Brown adopted the plan of turning his head to her also, and thus received her blow glancing. She came into us at an enormous speed, probably fifteen miles an hour. * * * Her blow, though glancing was a heavy one; the prow or beak making a hole in our side and causing the ship to carreen and roll heavily. * * As did the “Essex,” so the “Queen” ran into the bank astern of us, and got the contents of our stern battery. More nimble than the “Essex,” the “Queen” soon backed away, returning up-stream and, getting our broadside guns ready again, she evinced no disposition to engage us further. * * ‘Beating off these two vessels, under the circumstances, was the best achievement of the “Arkansas.” ’—Lieut. Gift. Notwithstanding her severe experiences at Vicksburg, and the fiery ordeal of those two great battles, the ‘Arkansas’ could be seen, almost daily, steaming up and down the river in front of the batteries, as if in contempt of all the efforts made to destroy her. The Federal fleet had given up the siege of Vicksburg, and gone down the river towards New Orleans, or Baton Rouge.
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