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Thus the unequalled struggle went on for four long hours, and it looked, sometimes, like they would finally overcome us. But many a secret prayer was offered up to Heaven from anxious, if not faithful hearts, to the Ruler of the Universe, and God was very good that day, for ‘He delivered our souls in peace from the battle that was against us’—for not a man of the company was seriously hurt. Although Lieutenant Wilson, who was a strong, heavy man, of about thirty years of age, had been dashed to the ground very violently by a shell, which came through the cordon of sand bags very near him, and I had received a heavy fall, as at one time, I was making a dash from my post where I could observe the effect of our shot, back to where I served the vent-stumbled over the rammer and fell heavily on the hard platform. But neither of us was much hurt, and no one had been disabled, which seemed miraculous. And our company was thus enabled to contribute fully towards repulsing the formidable and hitherto victorious fleet of Federal gunboats.

Captain Jordan, together with our navy had seven men killed while trying to remount their guns. And I believe they were all struck down while our two guns were silent toward the end of the action, when we were ordered by Captain Farrand to ‘cease firing for half an hour,’ presumably to save our ammunition. But we had to commence firing again long before the time expired. For the commander of the Federal fleet, no doubt, thinking that all of our guns had been silenced, signaled to the three wooden boats, which immediately advanced and took up a new position, right behind the Monitor, Galena, and all five of them redoubled their fire on our batteries. And I have always thought that it was at this time all the casualties on our side took place. As we heard the first outcry of the unfortunate wounded while we were lying down with all our guns silent.

About this time a naval officer walked down and said to me, ‘we must commence to fire again, as the boats are now firing into our men.’ So without further waiting we all resumed our posts for action at the guns. When Captain Drewry, on seeing how the boats had been concentrated, commanded in a very confident tone of voice: ‘Fire on those wooden boats and make them ’

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Dickerson V. Wilson (1)
Richard E. Jordan (1)
Farrand (1)
Augustus H. Drewry (1)
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