This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 was unwilling to take that vessel into action, or even to allow her to be placed in a position where she could support the batteries of the forts. He thus rendered useless the artillerists, the cannon of heavy calibres and the ammunition he had received for the armament of his vessel. In passing the forts, Farragut had left behind him the powerful instrument upon which his foes had built so many hopes; but the latter had yet the Manassas and about ten wooden vessels with which to oppose him. These vessels, evidently surprised by his attack, had lost the best opportunity to fight him while he was cannonading the land batteries; but they were about to make a strenuous effort to repair their error. Most of them were at anchor a little above Fort St. Philip; so that Bailey, who led the fleet with the Cayuga, saw them coming down to crush him. Even before the steamers that followed in his wake had all passed this fort, the Cayuga was attacked by three of the enemy's vessels; she made a successful stand against them. One was struck at thirty paces by an eleven-inch shell, which obliged her to make speed for the shore, where she was abandoned and set on fire; another was disabled, and just as a third was approaching, two Federal gun-boats came to the succor of Bailey. These were the Oneida, which had just run into and sunk one of the enemy's vessels, and the Varuna, which immediately passed to the head of the assaulting column. But the latter vessel ventured too far, and a few kilometres above St. Philip was in turn attacked on every side. The Morgan, commanded by an old Federal officer who had joined the Confederates, raked her deck by an enfilading shot. While the Varuna replied to and disabled this first adversary, another Confederate ram, the Stonewall Jackson, took her in flank, and struck her twice with the beak, causing an enormous leak. The Varuna had barely time to head for the shore, to bring up in the mud, and avoid sinking in deep water with all her crew. In the mean time, the Oneida came to her assistance; she compelled the two Confederate ships to make also for the shore, and took the crew of the wrecked gunboat on board. The remainder of the fleet, which had arrived at this juncture, was finishing the work of dispersing or destroying the light vessels bearing the Confederate flag, when the Manassas was seen in the
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.