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[200] which should be disabled under the guns of Fort Pillow. He first attacked a mortar-boat, but the Federal steamer Cincinnati soon came up to relieve it, and to draw upon herself the entire efforts of the Confederate vessels. Many of them tried, but in vain, to sink her. A pistol combat ensued from deck to deck; the Federals discharged upon their adversaries jets of steam and boiling water, drawn from the boiler by means of pipes (tuyaux), called steam-batteries. The Mound City came in turn to assist the Cincinnati. On the Confederate side, the General Bragg and the Van Dorn kept up the fight. The remainder of the two hostile fleets was coming up to take part in the conflict, when the Confederate commander, alleging that his adversaries had run into the shallows, where he could not follow them, gave the signal for retreat. His purpose had not been accomplished, and two of his vessels had sustained much injury; but on the side of the Federals, the Cincinnati and the Mound City were also severely damaged.

Beauregard had successively summoned to him all the small garrisons placed en echelon along the line of the Mississippi, so that at the end of May the garrison of Fort Pillow was reduced to a few hundred men. On leaving Corinth he ordered the post to be evacuated. On the morning of the 5th of June, the Federals found Fort Pillow abandoned; it was a work of considerable strength, containing large bomb-proofs; about twenty dismounted guns were found in it.

The gates of Memphis were open. The Federal vessels came down the river in great haste to take possession of the city. Fort Randolph, situated twenty kilometres below Pillow, was also deserted, and on the evening of the 5th the flotilla came to anchor for the night at islands Nos. 43 and 44, only two or three kilometres above Memphis.

This flotilla consisted, besides the mortar-boats and transports, which were of no service in battle, of five gun-boats, the Benton, the Louisville, the Carondelet, the Cairo and the St. Louis; and four rams, the Queen of the West, the Monarch, the Switzerland and the Lancaster No. 3. The latter vessels were not under the orders of Commodore Davis; having been built by the war department under the superintendence of Colonel Ellet, an officer

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