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[211] demonstrated that batteries erected by the river-side could be passed, and that he was ready to renew the operation as often as was desired. But if he had isolated the forts of New Orleans by passing them, he could not this time count upon the same results. In order to make a serious attack upon Vicksburg, an army was required; and when Farragut requested Halleck's cooperation, that general replied, on the 3d of July, that he could not detach any portion of his troops for that operation. The navy, therefore, had to continue the struggle on the Mississippi almost alone. The Confederates were preparing to maintain the contest, not only by obstructing navigation by means of batteries erected on both sides of the river, but by attacking the Federal vessels with the same weapons. In order to repair the disaster sustained at Memphis, which had caused their flag to disappear from the waters of the great river, they were actively at work upon a new ram called the Arkansas. The Yazoo River is an important tributary lying off the left bank, which empties into the Mississippi a short distance above Vicksburg, after skirting the foot of the hills we have before mentioned. When Davis had appeared before Vicksburg, the Arkansas was in process of construction near that city; she was at once towed into the Yazoo River as far as Yazoo City, nearly fifty miles above the mouth of that river; a stockade was built to protect her against the Union gun-boats, and the Confederates continued the process of equipping her as secretly as possible. The Federal officers, however, were not ignorant of her existence. On the 15th of July, having learnt from some deserters the day before that she was at last completed, and had left Yazoo City, Davis despatched three gunboats, the Tyler, the Queen of the West and the Carondelet, which which were of lighter draught than Farragut's ships, to make a reconnaissance of the Yazoo. They had not to proceed very far to encounter the adversary they were in search of. The Arkansas, constructed nearly on the same model as the Merrimac, but much smaller, had her sides covered with iron plates in the shape of a roof, and carried nine guns; she had come down the river, and passed the night on a kind of lake called Old River, formed by an old arm of the Mississippi, which connects with the Yazoo near its mouth. She no sooner perceived the Federal vessels than she

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