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[640] thus fastened together without being able to use their guns. The advantage was now all on the side of the Confederates, who were more numerous than their adversaries, more practiced in the use of their rifles, and besides were ranged on the quarter-deck of their steamer, so as to command the deck of the Harriet Lane; consequently, after a few discharges, they boarded the latter vessel. Wainwright and his second in command were killed, and the crew, stricken with terror, hastened to surrender. Out of one hundred and twenty men only ten were disabled.

Meanwhile, a serious danger was menacing the victors. The two vessels were so fastened together as to be unable to manoeuvre, and were thus at the mercy of a new assailant. This assailant was the Owasco, who, perceiving the struggle in which the Harriet Lane was engaged, directed her course toward that vessel to assist her. Being obliged to follow a narrow and tortuous channel, she ran aground several times, and the combat was over when she got within range of the two vessels. The eleven-inch shells she had fired on her way failed to reach the enemy; and when she drew near the Bayou City, she was received by a wellsustained fire of musketry from the top of that floating fortress. Her commander, seeing that the Harriet Lane was captured, and being ignorant of the difficult position in which the victors were placed, deemed it prudent to retire; he fired a last broadside and came to join the Sachem and Corypheus, which had opened their fire upon Magruder's troops in front of Galveston.

Day had scarcely dawned, and the combat we have been describing had only been discernible through the uncertain glimmer of twilight. It is not astonishing, therefore, that the two largest Federal gun-boats, the Westfield and Clifton, anchored outside of Pelican Island, had not yet been able to take part in it. At the first signal of danger, Renshaw started with the former to approach Galveston, but he soon ran aground, and the swiftly-receding tide left him no hope of salvation. The transport Boardman tried in vain to extricate him, and the Clifton, after losing much precious time in similar efforts, left him to go to the assistance of the rest of the fleet. In passing before Galveston Point, this gun-boat was saluted by a field-battery of the enemy, and she poured a broadside into it, which reduced it to silence. Continuing

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