A brave boy and A gallant sailor.--One of the powder-boys on the Bienville
, Wm. Henry Steele
by name, deserves particular attention.
He is only fourteen years old, a bright, active fellow, and performed his duties with signal bravery.
It was his duty to hand cartridges to one of the gunners.
While the Bienville
was in the thickest of the engagement, the balls whistled fiercely over the deck and splashed about in the water, but he never wavered.
A large rifled shot struck the water some distance from the steamer, bounded upward, and, crashing through the beam, tore through the bodies of two men standing near him at his gun, and wounded two others.
He handed his cartridge to the gunner, and, stepping over the bodies, brought a fresh supply of ammunition, with which he continued his labors.
After the fight, Captain Steedman
, in thanking his men for their noble conduct, especially commended the bravery of young Steele
During a part of the time the Bienville
was the mark for almost the entire fire of both rebel batteries, and her crew displayed the greatest heroism.
The first shot fired at her struck, and was one of the most serious.
Her guns were in such constant use that they became hot, and almost leaped from the deck at each discharge.
It is really wonderful that her damage is so very immaterial.
Beyond a hole between decks, another through
the beam, just at the lower part of the gunwale, a cut snroud and a battered stove-pipe, (not smokestack,) she is unharmed.
also came in for a large share of the fight.
A cannon-shot passed along her deck and struck Thomas Jackson
, the coxswain.
The ball nearly carried away one of his legs, leaving it so that it hung only by shreds of flesh and skin.
Leaning against a gun, he drew out his sheath-knife and tried to cut it off entirely.
The knife was too dull, and his shipmates hastened to him and carried him below.
He kept continually asking how the fight progressed, saying, “I hope we'll win; I hope we'll beat them.”
He died in two hours, his last words expressing happiness that he had done something for his country.--Phila. Press, Nov