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[523] for the same purpose, and as I passed around the falls, the pump-boat hove in sight, and proceeded on up. An hour after, the other boat came up, and I sent her up also, being confident that the Eastport would now be raised.

I had ordered all her guns taken out and all her ammunition transferred to other vessels, which was done by the time I reached her again, forty-eight hours after the pump-boats went up.

I was detained a day in Alexandria, making a different disposition of the vessels in the Mississippi, owing to the report of the capture of Fort Pillow by the rebels. I sent some of the heavy iron-clads up there with orders to remain, and also changed the destination of various vessels in the different rivers.

When I returned to the Eastport, I found her in a fair way of being afloat, though all the heavy steam-pumps together did not do more than slightly decrease the water. The leak had to be stopped by bulkheading. Lieutenant Commander Phelps went to work vigorously to endeavor to save his vessel, and he was seconded by his officers and crew. I don't think I ever witnessed harder work than was performed by the officers and crew of the Eastport, and it seemed to be the determination of all on board that she should not fall into the hands of the enemy, if it could be helped.

I felt confident that the Eastport would be saved, if time permitted, but I had a faint idea that our army were about to fall back on Alexandria, when it would become necessary to destroy the Eastport, or perhaps some other vessels.

On my arrival at Grand Ecore, I found that preparations were making to move the army in the direction of Alexandria, and I ordered the large vessels at once below the bars with orders to proceed slowly to Alexandria, keeping with me six of the lighter-draught vessels to cover the land forces, and give protection to the transports.

The day after my return to Grand Ecore, orders were issued for the army to move to Alexandria. The Eastport was not yet afloat, and I thought our chance of saving her very small, unless we were certain of having no enemy to annoy us after the army left. On the twentieth of April I went down to the Eastport again, and after informing the commander how matters stood, we concluded that it was necessary to run some risks, if we wished to save the vessel. She was now slightly resting on the bottom on one side, and steam had been raised on her.

On the twenty-first she started in tow of the pump-boat, Champion Number Five, and with the pump of Champion Number Three transferred to the Eastport, and connected with her boilers. This arrangement, with the addition of one or two syphon-pumps, kept the water out of the fire-room, and confined it to the bow.

I waited at a point eight miles below Grand Ecore, and sent up a gunboat to convoy down all the transports that were left up, this vessel bringing up the rear, towing a flat on which were all the Eastport's guns.

On the first day the Eastport made twenty miles down the river, but at six o'clock in the evening she grounded, from not being in the channel, and the first of our difficulties commenced in getting her over the bars and other obstructions which abound in this river.

It would be impossible to give an adequate idea of the difficulties of the navigation, from the twenty-first of April up to the twenty-sixth, the time when it was no longer considered possible to get the Eastport over the sand-bars and logs, now increasing, unless time was allowed to remove them, and the enemy were kept from annoying us while we were at work.

The Lieutenant Commander commanding the Eastport, S. L. Phelps, had done all that man could do to save his vessel, and felt it to be a matter of pride to get her to Alexandria.

She had grounded eight times badly, and each time under circumstances where it was very doubtful if she would come off; but the Commander's confidence never deserted him, and I could not help but admire his coolness and faith in getting his vessel to Alexandria, when I knew there were places to pass below, with much less water on them.

I determined that I would never leave this vessel to her fate as long as the commander felt a hope of getting her down.

He worked with almost superhuman efforts to accomplish the object in view, sleeping apparently neither night nor day. Every body worked, and went through privations of all kinds, and I must say, that mentally I never went through so much anxiety in my life.

On the sixth day of this labor of hauling the Eastport over the bars, and after congratulating ourselves that we had passed every impediment, orders were given to fill up with fence-rails for fuel, and we started down-stream, with the expectation of making at least thirty miles that day. The vessel had already been brought sixty miles on her way, and sixty more would bring her within our lines.

The army, though, were sixty miles ahead of us, and the report was that the rebels were following in their rear, also opposing them in front, and we might naturally expect, when the army arrived safely in Alexandria, that the whole power of the enemy would be directed to cutting off my small force of three light-draughts, and the Eastport, without any guns; indeed, we had already received notice that such were their intentions.

On April twenty-fifth, I made signal to pass down-stream, and had scarcely started before the Eastport was hard aground, and this time in a position where even the commander's hopes of relieving her failed. The difficulty here was a want of water, and the bed of the river was filled with logs, over which it would be impossible to get the vessel, unless we had the time.

We tried to lighten her by removing her ironplating, but this we found to be labor beyond our power; the plates could not <*>e removed in a short time, and that plan was abandoned at once.

I had determined to remain by the Eastport until

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