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[259] hours. All on board except three perished by the most frightful of deaths, and the steamer fell into our hands.

The three gunboats and the transport still above, persisted in their attempt to run the gauntlet of the battery. One of these, reported by the prisoners to be the “Cricket,” flagship of the Mississippi squadron, with Rear-Admiral Porter commanding squadron, on board, succeeded in running by the four light field guns, composing Cornays battery, though searched with fatal effect by their rapid and precise fire, which drove the more numerous guns, and heavier calibre of metal of the flagship into the total abandonment of her consorts and convoy, which latter, unable and unwilling to submit any longer to the close and accurate fire of this gallant but unsheltered and uncovered battery, turned their bows up stream and retired from the fight. In this engagement fell the gallant gentleman and brave soldier, Captain F. O. Cornay, while courageously and efficiently directing the fire of his battery against these gunboats.

On the next morning, the 27th, the remaining gunboats undertook to pass the battery, convoying the transport Champion No. 5; after a short engagement, the gunboats, receiving serious damage from this heroic battery, ingloriously fled and left the transport exposed to so fatal a fire that she soon sunk and became our prize. In these two engagements the battery fired 243 rounds of ammunition. Colonel Caudle, of Polignac's division, with his sharp-shooters, rendered gallant and effective support to the battery, and his men are entitled to special commendation for courage and accurate firing. The conduct of the officers and men of this efficient four-gun battery in these two engagements, in which, without protection of any kind, exposed at short range to the fire of the heavy guns of the gunboats, it engaged thirty times more than its weight of metal, drove to flight three gunboats fighting under the eye of Rear-Admiral Porter, and captured from them two valuable transports, entitles it to to the special notice of the Major-General commanding.1

On the morning of the 26th of April two gunboats of the enemy, one an iron plated monitor, supposed to be the Osage, and the other of


Since this report was written Admiral Porter's report has been published. from which it seems the three gunboats were the Cricket, the Hindman and the Juliet. The admiral states that he encountered eighteen guns, which is very complimentary to the service of Captain Cornay's four guns.

He also says that the Cricket was struck thirty-eight times with shells and solid shot, and that she and the Juliet and Hindman lost forty-seven killed and wounded.

J. L. B. May, 1867.

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