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[111] not Banks link his name with the victorious passage of a fleet under the batteries of Port Hudson? On March 7th Banks, in pursuance of an agreement with the rearad-miral, had moved to Baton Rouge with his army. It was his design to make a strong diversion, by land, against Port Hudson, while Farragut would be running the gauntlet of fire from its batteries. Neither Banks nor Farragut had any doubt of the issue. Farragut believed in himself, Banks believed in Farragut. Thus, on March 14th, the attempt was made with the vessels. Flagship Hartford and the Albatross swept through the fiery welcome. After them came the Monongahela, to reach only the center batteries. There, disabled by an accident to her machinery, she turned and slowly withdrew from the race. The Mississippi,1 a powerful war steamer, was not so fortunate. She had already passed the center when she got aground just under the guns. Our gunners were not merciful to their naval visitors. For half an hour they pounded her with shells. Her crew, after having suffered severely, finally set her on fire and abandoned her. The Hartford and the Albatross were already in the peaceful upper river between Port Hudson and Vicksburg. Others of the fleet had met with varying mishaps, and were content to retire. It seemed fit that, bearing the name she did, the Mississippi should end as our Louisiana and our Arkansas had ended—set on fire—burning down to her engines—blowing up—scattering her debris upon the waters. It was the old story on the great river, told over again in flame.

Banks had been far from serious in creating a diversion in the rear of the works on the Port Hudson road. Without intention of making a real assault, he was preparing, on the night of March 14th, to bring up a battery on that

1 On the bridge of the Mississippi, by the side of its commander, stood the executive officer of the ship, a man who has risen since March, 1863, from the bridge of the Mississippi to the rank of admiral, United States navy, and is known to the world as George Dewey.

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