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The battle on White Rived.
Federal accounts.
terrible Destruction of a Federal steamer.

The much talked of ‘"White River Expeliti in"’ left Memphis, Tenn., on the 19th ult., and consisted of eight gunboats. The feast proceeded very successfully for a while and captured a Confederate steamer on White river and battered down several fortifications on the way. A correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer says:

‘ The Union fleet had proceeded something over eighty miles up White river, when they were tired upon from a battery on the south side, but so batden among the trees that the officers could hereby determine the spot whence the pieces were discharged. The guns of the enemy were not very heavy. They sounded like 12 and 24 pounders, and subsequent examination proved they were such.

The Mound City fired her how guns twice, and then her port guns, as she steamed up the river little further, making the distance between her and the upper battery, less than half a mile. The second fortification was on the same bluff or r that its follow was, but a little further from the second fortification was on the same bluff or ridden that its fellow was, but a little farther from shore, and in a southwesterly direction from that flag ship, preventing its guns from bearing directly on the Mound City.

The effect of the flag ship's shots could not be well determined, but they appeared to be falling when the gunners desired, and the cannonade on her port, as well as on that of the St. Louis, was warmly kept up for eight or ten minutes, less than twenty having elapsed since the first gun had been fired from the lower battery.

In the meantime Colonel Fitch had landed his five or six hundred men on the Southern bank below the first battery with the intention of attacking the upper works in the rear, and surprising the enemy at their guns. He was already on the march, and had signaled the Mound City to coarse firing, that his own men might not be injured, when an unanticipated accident, of the most horrible character, almost entirely destroyed the officers and crew of the flag-ship.

A large cylindrical shot, with iron flanges on each side, known among the rebels as the pigment shot, struck the casement on the port side, in the upper port, near the first gun, at an angle of about ninety degrees; passing through the casement and connecting pipe of the bollers, killing a gunner on the starboard side, and alighting in the steward's pantry.

The effect of severing the connecting pipe may be imagined. All the steam of the bollers at once rushed with a shrill, hissing sound into every part of the gunboat, which presented no means for its escape except through the port holes and sky lights. It was like injecting steam into an air-light box, and when we remember there were nearly one hundred and eighty human beings below the deck the ineffable horror of their situation may readily be seen.

The burning steam fairly mowed them down.--They shrieked, and leaped, and writhed in pain. But the steam did not pity their fortunes; it seemed rather to delight in their sufferings, and extended its vaporous torrents to new victims. Horrors upon horrors accumulated in that low, square, seething, boiling, ferry enclosure, where man endured all the fabled agonies of the damned, and yet could not die.

To some, Fate was merciful; for it slew them at once. As many as forty five or fifty, who had stood on the gun-deck a few moments before with buoyant hopes and elated spirits, lay there in crimson death, unconscious of the pain of those around them, unhearing — O how fortunately ! --the terrible moaning and groaning of the wounded sufferers.

As soon as the first shock had passed, those who had not been slain from full inhalation of the steam were prompted, mad with pain, to leap into the river to cool their burning bodies. The impulse appeared to seize upon all simultaneously, and out of the open ports plunged one wretch after another, until seventy or eighty were struggling in the water. Some were so badly scalded that they could not swim, and they, most fortunately, were drowned; while others, refreshed and cooled by the river, struck out manfully to the shore, as if they had been uninjured.

At this crisis when every principle of humanity called for aid and succor, the rebels proved themselves worthy of the antecedents that have dishonored and disgraced them from the beginning of the war.

Instead of imitating the example of generosity and magnanimity set them by a brave and loyal people, struggling for the preservation of a great and glorious country; forgetting the heroic conduct shown by our seamen, who endeavored, in the gunboat fight off Memphis, to save the lives of the unfortunate crew of the General Lovell when she went down, the rebels, meanly, mercilessly, and dastardly, made every effort to destroy the poor scalded fellows who were seeking to reach the shore or our vessels with their burned and suffering limbs.

The gunners in the upper battery turned their guns upon the suffering officers and seamen of the Mound City, and Captain Fry, the commander of the works, ordered his sharp-shooters to kill every Yankee before he could reach the shore or succor could be brought.

The devilish enemy needed no second bidding. He ran with alacrity down to the boat, and there, under cover of the trees, fired muskets and the wounded swimmers, with a cool diabolism that a savage South Sea Islander would have blushed to witness. Many a brave fellow was killed and sunk in the river, and others were wounded several times before they obtained the needful aid from their loyal friends. The Mound City was powerless and drifting with the current; she could not aid them; and the St. Louis was then opposite the lower fortification.

The Conestoga, which was just below the Mound City, promptly lowered two of her boats, and sent them to save the survivers of the horrible accident. No sooner had the gigs been manned, and no sooner were the sailors pulling at their care on the divine errand of mercy, than the upper work blazed with its heavy guns at the succorers of distress.

The Union gigs were struck twice, one in the bow and the other in the stern; but, strange to say, they were not swamped, nor were they prevented from rescuing from the river some of the ill fated crew.

A third boat, from the St. Louis, I believe, was struck with rebel shot and shattered in pieces, but none of the inmates were hurt or drowned. The enemy was still bent on their demonize work, and would have fired his last cartridge at the defenseless sailors, had not the brave Indianian, under Col. Fitch, succeeded by this time in reaching the rear of the fortification, where Fry commanded, and arrested the labor of destruction.

The 46th Indiana rushed with a shout and a volley of musketry into the hostile works, and then charged with bayonets upon the inhuman fee. The rebels were completely taken by surprise. Before they had time to throw down their arms or cry for quarter they were lying in the entrenchments and their lifeblood ebbing away. Some of the Secessionists fought with dogged obstinacy against superior numbers, and fell covered with ghastly wounds.

Those of the rebels along the shore who had been firing at the Unionists in the water were soon charged upon by the Indianian, for whom they did not wait, but took to flight along the bank towards the village of St. Charles. A portion of the insurgents ran to a place above where the river had been obstructed, and jumping into a few small boats they had moored there, crossed the stream and disappeared in the woods.

The rout was complete. The victory was cures but, alas ! at what a price.

At least one hundred and fifty to two hundred of the rebels must have been killed and wounded, nearly all of the number having been slain. Their entire force was about five hundred, and of these about fifty were captured, and the remainder escaped in the manner I have described.

Among the prisoners was Captain Fry, formerly a lieutenant in the navy, and commander of the gunboat Pontchartrain, which, with three transports, had been sunk-opposite the upper fortification. Great indignation was fell against the renegade Fry, (who is seriously wounded.) and he would have been killed a dozen times but for the interposition of Colonel Fitch.

One of the Indianian bad his market leveled at Fry's head, and was about to pull the trigger, when his piece was knocked up by the House of his company, and the life of the trai officer but only, I fear, for further indignity, and dead of evil that good hearts will not believe are possible in man.

A number of the seaman who were shot in the river sank, and their bodies have not reserved. Others were ra having one, two, three, and even more wounds inflicted by the sharpshooters. One sailor, James Formers, was his leg broken and his arm and still he swam to the Lexington, three-quarters of a mile distant. and hide fair to reserve.

Just after the engagement, a sailor, writhing in pain, upon the Mound became entangled in the lanyard of a loaded gun, and the pieces, the shot passing through the steam-pipe as the New Natlemal, then lying opponents the gunboat.

The steam escaped in and yet, th many persons were on board, us was That the accident to the Mound City repented on the same day-- with me such effect — is a singular

The obstructions in the White river, near St. Charles, have been and the . and Lexington have gone further up the on a but have dois before this time. The Mound City will be in a few days, and the National same their expeditions.

Ninety-four of one men have been is thought thirty more

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