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on fire in a dozen different places, and there was a continual ringing of fire-alarm bells. The next day we steamed up the river, as obstructions and batteries had been reported above the city. All the fortifications were deserted, but an immense raft was found lying along the left bank. This was made of four logs lashed together side by side, with a heavy chain extending their whole length. It had been the intention of the Confederates to stretch this boom across the river to prevent Foote and his flotilla from reaching New Orleans. The barrier looked formidable as it lay under the river-bank, but when the Confederates had finished their work they could not get the raft across the river on account of the current. They made the lower end fast to the bank, and with three steam-boats took the upper end and endeavored to reach the opposite bank, but the huge structure was more than they could manage, and the current swept it down the river with such force that it broke, drifted
Edward J. Allen (search for this): chapter 2.4
rgy of despair rushed aft to the quarter-deck. The flames, like so many forked tongues of hissing serpents, were piercing the air in a frightful manner that struck terror to all hearts. As I crossed from the starboard to the port side of the deck, I passed close to Farragut, who, as he looked forward and took in the situation, clasped his hands high in air, and exclaimed, my God, is it to end in this way! fortunately it was not to end as it at that instant seemed, for just then Master's mate Allen, with the hose in his hand, jumped into the mizzen rigging, and the sheet of flame succumbed to a sheet of water. It was but the dry paint on the ship's side that made the threatening flame, which went down before the fierce attack of the firemen as rapidly as it had sprung up. As the flames died away the engines were backed hard, and, as if providentially, the ram Manassas [mistake: see p. 90] struck the ship a blow under the counter, which shoved her stern in against the bank, causing h
Percival Drayton (search for this): chapter 2.4
e officers who had the good fortune to be immediately associated with him seemed to worship him. He had determination and dash in execution, but in planning and organizing he appeared to want method. He showed me one day an old envelope containing memoranda, and said that that was all the record or books that he kept. He had, however, the good fortune to have on his staff two of the best organizers and administrators of detail in the service,--Captains Henry H. Bell at New Orleans and Percival Drayton at Mobile. On the 15th of March we began to congregate at the Head of the Passes, and at this time the energy and activity of the flag-officer made themselves felt. We lay here several weeks preparing our ships for the coming action, drilling the crews, firing at targets, and getting in provisions and coal. Farragut was about the fleet from early dawn until dark, and if any officers or men had not spontaneous enthusiasm he certainly infused it into them. I have been on the morning
Robert Lowry (search for this): chapter 2.4
k Barney Sands, the signal quartermaster, and cut his body almost in two. The first lieutenant, Lowry, coming along at the time, inquired who it was, and understanding the response to be Bartlett, in a cry came from on board the vessel, Don't fire, it is the Iroquois! At the same moment, Lieutenant Lowry also shouted from near the mainmast, Don't fire! Seeing the black smoke pouring from her s quarter and went across the deck, taking off a marine's head and wounding three other men. Lieutenant Lowry came along about this time, and I heard him report to Captain Craven that Lieutenant O'Kane had been wounded. Craven directed him to put me in charge of the First Division, to which Lowry answered: I sent poor Bartlett down below half an hour ago cut in two. Oh, no, you did not, said Craven; he is on deck close to you. Lowry turned and was as much surprised as if he had seen a ghost, and told me to run forward and take charge of the First Division. There had been terrib
John Anderson (search for this): chapter 2.4
in command of the Brooklyn at New Orleans. From a photograph. the rail, where I could watch our approach to the forts, and I mounted this ladder several times to see what was going on as we advanced. On the poop were Captain Craven, Midshipman John Anderson, who had volunteered a few days before from the Montgomery, which did not take part in the action, Captain's Clerk J. G. Swift, afterward a graduate of West Point and a lieutenant in the army, and two quartermasters. There was a small p cable secured us just where the Confederates had the range of their guns, but somebody ran up with an axe and cut the hawser, and we began to steam up the river. I went on the poop to help clear the hawser, and looked around for my classmate Anderson. He must have been knocked overboard by a shot when we first came to the obstructions. The anchor on the port quarter was broken off close to the stock at this point by a shot from Fort Jackson.--J. R. B. A few moments later there was a sudden
John Russell Bartlett (search for this): chapter 2.4
The Brooklyn at the passage of the forts. Commander John Russell Bartlett, U. S. N. Aspect of Fort Jackson in 1885. from the summit of the levee looking South from the River. From February 2d to March 7th, 1862, the United States steamer Brooklyn, Captain Thomas T. Craven, was engaged in blockading Pass a l'outre, one of tcables along each side, abreast of the engine and Section of chain armor placed on the side of the Brooklyn to protect her boilers. From a sketch lent by Commander Bartlett. boilers. A jack-stay, or iron rod, was fastened by means of eye-bolts to the ship's side about eight feet above the water, and one of the chain-cables in deck since midnight to see that everything about the deck and guns was The course of the Brooklyn in the passage of the forts. From a drawing lent by Commander J. R. Bartlett. B--Brooklyn, and course taken. H--Hartford aground. M--Manassas ramming the Brooklyn. ready for action, and when the decks were wet down and s
Charles S. Boggs (search for this): chapter 2.4
n run on the bank and either set on fire or deserted. It was now almost day-light, and we could see the crews of the deserted boats running for cover to the woods a little way back. Shortly after, the Brooklyn came up with the other vessels and anchored near a point where there had been an encampment of troops. They only remained long enough to land and bury the dead. The commanding officers assembled on board the Hartford to offer their congratulations to the flag-officer. Rear-Admiral Charles S. Boggs, at New Orleans in command of the Varuna. from a photograph. About the time that the Brooklyn arrived at quarantine the Manassas was seen steaming up the river, and Farragut made signal to the Mississippi to attack her. [See note, p. 66.] She ran down toward her, but the Manassas sheered toward the left bank and ran her nose ashore. When the Mississippi opened fire upon her, the crew poured out of the little hatch aft, ran along the deck, and jumped on shore and over the le
A. F. Warley (search for this): chapter 2.4
dder, and saw a good-sized river steamer coming down on us, crowded with men on her forward deck, as if ready to board. The order had The Brooklyn attacked by the Confederate ram Manassas. The Manassas was described by her commander, Lieutenant Warley, as a tug-boat that had been converted into a ram, covered with half-inch iron, and had a 32-pounder carronade; her crew consisted of thirty-five persons, officers and men. She was perforated in the fight by shot and shell as if she had beeee with the official reports in the sequence of events, but I hold to my own account. Craven says he encountered the Manassas a few minutes after passing the obstructions. I place this event well above the forts, and this is corroborated by Captain Warley of the Manassas. Farragut, in his official report, does not state exactly where he encountered the fire-raft, but says: The fire was extinguished. In the meantime our battery was never silent, but poured its missiles of death into Fort St.
hick that at times one could see nothing ten feet from the ship. While entangled with the rafts, the Brooklyn was hulled a number of times; one shot from Fort Jackson struck the rail just at the break of the poop and went nearly across, plowing out the deck in its course. Another struck Barney Sands, the signal quartermaster, and cut his body almost in two. The first lieutenant, Lowry, coming along at the time, inquired who it was, and understanding the response to be Bartlett, instead of Barney, he passed the word that he had sent down all that was left of poor Bartlett. As he came on deck and was about in all parts of the ship during the fight, he gave the men news of the progress of the fight and of the casualties, and for once I was completely out of existence. The ship was now clear of the hulks and steamed up the river, throwing shells and shrapnel into Fort Jackson as fast as the guns could be loaded and fired. When just abreast of the fort a shot struck the side of the
d steam up to the west bank under cover of the trees and suddenly shoot out into the stream and open fire with their 11-inch pivots, and then drift down-stream. As they were always in rapid motion, it was difficult for the gunners in the forts to hit them; still, a number of men were wounded. There were none killed in the sloops or gunboats in the bombardment preceding the battle. Twenty-four men were wounded, including one on board the schooner Norfolk Packet. Two deaths are reported April 18th--24th, one of them on board the mortar-schooner Arletta, and one by a fall from the mast-head on board the Katahdin.-J. R. B. On the 23d, after five days of continual firing, Commander Porter informed the flag-officer that his men were worn out from want of sleep and rest, and that his ammunition was nearly expended. The obstructions, which had formed an apparently impassable barrier, had now been overcome. The opening of a passage through the hulks [see p. 38] was one of the most da
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