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Chapter 29:

  • Naval affairs, continued
  • -- Farragut demands the surrender of New Orleans -- reply of the mayor -- United States flag hoisted -- advent of General Butler -- antecedents of the people -- Galveston -- its surrender demanded -- another visit of the enemy's fleet -- appointment of General Magruder -- recapture of the Port -- capture of the Harriet Lane -- report of General Magruder -- position and importance of Sabine Pass -- fleet of the enemy -- repulse by forty-four Irishmen -- vessels captured -- terror of gunboats on the Western Rivers -- their capture -- the most illustrious ex-ample -- the Indianola; her capture -- the ram Arkansas; descent of the Yazoo River; report of her Commander; description of the vessel -- attack on Baton Rouge -- address of General Breckinridge -- burning of the Arkansas.

Sad though the memory of the fall of New Orleans must be, the heroism, the fortitude, and the patriotic self-sacrifice exhibited in the eventful struggle at the forts must ever remain the source of pride and of such consolation as misfortune gathers from the remembrance of duties well performed.

After the troops had been withdrawn and the city restored to the administration of the civil authorities, Commodore Farragut, on April 26, 1862, addressed the mayor, repeating his demand for the surrender of the city. In his letter he said: ‘It is not within the province of a naval officer to assume the duties of a military commandant,’ and added, ‘The rights of persons and property shall be secured.’ He proceeded then to demand ‘that the emblem of sovereignty of the United States be hoisted over the City Hall, Mint, and Customhouse by meridian this day. All flags and other emblems of sovereignty other than those of the United States must be removed from all the public buildings by that hour.’ To this the mayor replied, and the following extracts convey the general purport of his letter:

The city is without the means of defense, and is utterly destitute of the force and material that might enable it to resist an overpowering armament displayed in sight of it. . . . To surrender such a place were an idle and unmeaning ceremony. . . . As to hoisting any flag other than the flag of our own adoption and allegiance, let me say to you that the man lives not in our midst whose hand and heart would not be paralyzed at the mere thought of such an act; nor could I find in my entire constituency so wretched and desperate a renegade as would [195] dare to profane with his hand the sacred emblem of our aspirations. . . . Peace and order may be preserved without resort to measures which I could not at this moment prevent. Your occupying the city does not transfer allegiance from the government of their choice to one which they have deliberately repudiated, and they yield the obedience which the conqueror is entitled to extort from the conquered.


On April 29th Admiral Farragut adopted the alternative presented by the answer of the mayor, and sent a detachment of marines to hoist the United States flag over the customhouse, and to pull down the Confederate flag from the staff on the City Hall. An officer and some marines remained at the customhouse to guard the United States flag hoisted over it until the land forces under General Butler arrived. On May 1st General Butler took possession of the defenseless city; then followed the reign of terror, pillage, and a long train of infamies too disgraceful to be remembered without a sense of shame by anyone who is proud of the name American.

Had the population of New Orleans been vagrant and riotous, the harsh measures adopted might have been excused, though nothing could have justified the barbarities which were practiced; notable as the city had always been for freedom from tumult, and occupied as it then was mainly by women and children, nothing can extenuate the wanton insults and outrages heaped upon them. That those not informed of the character of the citizens may the better comprehend it, a brief reference is made to its history.

When Canada, then a French colony, was conquered by Great Britain, many of the inhabitants of greatest influence and highest cultivation, in a spirit of loyalty to their flag, migrated to the wilds of Louisiana. Some of them established themselves in and about New Orleans, and their numerous descendants formed, down to a late period, the controlling element in the body politic. Even after they had ceased, because of large immigration, to control in the commercial and political affairs of the city, their social standard was still the rule. No people were more characterized by refinement, courtesy, and chivalry. Of their keen susceptibility the mayor informed Commodore Farragut in his correspondence with that officer.

When the needy barbarians of the upper plains of Asia descended upon the classic fields of Italy, their atrocities were such as shocked the common sense of humanity; if any one shall inquire minutely into the conduct of Butler and his followers at New Orleans, he will find there a history yet more revolting. [196]

Soon thereafter, on May 17, 1862, Captain Eagle, United States Navy, commanding the naval forces before Galveston, summoned it to surrender, ‘to prevent the effusion of blood and the destruction of property which would result from the bombardment of the town,’ adding that the land and naval forces would appear in a few days. The reply was that, ‘when the land and naval forces made their appearance, the demand would be answered.’ The harbor and town of Galveston were not prepared to resist a bombardment, and, under the advice of General Herbert, the citizens remained quiet—resolved, when the enemy should attempt to penetrate the interior, to resist his march at every point. This condition remained without any material change until the 8th of the following October, when Commander Renshaw with a fleet of gunboats, consisting of the Westfield, Harriet Lane, Owasco, Clifton, and some transports, approached so near the city as to command it with his guns. Upon a signal, the mayor pro tem came off to the flagship and informed Commander Renshaw that the military and civil authorities had withdrawn from the town, and that he had been appointed by a meeting of citizens to act as mayor, and had come for the purpose of learning the intentions of the naval commander. In reply he was informed that there was no purpose to interfere with the municipal affairs of the city; that he did not intend to occupy it before the arrival of a military commander, but that he intended to hoist the United States flag upon the public buildings, and claim that it should be respected. The acting mayor informed him that persons over whom he had no control might take down the flag, and he could not guarantee that it should be respected. Commander Renshaw replied that, to avoid any difficulty like that which occurred in New Orleans, he would send with the flag a sufficient force to protect it, and would not keep the flag flying for more than a quarter or half an hour.

The vessels of the fleet were assigned to positions commanding the town and the bridge which connected the island with the mainland, and a battalion of Massachusetts volunteers was posted on one of the wharves.

Late in 1862 General John B. Magruder, a skillful and knightly soldier, who had at an earlier period of the year rendered distinguished service by his defense of the peninsula between the James and York Rivers, Virginia, was assigned to the command of the Department of Texas. On his arrival, he found the enemy in possession of the principal port, Galveston, and other points upon the coast. He promptly collected the scattered arms and field artillery, had a couple of ordinary [197] high-pressure steamboats used in the transportation of cotton on Buffalo Bayou protected with cotton bales piled from the main deck to and above the hurricane roof, and these, under the command of Captain Leon Smith of the Texas Navy, in cooperation with the volunteers, were relied upon to recapture the harbor and island of Galveston. Between night and morning on January 1, 1863, the land forces entered the town, and the steamboats came into the bay, manned by Texas cavalry and volunteer artillery. The field artillery was run down to the shore, and opened fire upon the boats. The battalion of the enemy having torn up the plank of the wharf, our infantry could approach them only by wading through the water and climbing upon the wharf. The two steamboats attacked the Harriet Lane, the gunboat lying farthest up the bay. They were both so frail in their construction that their only chance was to close and board. One of them was soon disabled by collision with the strong vessel, and in a sinking condition ran into shoal water. The other closed with the Harriet Lane, boarded and captured the vessel. The flagship Westfield got aground and could not be got off, though assisted by one of the fleet for that purpose. General Magruder then sent a demand that the enemy's vessels should surrender, except one, on which the crews of all should leave the harbor, giving until ten o'clock for compliance with his demand, to enforce which he put a crew on the Harriet Lane, then the most efficient vessel afloat of the enemy's fleet, and, while waiting for an answer, ceased firing. This demand was communicated by a boat from the Harriet Lane to the commander on the Clifton, who said that he was not the commander of the fleet, and would communicate the proposal to the flag officer on the Westfield. Flags of truce were then flying on the enemy's vessels, as well as on shore. Commander Renshaw refused to accede to the proposition, directing the commander of the Clifton to get all the vessels, including the Corypheus and Sachem, which had recently joined, out of the port as soon as possible, and that he would blow up the Westfield, and leave on the transport lying near him with his officers and crew. In attempting to execute this purpose, Commander Renshaw and ten or fifteen others perished soon after leaving the ship, in consequence of the explosion being premature. The general commanding made the following preliminary report:

This morning, the 1st January, at three o'clock, I attacked the enemy's fleet and garrison at this place, captured the latter and the steamer Harriet Lane, two barges, and a schooner. The rest, some four or five, escaped ignominiously under cover of a flag of truce. I have about six hundred prisoners and a large quantity [198] of valuable stores, arms, etc. The Harriet Lane is very little injured. She was carried by boarders from two high-pressure cotton-steamers, manned by Texas cavalry and artillery. The line troops were gallantly commanded by Colonel Green, of Sibley's brigade, and the ships and artillery by Major Leon Smith, to whose indomitable energy and heroic daring the country is indebted for the successful execution of a plan which I had considered for the destruction of the enemy's fleet. Colonel Bagby, of Sibley's brigade, also commanded the volunteers from his regiment for the naval expedition, in which every officer and every man won for himself imperishable renown.

J. Bankhead Magruder, Major-General.

The conduct of Commander Renshaw toward the inhabitants of Galveston had been marked by moderation and propriety, and the closing act of his life was one of manly courage and fidelity to the flag he bore.

Commander Wainright and Lieutenant-commanding Lea, who fell valiantly defending their ship, were buried in the cemetery with the honors of war: thus was evinced that instinctive respect which true warriors always feel for their peers. The surviving officers were paroled.

It would be a pleasing task, if space allowed, to notice the many instances of gallantry in this affair, as daring as they were novel, but want of space compels me to refer the reader to the full accounts which have been published of the ‘cavalry charge upon a naval fleet.’

The capture of the enemy's fleet in Galveston harbor, by means so novel as to excite surprise as well as grateful admiration, was followed by another victory on the coast of Texas, under circumstances so remarkable as properly to be considered marvelous. To those familiar with the events of that time and section, it is hardly necessary to say that I refer to the battle of Sabine Pass.

The strategic importance to the enemy of the possession of Sabine River caused the organization of a large expedition of land and naval forces to enter and ascend the river. If successful, it gave the enemy short lines for operation against the interior of Texas, and relieved them of the discomfiture resulting from their expulsion from Galveston harbor.

The fleet of the enemy numbered twenty-three vessels. The forces were estimated to be ten thousand men. No adequate provision had been made to resist such a force, and under the circumstances none might have been promptly made on which reliance could have been reasonably placed. A few miles above the entrance into the Sabine River a small earthwork had been constructed, garrisoned at the time of the action by forty-two men and two lieutenants, with an armament of six guns. The [199] officers and men were all Irishmen, and the company was called the ‘Davis Guards.’ The captain, F. H. Odlum, was temporarily absent, so that the command devolved upon Lieutenant R. W. Dowling. Wishing to perpetuate the history of an affair, in which I believe the brave garrison did more than an equal force had ever elsewhere performed, I asked General Magruder, when I met him after the war, to write out a full account of the event; he agreed to do so, but died not long after I saw him, and before complying with my request. From the publications of the day I have obtained the main facts, as they were then printed in the Texas newspapers, and, being unwilling to summarize the reports, give them at length.

Captain F. H. Odlum's official report

headquarters, Sabine Pass, September 9, 1863.
Captain A. N. Mills, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Sir: I have the honor to report that we had an engagement with the enemy yesterday and gained a handsome victory. We captured two of their gunboats, crippled a third, and drove the rest out of the Pass. We took eighteen fine guns, a quantity of smaller arms, ammunition and stores, killed about fifty, wounded several, and took one hundred and fifty prisoners, without the loss or injury of any one on our side or serious damage to the fort.

Your most obedient servant,

F. H. Odlum, Captain, commanding Sabine Pass.

Commodore Leon Smith's official report

Captain E. P. Turner, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Sir: After telegraphing the Major-General before leaving Beaumont, I took a horse and proceeded with all haste to Sabine Pass, from which direction I could distinctly hear a heavy firing. Arriving at the Pass at 3 P. M., I found the enemy off and inside the bar, with nineteen gunboats and steamships and other ships of war, carrying, as well as I could judge, fifteen thousand men. I proceeded with Captain Odlum to the fort, and found Lieutenant Dowling and Lieutenant N. H. Smith, of the engineer corps, with forty-two men, defending the fort. Until 3 P. M. our men did not open on the enemy, as the range was too distant. The officers of the fort coolly held their fire until the enemy had approached near enough to reach them. But, when the enemy arrived within good range, our batteries were opened, and gallantly replied to a galling and most terrific fire from the enemy. As I entered the fort, the gunboats Clifton, Arizona, Sachem, and Granite State, with several others, came boldly up to within one thousand yards, and opened their batteries, which were gallantly and effectively replied to by the Davis Guard. For one hour and thirty minutes a most terrific bombardment of grape, canister, and shell was directed against our heroic and devoted little band within the fort. The shot struck in every direction, but, thanks be to God! not one of the noble Davis Guards was hurt. Too much credit can not be awarded Lieutenant Dowling, who displayed the utmost heroism in the discharge [200] of the duty assigned him and the defenders of the fort. God bless the Davis Guards, one and all! The honor of the country was in their hands, and nobly they sustained it. Every man stood at his post, regardless of the murderous fire that was poured upon them from every direction. The result of the battle, which lasted from 3:30 to 5 P. M., was the capturing of the Clifton and Sachem, eighteen heavy guns, one hundred and fifty prisoners, and the killing and wounding of fifty men, and driving outside the bar the enemy's fleet, comprising twentythree vessels in all. I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

Leon Smith, Commanding Marine Department of Texas.

headquarters District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, Houston, Texas, September 9, 1863.

(special Order.)

Another glorious victory has been won by the heroism of Texans. The enemy, confident of overpowering the little garrison at Sabine Pass, boldly advanced to the work of capture. After a sharp contest he was entirely defeated, one gunboat hurrying off in a crippled condition, while two others, the Clifton and Sachem, with their armaments and crews, including the commander of the fleet, surrendered to the gallant defenders of the fort. The loss of the enemy has been heavy, while not a man on our side has been killed or wounded. Though the enemy has been repulsed in his naval attacks, his land-forces, reported as ten thousand strong, are still off the coast waiting an opportunity to land.

The Major-General calls on every man able to bear arms to bring his guns or arms, no matter of what kind, and be prepared to make a sturdy resistance to the foe.

Major-General J. B. Magruder. Edmund P. Turner, Assistant Adjutant-General.

The Daily Post, Houston, Texas, of August 22, 1880, has the following:

A few days after the battle each man that participated in the fight was presented with a silver medal inscribed as follows: On one side ‘D. G.,’ for the Davis Guards, and on the reverse side, ‘Sabine Pass, September 8, 1863.’

Captain Odlum and Lieutenant R. W. Dowling have gone to that bourn whence no traveler returns, and but few members of the heroic band are in the land of the living, and those few reside in the city of Houston, and often meet together, and talk about the battle in which they participated on the memorable 8th of September, 1863.

The following are the names of the company who manned the guns in Fort Grigsby, and to whom the credit is due for the glorious victory:

Lieutenants R. W. Dowling and N. H. Smith; Privates Timothy McDonough, Thomas Dougherty, David Fitzgerald, Michael Monahan, John Hassett, John McKeefer, Jack W. White, Patrick McDonnell, William Gleason, Michael Carr, Thomas Hagerty, Timothy Huggins, Alexander McCabe, James Flemming, Patrick Fitzgerald, Thomas McKernon, Edward Pritchard, Charles Rheins, Timothy Hurley, John McGrath, Matthew Walshe, Patrick Sullivan, Michael Sullivan, ** [201] Thomas Sullivan, Patrick Clare, John Hennessey, Hugh Deagan, Maurice Powers, Abner Carter, Daniel McMurray, Patrick Malone, James Corcoran, Patrick Abbott, John McNealis, Michael Egan, Daniel Donovan, John Wesley, John Anderson, John Flood, Peter O'Hare, Michael Delaney, Terence Mulhern.

The inquiry may naturally arise how this small number of men could take charge of so large a body of prisoners. This required that to their valor they should add stratagem. A few men were placed on the parapet as sentinels, the rest were marched out as a guard to receive the prisoners and their arms. Thus was concealed the fact that the fort was empty. The report of the guns bombarding the fort had been heard, and soon after the close of the battle reenforcements arrived, which relieved the little garrison from its embarrassment.

Official reports of officers in the assaulting column, as published in the Rebellion Record, Vol. VII, page 425 et seq., refer to another fort, and steamers in the river, cooperating in the defense of Fort Grigsby. The success of the single company which garrisoned the earthwork is without parallel in ancient or modern war. It was marvelous; it is incredible—more than marvelous—that another garrison in another fort, with cruising steamers, aided in checking the advance of the enemy, yet silently permitted the forty-two men and two officers of Fort Grigsby to receive all the credit for the victory which was won. If this be supposable, how is it possible that Captain Odlum, Commander Smith, General Magruder, and Lieutenant Dowling, who had been advised to abandon the work, and had consulted their men as to their willingness to defend it, should nowhere have mentioned the putative fort and cooperating steamers?

The names of the forty-four must go down to posterity, unshorn of the honor which their contemporaries admiringly accorded.

At the commencement of the war the Confederacy was not only without a navy, all the naval vessels possessed by the states having been, as explained elsewhere, left in the hands of our enemies; worse than this was the fact that shipbuilding had been almost exclusively done in the Northern states, so that we had no means of acquiring equality in naval power. The numerous deep and wide rivers traversing the Southern states gave a favorable field for the operation of gunboats suited to such circumstances. The enemy rapidly increased their supply of these by building on the Western waters as well as elsewhere, and converting existing vessels into ironclad gunboats. The intrepidity and devotion of our people met the necessity by new expedients and extraordinary daring. This was especially seen in the operations of western Louisiana, where numerous bayous and rivers, with difficult land routes, gave an [202] advantage to the enemy which might well have paralyzed anything less than the most resolute will.

In the earlier period of the war the gunboats had inspired a terror which their performances never justified. There was a prevailing opinion that they could not be stopped by land batteries, or resisted on water by anything else than vessels of their own class. Against the first opinion General Richard Taylor, commanding in Louisiana south of Red River, stoutly contended, and maintained his opinion by the repulse and capture of some of the enemy's vessels by land batteries having guns of rather light caliber.

One by one successful conflicts between river boats and gunboats impaired the estimate which had been put upon the latter. The most illustrious example of this was the attack and capture of the Indianola, a heavy ironclad, with two eleven-inch guns forward, and two nine-inch aft, all in iron casemates. She had passed the batteries at Vicksburg, and was in the section of the river between Vicksburg and Port Hudson, which in February, 1863, was the only gate of communication which the Confederacy had between the east and west sides of the Mississippi. The importance of keeping open this communication, always great, became vital from the necessity of drawing commissary's stores from the trans-Mississippi.

Major Brent, of General Taylor's staff, proposed, with the towboat Webb, which had been furnished as a ram, and the Queen of the West, which had been four or five days before captured by the land battery at Fort De Russy, to go to the Mississippi and attack the Indianola. On February 19th the expedition started, though mechanics were still working upon the needed repairs of the Queen of the West. The service was so hazardous that volunteers only formed the crews, but of these more offered than were wanted. On the 24th, while ascending the Mississippi, Major Brent learned, when about sixty miles below Vicksburg, that the Indianola was a short distance ahead, with a coal barge lashed on either side. He determined to attack in the night, being assured that, if struck by a shell from one of the eleven-or nine-inch guns, either of his boats would be destroyed. At 10 P. M. the Queen, followed by the Webb, was driven at full speed directly upon the Indianola. The momentum of the Queen was so great as to cut through the coal barge, and indent the iron plates of the Indianola. As the Queen backed out, the Webb dashed in at full speed, and tore away the remaining coal barge. Both the forward guns fired at the Webb, but missed her. Again the Queen struck the Indianola, abaft the paddle box, crushing her frame and [203] loosening some plates of armor, but received the fire of the guns from the rear casemates. One shot carried away a dozen bales of cotton on the right side; the other, a shell, entered the forward porthole and exploded, killing six men and disabling two fieldpieces. Again the Webb followed the Queen, struck near the same spot, pushing aside the iron plates and crushing timbers. Voices from the Indianola announced the surrender, and that she was sinking. The river here sweeps the western shore, and there was deep water up to the bank. General Grant's army was on the west side of the river, and, for either or both of these reasons, Major Brent towed the Indianola to the opposite side, where she sank on a bar, her gun-deck above water. Both boats were much shattered in the conflict, and Major Brent returned to the Red River to repair them. A tender accompanied the Queen and the Webb, and a frail river boat without protection for her boilers, which was met on the river, turned back and followed them, but, like the tender, could be of no service in the battle. For these particulars I am indebted to General Richard Taylor's book Destruction and Reconstruction, pages 123-125.

The ram Arkansas, which had been previously noticed as being under construction at Memphis, was removed before she was finished to the Yazoo River, events on the river above having rendered this necessary for her security. After she was supposed to be ready for service, Commander Brown, then as previously in charge of her, went down the Yazoo to enter the Mississippi and proceed to Vicksburg. The enemy's fleet of some twelve or thirteen rams, gunboats, and sloops of war, were in the river above Vicksburg, and below the point where the Yazoo enters the Mississippi. Anticipating the descent of the Arkansas, a detachment had been made from this fleet to prevent her exit. The annexed letter of Commander Brown describes what occurred in the Yazoo River:

steamer Arkansas, July 15, 1862.
General: The Benton, or whatever ironclad we disabled, was left with colors down, evidently aground to prevent sinking, about one mile and a half above the mouth of the Yazoo (in Old River), on the right-hand bank, or bank across from Vicksburg.

I wish it to be remembered that we whipped this vessel, made it run out of the fight and haul down colors, with two less guns than they had; and at the same time fought two rams, which were firing at us with great guns and small-arms; this, too, with our miscellaneous crew, who had never, for the most part, been on board a ship, or at big guns.

I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. N. Brown, Lieutenant commanding. To Brigadier-General M. L. Smith, commanding defenses at Vicksburg.


When entering the Mississippi the fleet of the enemy was found disposed as a phalanx, but the heroic commander of the Arkansas moved directly against it; though in passing through this formidable array he was exposed to the broadsides of the whole fleet, the vessel received no other injury than from one eleven-inch shot which entered the gun room, and the perforation in many places of her smokestack. The casualties to the crew were five killed, four wounded—among the latter was the gallant commander. General Van Dorn, commanding the department, in a dispatch from Vicksburg July 15th, states the number of the enemy's vessels above Vicksburg, pays a high compliment to the officers and men, and adds:

All the enemy's transports and all the vessels of war of the lower fleet (i.e., the fleet just below Vicksburg), except a sloop of war, have got up steam, and are off to escape from the Arkansas.

A vessel inspiring such dread is entitled to a special description. She was an ironclad steamer, one hundred feet in her length, her armament ten Parrott guns, and her crew one hundred men who had volunteered from the land forces for the desperate service proposed. Her commander had been from his youth in the navy of the United States, and his capacity was such as could well supplement whatever was wanted of naval knowledge in his crew. The care and skill with which the vessel had been constructed were tested and proved under fire. Had her engines been equal to the hull and armor of the vessel, it is difficult to estimate the value of the service she might have performed. At this period the enemy occupied Baton Rouge, with gunboats lying in front of it to cooperate with the troops in the town. The importance of holding a section of the Mississippi, so as to keep free communication between the eastern and western portions of the Confederacy, has been heretofore noticed. To this end it was deemed needful to recover the possession of Baton Rouge, and it was decided to make a land attack in cooperation with the Arkansas, to be sent down against the enemy's fleet.

Major General J. C. Breckinridge was assigned to the command of the land forces. This distinguished citizen and alike distinguished soldier, surmounting difficulties which would have discouraged a less resolute spirit, approached Baton Rouge, and moved to the attack at the time indicated for the arrival of the Arkansas. In his address to the officers and soldiers of his command, after the battle, viz., on August 6, 1862, he compliments the troops on the fortitude with which they had borne a severe march, on the manner in which they attacked the enemy, superior in numbers and admirably posted, drove him from his positions, [205] taking his camps, and forcing him to seek protection under cover of the guns of his fleet. Major General Breckinridge attributes his failure to achieve entire success to the inability of the Arkansas to cooperate with his forces, and adds:

You have given the enemy a severe and salutary lesson, and now those who so lately were ravaging and plundering this region do not care to extend their pickets beyond the sight of their fleet.

The Arkansas in descending the river moved leisurely, having ample time to meet her appointment; when about fifteen miles above Baton Rouge, her starboard engine broke down. Repairs were immediately commenced, and, by 8 A. M. on August 5th were partially completed. General Breckinridge had commenced the attack at four o'clock, and the Arkansas, though not in condition to engage the enemy, moved on, and, when in sight of Baton Rouge, her starboard engine again broke down and the vessel was run ashore. The work of repair was resumed, and next morning the Federal fleet was seen coming up. The Arkansas was moored head downstream and cleared for action. The Essex approached and opened fire; at that moment the engineers reported the engines able to work half a day. The lines were cut, and the Arkansas started for the Essex, when the other—the larboard—engine suddenly stopped, and the vessel was again secured to the shore stern-down. The Essex now valiantly approached, pouring a hot fire into her disabled antagonist. Lieutenant Stevens, then commanding the Arkansas, ordered the crew ashore, fired the vessel, and, with her flag flying, turned her adrift—a sacrificial offering to the cause she had served so valiantly in her brief but brilliant career. Lieutenant Reed, of the ram Arkansas, in his published account of the affair, states, ‘After all hands were ashore, the Essex fired upon the disabled vessel most furiously.’

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