« ZurückWeiter »
considerable damage ; but, recovering, she passed feet from the deck. It penetrated the iron, but on, the Benton getting under way and following did not get through, though so severe was the her some distance down the river. She, how- blow that it started a four-inch plank two inches ever, reached in safety the batteries at Vicks- and eighteen feet long on the inside. A conical burgh. It was now determined by the two com- shell struck the casemate on the port side, as we manders-in-chief to make some effort to destroy were rounding to, penetrated the three quarterthe ram, and hence, on the evening of the same inch iron, and came half-way through the woodday the Arkansas passed the upper fleet, Flag- en side. It exploded through, killing one man Officer Farragut, with the New Orleans fleet that and slightly wounding three. A small piece had previously attacked the Vicksburgh batte- grazed my head, and another piece tore the legs ries, coming up-stream, concluded to run the of the first master's pantaloons. blockade, and, while going down, try to sink her. I had now been under fire for upwards of an The flag-ship Benton, with the gunboats Louis- hour, and thirty minutes of the time from eighty ville and Cincinnati, accompanied his fleet to feet to one hundred yards of some of the enemy's within range of the forts; but the destruction of heaviest batteries. I still looked for the arrival the ram was not accomplished.
of the lower fleet, but saw nothing of it. I held Flag Officers Farragut and Davis, with myself, on for a short time longer, but the enemy began on the twenty-first, held a council of war on to fire with such rapidity and we were so close board the Benton, and I volunteered the services that the flashes of his guns through my gun-holes of the Essex to make an attempt to destroy the drove my men from the guns. At last, through ram, and the following programme was agreed the smoke, I saw the lower fleet nearly three on: That on the morning of the twenty-second, miles off, and still at anchor. Seeing no hope of precisely at four o'clock, the whole available fleet relief or assistance, I now concluded to run the under command of Flag-Officer Davis, was to get gauntlet of the enemy's lower forts and seek an under way, and when within range to bombard anchorage below the fleet. I therefore reluctantthe upper batteries at Vicksburgh; the lower antly gave the order to “put her head downfleet under Flag-Officer Farragut was to do the stream;” but I was determined to be in no hursame, and attack the lower batteries; the Essex ry. They had now plenty of time to prepare, was to push on, strike the rebel ram, deliver her and so rapid was their fire that for half an hour fire, and then fall behind the lower fleet.
the hull of this ship was completely enveloped in On the morning herein stated I got under way the heavy jets of water thrown over her by the and passed the Benton. Flag-Officer Davis hailed enemy's shot, shell and rifle-balls. The departme and "wished me success. I now pushed on, ment may have some idea of the amount and according to my understanding of the programme, number of shot, shell, plugs and rifle missiles and precisely at half-past four a.m. the enemy's thrown at this vessel, when they are now inupper batteries opened upon me, but I heard 'no formed we were two hours and a half under fire response at this time from our fleets. I arrived of seventy heavy guns in battery, twenty fieldat the ram, delivered my fire and struck her; the pieces and three heavy guns on board the ram. blow glanced, and I went high on the river-bank During that time this vessel was heavily struck with the bows of the ship, where I lay ten forty-two times, and only penetrated twice. This minutes under three batteries of heavy guns. I fully proves the admirable character of the ironbacked off and loaded up. The enemy had drawn plating, as the thickest iron was but an inch, up three regiments of sharp-shooters and several with one inch of India-rubber beneath, according batteries of field-pieces, ranging from six-pound- to my method now patented. ers to twenty-four pounders. I found it impossi- I still hope an opportunity may yet be given ble, under these circumstances, to board the rebel me to make a second attempt to destroy the Arboat, though such was my original intention. kansas, as I believe it can be done, and I am After I delivered my fire at but five feet from the ready and can do it. ram, we distinctly heard the groans of her wound- Very respectfully, your obed't servant, ed and saw her crew jumping overboard. She
W. D. PORTER, did not fire a gun after we had delivered ours,
Commanding Division of the Fleet in the Western Watery. and I have since seen in the rebel papers that
COMMANDER WALKE'S REPORT. they admit a loss of eighteen killed and thirtyfire wounded. We knocked a very large hole in
GUxBOAT CARONDELET, July 15, 1862. her side. At this time I began to look for aid Sır: In obedience to your orders, passed to from the fleets, but without result. I ordered me yesterday by acting Fleet-Capt. Phelps, I got the pilots to get the Essex's head up-stream, with under way this morning, accompanied by the the intention of holding on until the lower fleet gunboat Tyler and steam-ram Queen of the caine up, and then make another attack on the West, and proceeded up the Yazoo on a reconram. At this time I was under the guns of three noissance. We had proceeded about six miles batteries, one of which was not over one hundred up the river, when we discovered a formidablefeet off. A heavy ten-inch shot from the nearest looking rebel ram or gunboat, since proved to be battery struck my forward casemate, about five the celebrated Arkansas. The Queen of the fect from the deck, but fortunately did not pene- West, Tyler and Carondelet at once retreated trate. A rifle seven and a half-inch shot, from down the river to avoid being inevitably sunk, the same battery, struck the casemate about nine firing upon her with our stern and occasionally
with our side-guns. The enemy vigorously re- about one hundred yards distant, keeping up a turned the fire from her heavy bow-guns as she continuous fire on the ram from our stern gun pursued, and had greatly the advantage of us and an occasional fire from our broadside battery, from being thoroughly protected by iron. We the Carondelet having already opened on the had continued the fight about one hour when ram with her stern-guns. the Arkansas came up, with the evident inten- About half-past seven the rebel ram closed tion of running us down. I avoided the blow, with and struck the Carondelet, and forced her and as we passed exchanged broadsides at very against the left bank of the river, receiving a close quarter. I endeavored to board her, but discharge from her stern-guns. Standing past she passed us too quickly, and I could only fire her she received the fire of her broadside guns, our bow-guns fairly at her stern. Not a shot and stood directly for us, at that time distant entered her, however, the shot easily glancing about two hundred yards. off her invulnerable stern.
We then stood down the river at all speed, At this moment our wheel-ropes were cut off and managed to keep the ram from two to three for the third time, and we had to run the boat hundred yards distant from us, keeping up a into shore. As she swung round, we gave the rapid fire from our stern-gun and an occasional rebel vigorous discharges from our bow and star- discharge from our broadside batteries as we board guns. Two shot-holes were now seen in could bring them to bear, receiving the fire of her her side, when the crew were observed pumping two bow.guns and occasional discharges from her out. At this juncture a man was observed her broadside batteries. to be thrown overboard from the Arkansas. We At half-past eight came within sight of the had now received severe damages in our hull fleet; forty-five minutes past eight rounded to and machinery, more than twenty shots having under the stern of the Essex, delivering a broadentered the boat. In the engineer's department, side at the rebel ram as she was standing down three escape-pipes, the steam-gauge and two past the fleet. water-pipes were cut away. In the carpenter's
At this time the ram was receiving the fire of department, nineteen beams were cut away, thir- most all the vessels of our flotilla. ty timbers damaged, and three boats rendered
She succeeded in passing the fleet and in reachuseless. Our deck-pumps were cut away also. ing Vicksburgh, although, it is supposed, with We had some thirty killed, wounded and miss- considerable damage. The ram was pumping a ing.
heavy stream of water from her side, from three When the escape-pipes were cut away, many
miles above the mouth of Yazoo River until she of the hands jumped into the water.
passed the fleet. The gunboat Tyler sustained me in a gallant
The following are the casualties : and effective manner.
Killed belonging to the Tyler-Oscar S. Davis, Our officers and most of the men behaved in a Third Assistant Engineer; T. Jeff. Hood, seagallant manner during the whole action.
Wounded-John Sebastian, pilot, lost left Yours respectfully,
arm; David Hiner, pilot, slightly ; R. H. Smith, HENRY WALKE,
pilot, slightly ; J. W. Holly, coal-hearer, lost Commanding Carondelet. right arm ; J. J. Milford, seaman, severely ; R.
Williamson, seaman, severely; James Hughes,
seaman, slightly ; James Morris, seaman, slightThe following is an extract from the “log” of y; Richard Carter, seaman, slightly; Fred. the Tyler, giving an account of the engageman, slightly.
Cooper, seaman, slightly ; Stephen Tracy, seament with the Arkansas :
Killed belonging to detachment of Fourth From four to eight, clear and pleasant. At Wisconsin regiment, detailed as sharp-shooters, four A.M. got under way, ran alongside of the on the United States gunboat Tyler-Capt. Lynn, Lancaster and sent a boat on board of her, which company I, commanding detachment; F. Barton, returned with a pilot. At five, stood on up the company E; H. Randall, company B; L. Goodriver, followed by the ram Queen of the West, ridge, company K; A. Palmer, company G; C. the Carondelet being ahead. red at the hafer, company D. Wounded - O. Van Ormouth of Yazoo River at forty-five minutes past mand, company F, seriously ; Peter Tuey, comfive; stood on up. At seven A.M., discovered a pany F, seriously; W. Kent, company G, slightsteamer standing down the river, at the distanoe ly; Anson Ayres, company E, slightly'; J. Doyle, of a mile, which proved to be the rebel ram Ar- company K, slightly. kansas, and immediately opened fire on her with Total killed, eight; total wounded, sixteen. our bow-guns, which was returned. The Caron. For the last half-hour of the engagement the delet about a mile and a half astern, and the after part of the ship was full of steam, from the Queen of the West about a quarter of a mile. port escape-pipe having been cut.
We commenced backing down the river, keep- The vessel sustained no serious damage, aling up a fire with the guns that could be brought though a good deal cut up, fourteen shot striking to bear. Finding that she was gaining on us her, eleven of which penetrated the vessel. rapidly, we rounded down-stream and stood for the Carondelet, which vessel was standing down
BALTIMORE “AMERICAN" ACCOUNT. stream, and took a position on her port-bow, The following is a letter from a young engineer
on board Commodore Farragut's flag-ship, the seem to like the looks of her antagonist, and steam sloop-of-war Hartford.
steamed rapidly down the river, firing her guns
at intervals. The Benton followed her under the UNITED STATES STEAMER HARTFORD, guns of the batteries on the bluffs, which opened BELOW VICKSBURGA, July 17, 1862.
on her, and she retired, leaving the Arkansas to Dear FATHER: The events of the past few days run down to Vicksburgh. have been of a highly exciting nature, but I was The fleet below, which consisted of the Brooknot able to write a letter yesterday before the mail lyn, Kennebec and Jackson, together with one closed, otherwise you should have heard from me division of mortar vessels and a lot of transports,
were soon aware of the nature of the fight above On the night of the fourteenth instant two de the city, and had made preparations for an attack. serters from Vicksburgh came aboard and stated One of the mortar-schooners, which was aground, that the rebel ram Arkansas meditated an attack was blown up, as she could not be moved. The on the fleet either that night or the following ram, however, did not attempt to pass below the morning. We had heard much of this vessel, and, city, but ran alongside of the bank under the guns in order to be on the safe side, the steamers Ca- of the fortifications. Her appearance is truly very rondelet and Tyler, of Davis's fleet, were de- formidable, and the rebels claim her to be supespatched up the Yazoo River in order to dispute rior to the Merrimac, as she combines the good her exit into the Mississippi. Early on the morn-points of all iron-clad vessels that have been built ing of the fifteenth, as these two vessels were en- and tested. Her sides are at an angle of about tering the Yazoo, they descried an iron-clad ram forty-five degrees, but are not run up to a point, coming down. She had no flag flying, but when like the Merrimac, her top being flat, with a single she got near, the Stars and Bars were flung to the smoke-stack protruding. She has three guns on breeze, and a shot was fired from her. Seeing each side and one at each end, and her sides are the formidable character of their opponent, our completely cased with thick iron plates, which steamers turned around and steamed down the seemed to resist all the shots that were fired at river, at the same time using their stern-guns. her. She stands about five or six feet above the The ram followed on, using her bow-gun, and a water-line, and presents a very small surface for running fire was kept up. While all this was our gunners to hit. Although her prow is sharp, transpiring we were lying at anchor, with fires I have not heard that she attempted to run into banked but no steam on. Most of the other ves- any of our vessels. She was commenced at Vickssels in the two fleets were in the same condition, burgh, but taken up the Yazoo River when our our object being to economize in fuel as much as fleet came up, some two months since. Huge possible, we having no means to replenish our rafts of logs were then placed across the river to bunkers should the coal give out.
prevent our boats from approaching her, but these I should judge it was a little past seven o'clock had all been removed the day before she came on the morning of the fifteenth that firing was down. We greatly feared that she would run heard up the river. It approached nearer and down to New Orleans. nearer, and by the time the fleet was fully astir All the captains in the fleet were immediately two of our own boats came down the river at full called aboard and a consultation resulted in the speed. Soon after the ram came around the point, determination to again attack the batteries, and, firing at the retreating vessels. As many of our if possible, sink or capture the ram. At about boats as could bring their guns to bear on her six o'clock in the evening the fleet got under way. immediately opened, and volumes of smoke were It was growing dark and the Davis fleet had comsoon issuing from the smoke-pipes of the different menced to engage the batteries. All of our fleet steamers, as each one was endeavoring to get up were engaged before we got in range, our intensteam.
tion being to run into the ram and sink her. The She approached the Richmond and received a batteries were firing rapidly and our boats were terrible broadside from her guns. For a moment returning the fire with good effect. As we apshe was lost in the smoke, and eager eyes watched proached shot and shell commenced whistling for the smoke to lift in order to get a shot at her. over us, ritlemen were busy at work in the woods As it cleared away the bow-guns of the vessels along the river side, and bullets chirruped a symlying astern of the Richmond commenced firing phony to the bass voice of the artillery, while the on her, and she turned down-stream. As she mortárs, at either end of the city, kept up a roarpassed us we gave her the benefit of a broadside, ing accompaniment. The scene was terrific, and but she steamed on without firing a gun.
never did our men work their guns with such A shot took effect in the boiler of the ram Lan- rapidity. The rebel artillerists would cease their caster, of Commodore Davis's fleet, and several fire to a great extent the moment we opened on persons were killed and wounded. It is not cer- them; they could not stand it. tain whether this shot came from one of our guns Poor George Lounsbery, the brother of Lieut. or from the Arkansas, as the vessels were much Lounsbery, of the New-York Fifth, was killed crowded, and in no position for such an encounter. during the action. His usual station as First
As the Arkansas got past the Hartford she fired Master was on the spar-deck, where he had charge two rifle-shots, which passed harmlessly over our of two guns, and in all our engagements we stood heads. The Benton had got under way by this side by side; but he was placed on the berthtime and started out to meet her, but she did not deck to take the place of the officer of the powder
A. A. General.
division, who was sick, and thus met his death. I wish it to be remembered that we whipped He was in the act of speaking to some one down this vessel, made it run out of the fight and haul in the cockpit when a solid shot came through down colors, with two less guns than they had; the ship's side and severed his head down to his and at the same time fought two rams, which shoulders. His head was literally torn to pieces, were firing at us with great guns and small arms and but fragments of it could be found, while his - this, too, with our miscellaneous crew, who body fell across the edge of the hatch, and his had never, for the most part, been on board a life's blood gushed in torrents down in the orlop. ship, or at big guns. I am, General, very reHe was a clever fellow, and he and I were fast spectfully, your obedient servant, friends.
J. N. Brown, The same shot that killed poor Lounsberry also
Lieutenant Commanding. struck a colored cook, taking half of his head off,
To Brig.-Gen. M. L. SMITH,
Commanding Defences at Vicksburgh. and also wounded several others. A man named
A true copy : J. F. GIRAULT, Cameron was also struck in the head and his head partly taken off, on the spar-deck, and but a few feet from where I stood. Our loss in the engage
0. 8. GUNBOAT ARKANSAS, VICKSBURGH, July 23, 1862. ment is three killed and six wounded. The reb- Sir: I beg leave herewith to send a list of els seemed, as usual, to concentrate all their fire names of the killed and wounded of the detachon the “old Hartford."
ment who so nobly volunteered from the forces All of Commodore Davis's vessels, except the of your command, on — June last, to aid in makcaptured steamer Sumter, are still above the city ing up a crew for this vessel, to wit: to prevent the ram from going up, and all of our Killed—John Kane, private, Pinkney's batfleet are lying below with steam up, ready for talion Louisiana volunteers; Charles Madden, action at a moment's notice. The ram could be private, Clinch’s battalion Louisiana artillery; seen moving about in front of the city, yesterday, Henry Shields, company E, Antonio Florez, combut she has not attempted to run the gauntlet pany G, and Daniel O'Sullivan, company A, of again. Capt. Porter, of the Essex, says he can the Twenty-eighth Louisiana volunteers. Total take the ram, and Flag Officer Farragut says he killed-five. may do so, but I don't know whether it will be Wounded—Wm. Alexander, private, Clinch's tried or not. Owing to the darkness and the battalion Louisiana artillery ; Thomas Lynch, smoke, no one in the fleet saw a sign of the ram sergeant, Clinch's battalion Louisiana artillery ; on the night we passed, otherwise an attempt Bernard Martinez, private, Twenty-eighth Louisiwould have been made to sink her by running ana volunteers. Total wounded — four. Total into her.
killed and wounded-nine. Lieut. Heisler, of the marine corps, died on his I regret the loss of these men to the vessel and way to Memphis. He was attached to this ship to their country. They fought well. and was going home on account of ill-health. I
Very respectfully, have no more room and must now close, and re- (Signed)
J. N. Brown, main your affectionate son, ALBERT.
To Brig.-Gen. M. L. Smith, REBEL REPORTS AND NARRATIVES.
Commanding at Vicksburgh.
A true copy: J. F. GIRAULT, OFFICIAL REPORT OF LIEUTENANT BROWN.
Assistant Adjutant-General. HEADQC ARTERS THIRD DISTRICT, VICKSBURGA, July 25, 1862.
GENERAL VAN DORNS DESPATCH. Sır: I am directed by the Brigadier-General
Vicksburgo, July 15. Commanding to hand you the accompanying communications from Capt. Brown, of the C. S. gun batteries, ran gloriously through twelve or thir
The sloop-of-war Arkansas, under cover of our boat Arkansas. The first letter refers to the fight in Yazoo of-war. Our loss was ten men killed and fifteen
teen of the enemy's rams, gunboats, and sloops. River, before the ram entered the Mississippi, wounded. Captain Brown, her commander and where she encountered the whole Yankee fleet.
hero, was slightly wounded in the head. The Whilst every thing connected with the recent smoke-stack of the Arkansas was riddled. Othertrip of the Arkansas from Yazoo City to this wise she is not materially damaged, and can soon place is interesting to all of us, it is also due to
be repaired. Capt. Brown and his brave crew that this, not the least brilliant of her noble exploits, should be and the boats ran ashore to keep from sinking.
Two of the enemy's boats struck their colors, made public. Very respectfully, your obedient Many were killed and wounded. This is a gloriservant,
J. F. Girault,
ous achievement for the navy, her heroic com
manders, officers, and men. STEAMER ARKANSAS, VICKSBURGI, July 15, 1862.
One mortar-boat, disabled and aground, is now General: The Benton, or whatever iron-clad burning up. All the enemy's transports and all that we disabled, was left with colors down, evi- the vessels of war of the lower fleet, except : dently aground to prevent sinking, about one sloop-of-war, have gotten up steam, and are off to mile and a half above the mouth of the Yazoo,
from the Arkansas. (in Old River,) on the right-hand bank, or bank
EARL Van Dors, across from Vicksburgh.
A. A. General.
GENERAL COOPER'S ORDER.
GRENADA "APPEAL" ACCOUNT.
Now, the moral of this is, that our batteries WAR DEPARTMENT,
and people have been afraid of a set of cowards, ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
who stood less hammering when brought in front RICHMOND, July 22, 1862. The successful defence of Vicksburgh against corded. The fellow ran away without scratch
of an equal foe than history has heretofore rethe mortar fleet of the enemy by Major-Gen. Van
ing us. Dorn and the officers and men under his com
The two "swift and stiff” rams of Commodore mand entitles them to the gratitude of the coun. Ellet were making splendid time down-stream, try, the thanks of the government, and the ad, and we, in the hope of disabling or destroying miration of the army. By their gallantry and them with our guns, pushed on after, but they good conduct they have not only saved the city gained steadily and gave us breathing time beintrusted to them, but they have shown that fore the final struggle, which was soon to come. bombardments of cities, if bravely, resisted, As we rounded a point the immense fleet came achieve nothing for the enemy, and only serve to in view. The river seemed to be blocked up by unveil his malice and the hypocrisy of his pre: armed vessels of all descriptions. There was tended wish to restore the Union. The world the majestic Hartford and Brooklyn and half-anow sees that his mission is one of destruction, dozen other boats, together with the cumbersome not restoration. Lieutenant Brown and the officers and crew of tar-boats and transports by the score.
and unwieldy up-river boats, besides rams, mor
All were the confederate steamer Arkansas, by their he- under way taking position. It seemed to me roic attack upon the Federal fleet before Vicks that their plan was to form a complete line across burgh, equalled the highest recorded examples of the river in the shape of the letter V, the point courage and skill.
They prove that the navy, when it regains its proper element, will be one of up-stream; the Hartford occupying the van and the chief bulwarks of national defence, and that centre, the Brooklyn immediately astern, the it is entitled to a high place in the confidence and right and left wings being composed of rams and
gunboats of both classes. We made one dash affection of the country.
to break the left wing, near Farragut's flag-ship. By command of the Secretary of War,
As we approached the enemy looked on in mute S. Cooper,
wonder and astonishment. Not a gun was fired Adjutant and Inspector General,
at long-range. All were waiting for the moment when the dreadful missiles would be most effec
tive. The large sloop had her eleven-inch guns VICKSBURGH, July 17.
charged with solid shot and bided their time with At six o'clock on the fifteenth inst., while the steadiness, never diverging an inch from their Arkansas was in Old River, into which the Yazoo position ; the little ones, however, edged off to empties, about one and a half miles from the the right and left, bows up-stream. Gunboat Mississippi, she made out three of the enemy's No. Six fired the first gun, loaded with grape, but vessels bearing down upon her—one an iron-clad with too much depression. It fell short. At the gunboat, the others rams. In a few minutes same instant the port-bow gun of the Arkansas they were within range, and commenced the ac- sent a solid shot crushing through one of the tion. The ram was more deliberate and cau-iron-clads, which alone sent her to the flank. tious, approaching till within a few hundred As we neared the Hartford, a ram (the Lancasyards, when she opened with her bow battery. ter) took up her position just ahead of us, but At this the enemy turned and fled, the Arkansas the port gun blew her up, and the crew jumped pursuing directly after the gunboat, raking her overboard on all sides, the Arkansas running by frequent discharges from her forward guns. through the sinking, drowning people. Now we The port-bow gun was disabled. But in twenty were in the midst of the melee ; broadsides came minutes from the time the running began, the as fast as blows from a blacksmith's hammer ; enemy deserted their guns, having been whipped crash came the shot and grape through the ports. by the starboard-bow gun alone! The fight be. But we were through. As soon as we came in gan at close range, which was gradually decreased front of Vicksburgh the enemy below showed to about forty yards, and when at this latter dis- signs of a stampede. They forthwith burned a tance the port-bow gun was again brought into mortar-boat, their transports got up steam, and action, and commenced to assist its mate to de. had not our crew been exhausted we could have molish the Yankee's river pride. The effects of destroyed the whole bevy. these terrible engines were soon apparent. The But the thing was not over for the day. At crippled duck commenced his favorite dodge of sundown Farragut's fleet coinmenced passing hunting for shallow water, and for this purpose down, eight going down and exchanging shots sheered into the left bank of the river, exposing with us as they passed. But as we were not at himself to the port broadside of the Arkansas, our favorite range, we have no idea what damage which was poured into him at a depression, and we inflicted. weut crashing through his sides and bottom. He Before closing, I must pay my respects to the did not return the fire. As he fell behind, our “sturdy” rams that were to pounce upon us. steam battery commenced the raking process The rascals gave us a very wide berth; and I again, which caused the rascal to haul down his would advise Abraham I. to dispense with Col. colors, set a white flag, and desert his vessel. Ellet, Medical Cadet Ellet, Lieut. Ellet, etc., etc.,