Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/10

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6 Southern Historical Society Papers.

and knocking down the other men. An u-inch solid shot entered the ship's side above my gun, smashing in the bulkhead, killing two men and the powder boy, wounding three others and knocking me senseless, cutting my head and nose. I was taken below, wounds were dressed and returned to my gun shortly afterwards. The same shot continued on across the deck, passing through the lower part of the smoke stack, killing eight of Midshipman's Scale's men and wounding three others, (as they were running out their gun). It finally struck the opposite bulkhead, broke in half and fell on deck.

"The smoke stack was so perforated by every kind of missile that it was almost impossible to keep up sufficient steam to give the ship enough motive power to steer her, but we finally cleared the ene- my's line of vessels and ran in alongside the wharf, under the guns of the batteries at Vicksburg.

"The enemies lower mortar fleet, thinking we were about to at- tack them, burned one of their vessels, which was around below the city, whilst the others hastily got under way and proceeded down the river. Our loss after such a severe ordeal was 16 men killed and 17 wounded, besides the officers injured, already mentioned.

"The scene around the gun deck upon our arrival at Vicksburg was ghastly in the extreme. Blood and brains bespattered every- thing, whilst arms, legs and several headless trunks were strewn about. The citizens and soldiers of the town crowded eagerly aboard, but a passing look at the gun deck was sufficient to cause them to retreat hastily from the sickening spectacle within. In this engagement it would be invidious to mention any particular man or officer for acts of bravery; all hands did their duty well, honestly and courageously. The enemy's loss was severe, being over 120 men killed and wounded, (according to statements published in Northern papers,) besides the damages sustained by their vessels. The day was passed in burying the dead, sending the wounded ashore, cleaning ship. and making all possible repairs."

The escape of the Confederate ram, from what threatened to be certain destruction, was due to her daring, her build and largely to the unpreparedness of the combined Federal fleets above Vicks- burg. Why the "Arkansas " took her foes so much by surprise is almost unaccountable. Flag Officer Farragut reports to the Secre- tary of the Navy: " It is with deep mortification that I announce to the department that, notwithstanding my prediction to the con- trary, the iron-clad ram ' Arkansas ' has at length made her