The Defiance, Captain McCoy commanding, was the only vessel saved out of the river fleet.
Shortly after daylight the Manassas was observed drifting down by the forts. She had been abandoned and fired, and was evidently in a sinking condition.
The MacRae was considerably cut up in this action by shot and grape.
The Resolute was run on shore about a mile above the forts, where she hoisted a while flag, but by the prompt action of the MacRae she was prevented from falling into the hands of the enemy. She was subsequently wrecked and burned.
The Warrior was run ashore and fired on the point just above Fort Saint Philip.
Nothing was known by us of the movements of the Stonewall Jackson, the Governor Moore, or the General Quitman.
The steamers Mosher, Music, and Belle Algerine, in charge of the fire barges, were all destroyed. So also was the Star.
The heroic courage displayed by the officers and men at both forts was deserving of a better success, especially after the fortitude which they constantly exhibited through the long tedium of a protracted bombardment, unsurpassed for its terrible accuracy, constancy, and fury.
Thirteen of the enemy's vessels out of twenty-three succeeded in getting by, viz: The Hartford, Pensacola, Richmond, Brooklyn, Mississippi, Oneida, Iroquois, Cayuga, Wissahickon, Sciota, Kineo, Katahdin, and Pinola.
In addition to the foregoing and to the Varuna and such other vessels as were sunk, there were 6 gunboats and 1 frigate engaged in this action besides the mortar flotilla. Heavy chains wer flaked along the sides of the most of these vessels as an iron-proof protection.
The extent of the damage which was done to the enemy we had no means of ascertaining.
The vessels which passed all came to an anochor at or below the quarantine, 6 miles above the forts, where they remained until above 10 a. m., when they all passed slowly up the river, with the exception of two gunboats, left at the quarantine as a guard.
Shortly after the fleet above get under way a gunboat from below made her appearance with a flag of truce, and verbally demanded the surrender of the forts in the name of Commander D. D. Porter, U. S. Navy, commanding the mortar flotilla, under the penalty of reopening the bombardment (which had ceased shortly after the passage) in case of refusal.
The demand was rejected, and the bombardment was reopened about 12 m. It continued until near sundown, when it ceased altogether. The entire mortar fleet and all the other vessels except six gunboats then got under way, and passed down the river and out of sight under full steam and sail. A vigilant lookout was kept up above and below during the night, but all remained quiet. So long as the mortar fleet remained below, the position wherein the Louisiana could render the greatest assistance to the forts was the one below Fort Saint Philip, hereinbefore mentioned, where the fire of her batteries could dislodge the enemy from behind the point of woods.
After the mortar fleet had left, however, and when the enemy had got in force above the forts, the question was materially changed, in consequence of the fact that all of our heavy guns at both forts had been mounted to bear upon the lower approaches and not on those above. The most effective position which the Louisiana could then take as a battery was in the fight above Fort Jackson, where her guns could pro-
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