War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0154 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

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tified, I ordered a skiff, and proceeded to the battery, up the river. Upon nearing it I discovered a white flag moving in various directions, and a steam-tug from the enemy, bearing also a white flag, steering upon the battery. Captain Rucker was not aware that his signal flag could be construed into a flag of distress either by us or by the enemy. It was too late to stop the tug; she reached the battery as soon as I did. An officer, a lieutenant in the Navy, in informed Captain Rucker that he had seen his signal and had come to inquire if he wished to communicate with the fleet, to which a negative answer was changed, and he left without landing. This occurrence is much to be regretted, as it gave the enemy a chance of seeing the condition of our battery, all under water, with its ammunition on the parapet, and also perhaps a good view of our other batteries; but it was unavoidable, as well as unexpected.

the bombardment was kept up during the whole day, the guns firing 8-inch and rifled 42-pounder shells, and the mortars pouring incessantly a shower of 13-inch shell in every direction.

I opened fire from the island towards 1 o'clock that day from the Belmont gun upon some of the enemy at work on the Missouri shore, with the effect of stopping their proceedings altogether. Subsequent reports show that we disabled one gun and killed and wounded several men. During the night the bombardment was kept up steadily at an interval of thirty minutes, with no casualty.

On the morning of the 17th Major-General McCown ordered Colonel Neely's Fourth Tennessee Regiment and Colonel Brown's Fifty-fifth Tennessee Regiment to report to me for duty, he being apprehensive that the enemy might attempt a landing, which was evidently his intention. I placed Colonel Brown's regiment on the end of the cremaillere line, each man having 60 rounds of buck and ball cartridges. Colonel Neely's was placed in reserve at my headquarters in rear of Battery Numbers 3. Colonel Steedman was ordered to send two detachments, of 15 men each, under command of Lieutenant Owens and Sandford, from his regiment and to keep in front of my headquarters-all the rest of his forces, not detailed in the batteries, as a reserve of infantry.

On Monday morning, the 17th instant, the enemy having placed two gunboats alongside of their four mortar boats, on the Missouri side, and one 13-inch and one 10-inch the bend above, on the Tennessee side, began to form their line. Their large boats were lashed together and dropped down slowly upon Battery Numbers 1. At 2 miles above them they formed a second line with their transports, seven in number, loaded with soldiers. The tugs kept busy steaming from one boat to another.

At 10.30 or 11 o'clock the enemy opened fire on Battery Numbers 1 with their gunboats lashed together, their boats lying behind the point called Willow Point, and all their mortars. Their fire was slow at first but increased in rapidity and precision, and was kept up until dark with great vigor and regularity, the enemy being well in range-2,000 yards.

I signaled Captain Rucker to commence firing, and at the same time I ordered Colonel Steedman to proceed to the battery with my aide, Lieutenant Lane, fearing that a landing would be attempted. The battery opened at noon with its three navy shell guns (8-inch), the other three 32-pounders being kept in reserve in case of a close engagement.

The navy guns, of large caliber, say 8-inch, required for regulation drill 12 men and 1 boy, the gun being run in and from the battery be means of tackle; but in our case the blocks and ropes having been ten or