War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0155 Chapter XVIII. NEW MADRID, MO., AND ISLAND Numbers 10, ETC.

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twelve days under water, although worked every day, required at least 20 men to manage them properly. It was under these disadvantages-up to their waist in water, the thickness of the parapet being reduced by the rising of the river, its cohesion destroyed by water having filtered through, with no powder magazine that our brave men forced back the enormous and well-appointed fleet of the enemy after inflicting serious damage to several, and sunk one or two them, it is asserted.

At 1 p. m. the contest became general, five gunboats and four or five mortar boats opening fire with their heavy metal upon the devoted battery. I then ordered Battery Numbers 2 (34) and the heavy rifle from the island to commence firing. This order was soon extended to the navy and Paixhan and the rifle (32) in Battery Numbers 5. At this time the most magnificent spectacle was presented to the beholder. One hundred and fifty guns and mortars of heavy caliber were soon firing on both sides with the utmost precision and rapidity; the loud, deep booming of the heavy smooth-bore, the sharp reports and warbling of the rifled pieces, and incessant bursting of the shell and shot, falling in all directions.

Care had been taken by the major-general commanding to remove such troops as were not immediately needed far enough to be out of danger.

Terrible cannonading lasted until 7 o'clock, when the enemy hauled off, evidently badly crippled, as, in fact, we ascertained some days afterwards. The enemy's gunboats having selected the battery, during the whole engagement it was served with great rapidity, while it never slackened, as I had always ready heavy re-enforcements at hand, and I have emphatically declared the last shot was fired by Captain Rucker at 3 o'clock.

Captain Rucker having telegraphed for cannoneers, I could have called for volunteers from the battery, as all-including the officers and volunteers-I had selected were designated by their officers; and the gallant fellows marched up to their waists in icy water to the relief of their brethren in arms. All were told the danger beforehand; but not one backed out.

This relief from Captain Sterling's and Hoadley's companies, was composed of 15 men from Captain Sterling's company, under charge of First Lieutenant T. J. Finnie, and 12 men from Captain Hoaldey's, in charge of Serg. W. H. H. Lutrell, the detachment under command of Lieutenant Finnie, and guided by my orderly, John Koontz, of Captain Jackson's company. The names of the men will be found in document B.*

When the relief from the various batteries arrived at the redan fort they found that Captain Rucker's exhausted men had already been relieved by some men from Colonel Brown's regiment, then occupying the cremaillere parapet, who served the guns bravely, manfully, and with intelligence. They had done good and efficient service on that day, and their names will be recorded in document B.* Wight his new assistance their fire was kept up with unabated vigor until night brought the action to a close.

At about 4 o'clock Lieutenant W. M. Clark, of Battery Numbers 1, was struck on the head while standing manfully at his gun and instantly killed. Our country mourns in him one of her best and most efficient warriors. Let his bereaved family's grief be soothed by the assurance that


*Not found.