The regiment under my command, Forty-sixth Indiana, landed 2 1/21 miles below the batteries. Skirmishers were thrown out, who drove in the enemy's pickets. The gunboat then moved up and opened on their batteries. A rifled shot from one of the later penetrated the steam drum of the Mound City, disabling, by scalding, most of her crew.
Apprehensive some similar accident might happen to other of the gunboats, and thus leave my small command without their support, I signaled the gunboats to cease firing and we would storm the batteries. They ceased at exactly the right moment, and my men carried the batteries gallantly. The infantry were driven from the support of the guns and the gunners shot at their posts; their commanding officer (Fry, formerly of the U. S. Navy) wounded and captured, and 8 brass and iron guns, with ammunition, taken.
The enemy's loss unknown. We have buried 7 or 8 of their dead, and others of their dead and wounded are being brought in. The casualties among my own commanded few and simple, the only real loss being from the escaping steam on the Mound City. She will probably be repaired ready to proceed with us up the river to-morrow. A full report will be made as early as possible.
G. N. FITCH,
Commanding District of Mississippi.
ON STEAMER WHITE CLOUD,
Ascending White River, Ark., June 19, 1862.
SIR: Current events have hitherto prevented the detailed report of the affair at Saint Charles, in this State, promised in my hasty dispatch of the 17th instant.
The vicinity of the enemy having been ascertained on the evening previous, a combined movement was arranged with a view to an attack between Captain Kilty, senior officer of the gunboats, for 6 o'clock a. m. of that day (17th instant). At that hour the flotilla moved up to about 2 1/21 miles below the town. The land troops (Forty-sixth Indiana) disembarked and skirmishers were thrown out, who quickly drove in the enemy's pickets and pushed forward to the foot of the bluff upon which the village is built and the batteries were placed. Beyond the foot of the bluff the skirmishers could not advance without being exposed to the fire of our gunboats. The fire (gunboats) had up to this time been in the supposed direction of the batteries, but the precise location of the latter was not known, as they were concealed by thick timber on the brow of the hill. The position of the lower battery was first discovered by its firing upon the officers of the Forty-sixth Indiana while forming the regiment for an anticipated advance. Captain Kilty was informed that the pickets were driven in and the troops ready to storm the batteries unless he desired to silence them by moving up with his gunboats. He preferred the latter alternative, and his fire was severe and well directed and briskly returned by the enemy. After its continuance some thirty minutes a 64-pounder rifled shot from one of the guns of their upper battery entered the larboard fore-quarter of the Mound City, killing a gunner and passing through the steam drum. The crew were seen from the shore to spring through the port-holes into the river. Scarcely had they done so before a party of the enemy's sharpshooters descended the bluff from the batteries, and under cover