the boat or to any of those on her was inflicted. About two regiments of rebel sharpshooters in rifle-pits kept up a continuous fire, but did no damage. The Queen was struck twice in the hull, but above the water line. One of our guns dismounted and ruined.
I can only speak in the highest terms of the conduct of every man on board. All behaved with cool, determined courage.
I remain, very respectfully,
CHARLES RIVERS ELLET,
Colonel, Commanding Ram Fleet.
Actg. Rear-Admiral DAVID D. PORTER,
Commanding Mississippi Squadron.
YAZOO RIVER, February 1, 1863.
Colonel CHARLES RIVERS ELLET,
Ram Queen of the WEST:
SIR: You will proceed with the Queen of the WEST to Vicksburg, and destroy the steamer Vicksburg, lying off that place; after which, you will proceed down the river as far as our batteries, below the canal, and report to me. In going down you will go along under low speed, having steerage-way enough, and keeping close to the right-hand shore going down. Before you start, it would be better to have a large bed of coal in, so that you will not have to put in fresh coal. The smoke might betray you. After you have destroyed the steamer, go down stream, and, when clear of the city, show three vertical lights, that our batteries may not fire on you. If you get disabled, drift down until abreast of our batteries, and the small army steamer will go to your assistance. Have every light in your ship put out before you leave for Vicksburg, except the three lights to be shown to our batteries, which must be kept covered up. See that no lights show from the stern as you pass the town, enabling them to rake you; and adopt every means of concealment. The best place to strike the steamer is 20 feet forward of her wheel. After disabling her there, so that she will sink, fire through her boilers and in among her machinery as she goes down.
It will not be part of your duty to save the lives of those on board. They must look out for themselves, and may think themselves lucky if they do not meet the same fate meted out to the Harriet Lane. Think of the fate of that vessel while performing your duty, and shout "Harriet Lane!" into the ears of the rebels. If you can fire turpentine balls from your bow field-pieces into the light upper works, it will make a fine finish to the sinking part.
Further orders for duty to be performed below will be given after you report.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
DAVID D. PORTER,
Acting Rear-Admiral, Commanding Mississippi Squadron
HDQRS. Mississippi RIVER MARINE BRIGADE,
U. S. STEAM RAM QUEEN OF THE WEST,
Below Vicksburg, MISS., February 5, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you that I left the landing below the cut-off about 1 p. m. on the 2nd instant, and proceeded down the river.
22 R R-VOL XXIV, PT. I