War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0367 Chapter XXXVI. CAPTURE OF THE INDIANOLA.

Search Civil War Official Records

Lieutenant-Colonel Brand with his command gallantly bore away, approached the enemy, and gave, as I am informed by him, the command "prepare to board," when he was greeted by a voice from the decks of the Indianola, announcing that she had surrendered and was in a sinking condition. Colonel Brand then boarded her upper deck and received the sword of Lieutenant-Commander Brown. This result must have been very gratifying to Colonel Brand, as it was obtained without the loss or injury of a single man of his command. Upon my reaching the deck, Colonel Brand most handsomely acknowledged that the capture was entirely due to the Queen of the WEST and the Webb. I have no doubt if it had been necessary that himself and his gallant command would have again demonstrated that nothing can resist the desperation of troops who regard not their own lives, but victory. I immediately appointed Lieutenant Handy, of the Webb, as prize-master. We found our prize a most formidable monster, mounting two 11-inch guns froward and two 9-inch guns aft, and all protected by splendid iron casemates, utterly impervious except to the heaviest artillery at the very shortest range. Her propelling power consisted of side-wheels and two screw propellers. She was filled with a most valuable cargo, embracing supplies of every kind. The officers and crew, amounting to over 100, fell into our hands as prisoners. Nothing shows more clearly how well protected were her men than the fact that our artillery, though they frequently fired at the range of 20 and 30 yards, utterly failed to injure her. Lieutenant Handy, of the Webb, fired his 32-pounder rifled gun so close to the casemates of the enemy that it actually enveloped both port-holes in flames, and yet no injury was sustained. Our skillful and courageous sharpshooters fired deliberately at every onset.

Notwithstanding all these circumstances, the enemy lost but 1 man killed and none wounded. the Webb had but 1 man wounded, while the Queen of the WEST had 2 killed and 4 wounded.

The fire of the enemy was terrific. Their huge shot and shell came whizzing by us, directed wide of the mark in every instance, except the two shots that struck the Queen and one that passed through the bulwarks of the Webb, while the far-darting flames of their enormous guns almost licking our bows, and the loud thunder of their reports (heard as far as Vicksburg, 30 miles off), added unusual sublimity to the scene. The Queen of the WEST has some appearance of protection for her men- how feeble was manifested by cotton, but her walking beams were entirely exposed. I think the annals of naval warfare may be safely challenged to produce an instance where a feeble craft was thrice precipitated upon the iron sides of a first-class war steamer, mounting as heavy an armament as is to be found in the western waters.

The heroic gallantry of both captains in rushing their steamers against the iron-clad enemy in face of and against the muzzles of 9-inch and 11-inch guns cannot be overestimated.

I am much indebted for the success that crowns this expedition to the sill and gallantry of my officers.

Captain McCloskey, commanding the Queen of the WEST, combined with the courage of the soldier the sill and aptitude that characterizes the sailor of our western waters. Taking his position in the front of the steamer, by word and example he cheered the men on to their duty and rallied them when disheartened. I reserve to him the mention of the names of the officers and men under him who merit special mention, but I feel compelled in one case to specify an example of heroic courage