War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0473 Chapter XXXVI. PASSAGE OF THE Vicksburg BATTERIES.

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4 or 5 men who called themselves citizens, but I under the impression they are part of the above-named party.

Herewith I send you 3 prisoners, as follows, viz: W. L. Barrett, W. T. Bowlend, and L. W. Mills, whom you can dispose of as you think best.

Hoping that this may prove satisfactory, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. LOOMIS,

Lieutenant-Colonel.

Colonel B. H. GRIERSON,

Commanding First Cavalry Brigade.

MARCH 25, 1863. - Passage of the Vicksburg batteries by the Switzerland, and destruction of the Lancaster.

REPORTS.

Numbers 1. - Brigadier General Alfred W. Ellet, U. S. Army, commanding

Mississippi Marine Brigade.

Numbers 2. - Colonel Charles Rivers Ellet, U. S. Army, commanding

U. S. steam ram Switzerland.

Numbers 3. - Lieutenant Colonel John A. Ellet, U. S. Army, commanding

U. S. steam ram Lancaster.

Numbers 4. - Major General Carter L. Stevenson, C. S. Army, commanding

at Vicksburg.

Numbers 5. - Brigadier General Seth M. Barton, C. S. Army, commanding

brigade.

Numbers 1.

Report of Brigadier General Alfred W. Ellet, U. S. Army, commanding Mississippi Marine Brigade.

FLAG-SHIP AUTOCRAT,

Above Vicksburg, March 26, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on yesterday, in response to a request made by Admiral Farragut for two rams to aid him in maintaining possession of the Mississippi River between Vicksburg and Port Hudson, and to destroy the enemy's communications from Red River, I ordered the Switzerland and Lancaster, the latter in command of Lieutenant Colonel John A. Ellet, the former commanded by Major John Lawrence, the expedition being under the command of Colonel Charles R. Ellet, who was on the Switzerland in person, to pass the batteries and join Admiral Farragut below. I regret to say that in the performance of this order the Lancaster was blown up and totally destroyed by the terrible fire from the enemy's batteries. The Switzerland also received a 10-inch shell in her boilers when opposite the center of the enemy's line of defenses, totally disabling her. She floated past, and finally escaped without more serious injury. I have now on board a large force of mechanics, who will have her repaired, and in a few days again ready for efficient service.

I inclose a copy of the letter received from Admiral Farragut, which, taken in connection my own knowledge of the great importance of the interest involved, induced me to undertake the enterprise.

I deem it proper in this report to call you special attention to the great gallantry displayed by the officers and men composing the crews of these vessels under circumstances of the most imminent peril. When