War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0670 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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of Lieutenant Commander John G. Walker, with a force of troops numbering 5,000 under Major General Francis J. Herron. Pushing up to the city, the Baron De Kalb engaged the batteries, which were all prepared to receive her, and, after finding out their strength, dropped back to notify General Herron, who immediately landed his men, and the Army and Navy made a combined attack on the enemy's works. The rebels soon fled, leaving everything in our possession, m and set fire to four of their fast steamers, that ran on the Mississippi River in times past. The army pursued the enemy, and captured their rear guard of 260 men, and at last accounts were taking more prisoners. Six heavy guns and one vessel, formerly a gunboat, fell unto our hands, and all the munitions of war. Unfortunately, while the Baron De Kalb was moving slowly along, she ran foul of a torpedo, which exploded and sunk her. there was no sign of anything of the kind to be seen. While she was going down, another exploded under her stern. The water is rising fast in the Yazoo, and we can do nothing more than get the guns put of her, and then get her into deep water, where she will be undisturbed until we are able to raise her. But for the blowing up of the Baron De Kalb, it would have been a good move. We have generally obtained information of torpedoes from negroes and deserters, but heard nothing of this. Many of the crew were bruised by the concussion, which was severe, but no lives were lost. The officers and men lost everything. She went down in FIFTEEN minutes . We must have her up again as soon as possible. We have much to contend with in these narrow rivers, and cannot guard against these hidden dangers while an enemy's flag fl lookout was kept for torpedoes, but this is some new invention of the enemy, which we will guard against hereafter. An attempt was made be the perpetrator, late Lieutenant Isaac N. Brown, to plant torpedoes once before, but the people of Yazoo City threatened to hang him if he did so. We felt sure that they would not permit it on this occasion. While a rebel flag floats anywhere the gunboats must follow up. The officers and men risk their lives fearlessly on these occasions, and I hope the Department will not take too seriously the accidents which happen to the vessels when it is impossible to avoid them.

I have the honor to be, yours, very respectfully,

DAVID D. PORTER,

Acting Rear-Admiral, Commanding Mississippi Squadron.

Honorable GIDEON WELLES,

Secretary of the Navy.

Numbers 3. Reports of Commander Isaac N. Brown, C. S. Navy. MERIDIAN, July 20, 1863.

We repulsed the gunboats at Yazoo City on Monday last, but our infantry force retreated, and I had to abandon my guns. We destroyed our steamboats. The iron-clad De Kalb, of thirteen guns, was sunk by torpedo. I will report in writing from Selma. My few men have gone to Mobile.

ISAAC N. BROWN,

Commander, C. S. Navy.

General Johnston.