Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 01.djvu/106
Southern Historical Society Papers.
markable, as he frequently fired at such close range that the flames of his enormous guns almost enveloped our bows.
The escape from destruction of the feeble crafts, that were five times precipitated upon the iron sides of this powerful war-steamer, mounting an armament of 9 and 11-inch guns, was Providential.
On taking possession, we found our prize rapidly making water, which we could not arrest. Seeing that she would sink, I did not wish that this should take place on the western side of the river, where the Federal forces could easily have retaken her, and therefore made fast to her with two of my steamers, and towed her over the river to the eastern side, where she sunk in the water up to her gun-deck, just as we reached the shallow water, thus losing us the enormous value of her capture, as well as the valuable stores that were in her hold.
I am much indebted for the success of the expedition to the skill and gallantry of my officers and men. Captain James McCloskey, commanding the Queen, combined with the courage of the soldier, the skill andthat characterizes the sailor of our western waters. Lieutenant Thomas H. Handy, of the Crescent artillery, commanded the troops on the Webb. He exhibited skill and courage in handling his command, and in person assisted in manning the 32-pound rifled gun. Lieutenant Rice, of the Twenty-first Tennessee, was on the Webb with a detachment from his regiment, and bore himself well and gallantly. Lieutenant Prather, also on the Webb, served his two-field pieces entirely unprotected with praiseworthy courage, and was well seconded by Mr. Charles Schuler, acting as chief of one of the guns.
Captain Charles Pierce, a civilian, commanded and controlled the movements of the Webb. It was he who selected the weak spots of the enemy, and with a steady hand and eye dashed the Webb against the Indianola.
Not only did the officers act well, but I have nothing but commendations for the private soldiers.
Captain Caines' and Lieutenant Rice's company, of the Twenty-first Tennessee, and the detachment of Lieutenant Doolan, adjutant of Major Burnett's battalion of Texans, and detachment from the Third Maryland artillery, were in the expedition, and acted with courage and discipline when under fire.
Captain J. W. Mangum, Assistant-Adjutant General of Brigadier-General Moore, accompanied the expedition as a volunteer and acted as my adjutant. He comported himself gallantly under fire; and throughout the expedition rendered me valuable services.I herewith submit the report of Captain McCloskey, commanding the Queen. He mentions favorably Captain Caines and Lieutenant Miller of the Twenty-first Tennessee, Lieutenant Doolan, adjutant of Major Burnett's battalion, Sergeant E. H. Langley, of the Third Maryland artillery, acting as lieutenant in charge of the two Parrot guns; and the volunteers, Captain J. H. White, slightly