Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/62

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52 Southern Historical Society Papers.

digging into and warping up the bars, but not penetrating. Twice he struck near my poVt, an 1 still we could not " see " him. The first blood was drawn fi-om my division. An Irishman, with more curi- osity than prudence, stuck his head out the broadside port, and was killed by a heavy rifle bolt which had missed the ship. Stevens was with me at the time; and, fearing that the sight of the mangled corpse and blood might demoralize the guns' crew, sprang forward to throw the body out of the port, and called upon the man nearest him to assist. Oh! I can't do it, sir," the poor fellow replied, "it's my brother." The body was thrown overboard. This incident of the brother was related to me by Stevens afterwards, for by that time I had enough to do ahead. As soon as we could point straight for the enemy, with safety from grounding, the pilot steered direct for the Tyler, and I got the first shot, with an eight-inch shell with five- second fuse. It struck him fair and square, killing a pilot in its flight and bursting in the engine-room. She reported seventeen killed and fourteen wounded, and I think this shell did the better part of the day's work on her. Unfortunately the gun recoiled off" its chassis, and I was out of the action for five or ten minutes. However, Grim- ball made up for it. He had the best gun Captain— Robert McCalla — in the ship, and a superb crew, and his gun seemed to be continu- ally going out and recoiling in again. The broadside guns thus far were not engaged ; but they were not to remain entirely idle. The " mustang," summoning courage, shot up as though he would poke us gently in our starboard ribs. Captain Brown divined his intent, and gave notice in time. The starboard battery was trained sharp forward, and as the Qzieen ranged up, Scales gave her the first shell, followed quick by Wharton and Bacot. This settled the account on that side. The Lieutenant- Colo7iel had business down the river, and straightway went to attend to it ; that is to say, to quote Gwin, he " fled ingloriously." This left us with the Tyler, now getting pretty sick, and the Carondelet to deal with.

It was, I think, somewhere about this stage of the fight that a bolt entered the pilot-house and mortally wounded John Hodges, Missis- sippi pilot, and disabled Mr. Shacklett, Yazoo river pilot, and broke the forward rim of the wheel. James Brady, the remaining Missis- sippi pilot, took charge, however, and by his admirable judgment and coolness kept the vessel in deep water until she got into the Missis- sippi, where he knew what he was about. The fight had been an advance on our part; we had never slowed the engines, but stood for- ward as though we held such small fry in contempt. Gwin handled