Cruise of the U.S. Flag-Ship Hartford – From the Personal Journal of Wm. C. Holton

April 18th. In order to understand the proceedings of our fleet fully, it will be necessary to explain the position of the enemy. Forts Jackson and St. Philip are situated on a short bend of the river, some forty miles from its mouth, Fort Jackson occupying the right bank and being the principal fort, and the other fort being situated opposite and a little below Jackson. A chain had been stretched across the river on eight schooners, and guarded by a water battery at its extremity. This, with the forts which mounted in the aggregate more than two hundred guns, was considered impregnable and impassable. This morning early the mortar boats were placed in position, and immediately opened fire on the forts, mostly engaging Fort Jackson. We were answered from the forts, but both parties fired slowly and endeavored to get the range, which was in distance some two to two and a half miles. In the meantime our advance fleet of gunboats moved up under cover of the point in the river’s bend, and in turn dealt a few blows, all the time changing their position and dropping down with the current. In the evening a large fire in Fort Jackson gave evidence of the effect of our shells, and at night we hauled off our gunboats and ceased firing.

Cruise of the U.S. Flag-Ship Hartford–Wm. C. Holton

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