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

April 29th. We have been lying quietly at our anchorage here for two or three days, negotiating about the city and its flag and transfer. The river is alive with steamers which our people have taken possession of, and are gliding about seemingly practicing for duty by-and-by; among others, a fine steamer, the Tennessee, has been taken possession of and will doubtless prove quite a prize for us. The rebel gunboat McRae came up from the forts with a flag of truce, asking permission to bury her dead, but instead, watched her chance and scuttled her in deep water.

This morning a gunboat from the forts brought the pleasing intelligence that Forts Jackson and St. Philip had both surrendered to our forces below, and that a powerful floating battery, mounting eighteen guns and covered with railroad iron, had been fired and drifted down the river and blown up. This intelligence called all hands into the rigging, and they gave three times three cheers for the Union. At nine o’clock A. M., the marines of the squadron, under the command of Capt. J. L. Broome, went ashore to hoist the flag, backed by the howitzers; they proceeded to the Custom House and gave the Star-Spangled Banner to the breeze; thence they went to the Council House and lowered the State flag and brought it aboard as a trophy. Crowds of people frequent the levee to gaze on the shipping from day to day.

At 6:30 A. M., Capt. Bailey brought word up from below, that both forts had surrendered, and the Stars and Stripes were waving over them. At 3 P. M., Mr. Osbon, Flag Lieutenant, left the ship to go on board the gunboat Cayuga; as he was leaving, gave him three cheers. Cayuga, Capt. Bailey in command, went down the river, bound North with dispatches. Manned the rigging, and cheered ship.

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

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