We lay here two or three days taking in coal, &c., and it was finally arranged that the iron-clad Essex should run down by the batteries, with a prospect of destroying the ram, and of relieving the wooden ships which had already been ordered down the river. Accordingly, on the morning of the 22d we got under way, and awaited the appearance from above, ready to attack the ram or assist the Essex, as the case might require. At six o’clock firing commenced, and soon the Essex appeared, followed by a small wooden ram, and proceeded down through the batteries, giving the rain a broadside as she passed her, while the whole rebel line opened upon her. I here witnessed a most sublime picture in naval operations,—a lone vessel running the gauntlet of some thirty cannon placed in the hillside, raining a shower of shot and shell thickly around her. She escaped, however, with the loss of one man killed, and a single shot through her armor.