This was the greatest feat ever known in the history of the world


First Sergeant
Forum Host
Jul 23, 2017
Southwest Missouri
uss hartfort.jpg

USS Hartford​

There is, or has been a narrow gage RR from the town of Port Gibson to the landing at Grand Gulf. The bluffs back of the village and landing were selected for our batteries, and three siege guns, and four ten pound parrot guns, were placed in position and were soon ready for any emergency.
Wade's battery of the four ten pound parrots, were first put in position, and were ready when Farragut's flag ship the Hartford and gunboat Albatross came, they had run by our batteries at Port Hudson and were on their way to Vicksburg. We were mounting siege guns, but they were not ready when he came up on Mar. 19th.

My Corporal, Peter Bush an Irish man, who had been a sailor on the Hartford, had many thrilling tales to tell us of the destructive power, of her many guns, her sweeping broadside, and unerring aim of her gunners, until we thought when the Hartfort passed up the river we would fight our last fight, and I can testify, when she hove in sight on the morning of the 19th, Peter Bush had a bad case of "Buckague," and as he did the sighting on our gun it is not likely that my gun at least did any damage, although some of our shots did execution as the Hartfort landed some two miles above us and buried two men. She then moved up to Vicksburg; it was said (although I cannot vouch for it), that Commodore Farragut, ran by the batteries of Vicksburg also and joined Com. Porter, and after remaining a few days, he ran back by the batteries at Vicksburg at night, and we were notified to look out for him, as he was on his return trip.

He passed us going down the next night. We had our three siege guns now ready had built a brick furnace and had quite a number of balls kept heated to a red heat, so as to fire red hot balls from one of the siege guns; several were fired at the Hartfort as she passed down the stream, but none took effect. This was the greatest feat ever known in the history of the world, where a wooden ship run by at close range heavy batteries with perfect impunity time and again, without receiving any material damage.

But on this night of Mar. 31st, while firing on the Hartfort, and Albatross, one of our ten pound parrot guns bursted and killed one man Thomas Dugan, a nice intelligent Irishman, and we had several wounded of Wade's battery. The wounded were sent to Port Gibson, where they received royal attention, and were soon able to report to duty……

Memoir of the Civil War by William L. Truman

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