The Great Naval Battle on the Mississippi
First day's bombardment, Federal Schooners off Forts Jackson and St. Philip, commanding the passage of the river. The Federal offensive force consisted of six sloops of war, sixteen gunboats and twenty-one mortar vessels. These were accompanied by a large number of storeships, tenders, etc. On the 18th of April, they anchored three miles below Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and prepared for active operations. Captain Porter, commanding the mortar flotilla, wishing to ascertain their range before his actual attack, stationed the Arietta, John Griffiths and Orvetta about two and a half miles from the forts. The Arietta fired the first shot, to which Fort Jackson replied. The Confederate shots fell short more than fifty yards every time, while the effect of our shells on the fort was such that after two explosions the enemy retired from their barbette guns, and afterward only used those in the casemates.