Siege of Island

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“Siege of Island No. 10, on the Mississippi River- night bombardment by the Federal mortar boats, ten o’clock P. M., March 18th, 1862. On the 16th of March, 1862, the mortar fleet and the gunboats, consisting of the Cincinnati, Pittsburg, St. Louis, Silver Wave, Carondelet, Mound City, Conestoga, Louisville, Rob Roy, Alps, Wilson, Lake Erie, Great Western and Torrence, and nine mortar boats, arrived near the Point. These were accompanied by several tugboats. On the 18th they opened fire, which, after some hours’ delay, was returned by the Confederate batteries. This continued for several days, with very little loss to the Federal troops, owing to the iron casing of the vessels. The study of mortar firing is very interesting. Our sketch represents the manner in which the smoke rolls, and a small column frequently splits out when the shell passes. The shell itself can be seen at night during its entire flight, the fuse having the appearance of a star, which appears and disappears as the shell rolls through the air, very like the twinkling of the celestial orbs. The explosion of the shell at night is a magnificent and fearful sight, sending a glow of surpassing brightness around it as though some world of combustible light had burst.” — Frank Leslie, 1896


Frank Leslie Famous Leaders and Battle Scenes of the Civil War (New York, NY: Mrs. Frank Leslie, 1896)


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