On Dec 23, the Carolina began to bombard British positions next to the  Mississippi River, causing much havoc. The British did not have heavy artillery at the time to respond. On Dec 27, the British had their heavy artillery, after moving them over 60 miles, and the Carolina was hit with heated shot, caught fire , blew up and sank .


The Louisiana was a schooner that the Americans armed which had 16 24 pounders. At the time it was being outfitted there were no navy sailors available and the legislature offered a bounty to any who would join its crew. This still not being enough, officers went into a sailor's tavern and impressed men for service. The Louisiana joined in attacking the British on the 24th. The Louisiana had an effective range of about a mile and a half.


On the night of the 24th, Keane moved his troops away from the levee to get out of range of the ships' guns. The Louisiana elevated its guns and was still able to reach the British position, but not as effectively.


The British were becoming impatient under the steady shelling. Captain Robert Glieg (Brit), who wrote of the battle in Campaigns of the English Army ( read at project Gutenberg ) writes of his melancholy Christmas under fire:



It was Christmas-day, and a number of officers, clubbing their little stock of provisions, resolved to dine together in memory of former times. But at so melancholy a Christmas dinner I do not recollect at any time to have been present. We dined in a barn; of plates, knives, and forks, there was a dismal scarcity; nor could our fare boast of much either in intrinsic good quality or in the way of cooking. These, however, were mere matters of merriment; it was the want of many well-known and beloved faces that gave us pain; nor were any other subjects discussed besides the amiable qualities of those who no longer formed part of our mess, and never would again form part of it. A few guesses as to the probable success of future attempts alone relieved this topic, and now and then a shot from the schooner drew our attention to ourselves; for though too far removed from the river to be in much danger, we were still within cannon-shot of our enemy. Nor was she inactive in her attempts to molest. Elevating her guns to a great degree, she contrived occasionally to strike the wall of the building within which we sat; but the force of the ball was too far spent to penetrate, and could therefore produce no serious alarm.

Whilst we were thus sitting at table a loud shriek was heard after one of these explosions, and on running out we found that a shot had taken effect in the body of an unfortunate soldier. I mention this incident because I never beheld in any human being so great a tenacity of life. Though fairly cut in two at the lower part of the belly, the poor wretch lived for nearly an hour, gasping for breath and giving signs even of pain.




Gen. Keane realized no effective advance could be made till the ships were put out of commission and ordered heavy guns to be brought up . By the 25th the British had 2 9 pounders with 110 rounds per gun , 2 6 pounders with 120 per gun, a 51/2 howitzer with 60 rounds, 4 3 ponders with 150 rounds and 150 Congreve rockets. Furnaces were erected to heat shot. Keane became enraged when the Carolina opened fire on a British hospital. the British camp was overjoyed on the 26th when they learned the Carolina would get a dose of her own medicine the next day. About  7:45 on the 27th, shot was heated for the 9 pounders and began firing at the Carolina. The Carolina was soon hit many times and started sinking in 20 minutes. The fire onboard soon threatened the magazine and Capt. Henley ordered the ship to be abandoned. The ship soon blew up and a great cheer went up in the British camp. Once the Carolina was finished the sloop Louisiana was driven upriver .






 The Fight in

the Dark


 The Grand Reconnaissance