MAY 5TH, 1864: While Porter's fleet waited for the dam to be constructed above the Alexandria rapids, the ships below were incessantly attacked by Confederates.
On this date, three Union ships: the USS Covington, USS Signal and transport Warner were lost in a fierce engagement near Dunn's Bayou, Louisiana.
On May 4, the Covington and Warner engaged Confederate infantry and the next day, the Confederates returned with two pieces of artillery. The Warner was in the lead and became disabled and out of control and blocked the river. The Covington was burned after running out of ammunition.
The Signal, now alone, continued to fight but was forced to surrender. Her captors then sank it in the channel as an obstruction.