What I've always wondered is what would have happened if Hollins had not been recalled. When you read the reports on the passage of the forts, it is striking just how poorly coordinated the Confederate vessels were. The after action testimony has a lot of people pointing fingers, but it is clearly true that failure to use the fire rafts as intended was a real disaster. The only proper use was by a small tug who ran her raft right up on a Union sloop of war and set her ablaze. You get the impression that Hollins would have been more active. The river defense boats probably would have run anyway. One can argue that the crisis downriver was one of leadership. The portion of the river defense fleet under Montgomery had a minor success above Island # 10 and tried to stand at Memphis (they didn't have enough coal to make Vicksburg). There is some reason to believe that the defense boats at the forts would have been more useful if kept moored as stationary firing platforms (they had pivot guns). The survivors would have been available for a sortie on the mortar schooners below the raft after Farragut's main body went up stream. Porter certainly expected one. The mutiny by army troops in one of the forts didn't help either.