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river. By half-past seven the clouds had ob- The fact that the rebels had held us here so scured the dipping sun; the illumination from long, and that we had taken no extraordinary the burning fort was grand. A grand and measures to reduce the fort, seemed rather like spreading column of smoke towered above the reasons for holding it at all hazards rather than bluffs, while the leaping flames could be seen abandon it. above the woods in two and sometimes three The two regiments of Cols. Fitch and McLean places. Several slight explosions took place --- Forty-third and Forty-sixth Indiana – tired
— during the fire. The conflagration lasted an hour of the weary guard-duty on the Arkansas shore, and a half, when all relapsed into the original among the mosquitoes and rattlesnakes, conceiv. gloom. It was clear enough to see that the ed the dangers of the rebel guns would hardly cnemy were evacuating the fort. Capt. Phelps be more formidable than the common enemy of meanwhile went down to the foot of Flour mankind. Island in a tug and watched the operation at the A large picket force was landed on the Tennesdistance of a mile and a half. He was, of course, see shore, under Capt. Schermerhorn, who made satisfied of the evacuation, and determined upon a detour round, so as to come in the rear of the landing early in the morning.
fort. A bridge was constructed across Cole
Creek. The rebels, discovering this, fancied that THURSDAY, June 5.
our force was much larger than it was, and in Early this morning the fleet got under way, conjunction with the movements of Gen. Halleck, and by sunrise our flag was waving from the left them no alternative but to abandon the posiheights of Fort Pillow. The rams under Col. tion. Ellet, anxious, probably, to secure an equivocal The mortars, as we discovered, had thrown notoriety in being the first to land in an aban. shells into the works, and far beyond them into doned fortress, proceeded with all speed down the woods, but could not learn whether they the bend, followed by the Benton and her gallant killed any one. The presumption is against it, followers — Mound City, Cairo, Carondelet, Cin- as the garrison was quite small, and the places cinnati, St. Louis and the transports and mortar- of shelter abundant. fleet- until we had rounded the Craighead The works at Pillow may be described most Point, so long the slice which separated us from easily, as first an irregular line of earthworks the rebels.
running along the base of the bluffs for the disThe approach is by a long and complete curve, tance of half a mile continuous, with but one in which the river runs, as at Columbus, right slight intermission, at a height of twenty-five feet into the Chickasaw bluff, where the stream sud- from the river at this stage. The embankment, denly narrows until it becomes from two miles part of which appears to be old, is calculated for wide to nearly half a mile at the Fulton landing, forty-one guns, though it is doubtful if more just below the forts. The yellow sand bluff than eighteen have been mounted there at any rises to the height of a hundred and fifty feet, time. and in general appearance is remarkably like the Above this, and on plateaux not quite even situation of Columbus, with the exception that with the top of the range of bluffs, are two long the fortifications are placed lower down in the batteries calculated for about twenty guns of bend.
various calibres. These works are of more recent It is impossible for any one who is at all ac- construction. Besides this, there are on the quainted with military engineering to pass over heights, and in isolated positions near the top, the works without arriving at the impression excavations, behind which a single gun was that, both by natural configuration and scientific mounted, or, more correctly speaking, dismountaid, they are the most formidable works of their ed. The plan of the rebels has evidently been to kind in the country: Never before, probably, remove most of their best guns, and to shatter was any place containing so many natural ad- the rest by over-charges. A few of them have vantages for purposes of defence. The difficul- stood the test, and may be considered amply safe ties of storming the place are absolutely incred- hereafter. ible. Nothing but the most reckless and Fort Pillow, named after the celebrated Gidthoughtless bravery could ever have made entry eon J. Pillow, of Mexican ditch and Fort Donelson into these lines if defended by five thousand de- notoriety, is an immense system of earthworks, termined men.
situated on the first Chickasaw bluffs, sixty-five The capabilities of the works facing the river miles above Memphis, and one hundred and are enormous — not only mounting the most for- seventy-five below Cairo. The first fortifications midable guns, but also subjecting the enemy to were, as I learned from a native, commenced the most conical fire in approaching the place. about a year ago, early in June, 1861, at the time Stronger than Columbus by nature, it was equal. when Memphis was in a ferment, and the secesly well fortified by art. Twice stronger than sion of Tennessee was eagerly canvassed. The Island No. Ten, for the reason that the approach original design has been greatly enlarged, so that was barred, we could not even see the enemy, little or no trace of the original can be found in while he could look down upon our decks from the numerous additions which have been made his high bluff. The evacuation of so strong a from time to time, up to within a month ago. place is evidence that the attempt to hold the At first, only a few companies of confederate river is relinquished.
soldiers were kept here ; but at the time of the surrender of Island No. Ten, the garrison was model, from the character of the shot surroundincreased to five thousand, which has been draining it. ed down to about two hundred and fifty by the Next in order comes a battery of six guns, all army of Beauregard at Corinth. The length of thirty-two pounders. Three of them have been the bluff is about four miles, three of which are removed, two burst, and one dismounted. A skirted by the river, Cole Creek running inland large number of Read balls and shells are left along its base. It is at the debouch of this behind, significant of their worthlessness. Furcreek that the fortifications commence.
ther down-stream we come upon a single gun, Commencing at Cole Creek, we find first in also a mammoth one hundred and twenty-eight the list of works a series of charred and smoking pounder, completely reversed by the recoil, so as gun-carriages and platforms, eleven in number, to be pitched back over, vent down. A compact the guns of which have all been removed, with and admirable magazine is constructed in the two exceptions thirty-two-pounders — which bank close behind it. Further down we come have recoiled by the shock, so as to throw them upon two separate excavations, evidently designfrom their carriages.
ed for a single gun each, but bear no appearance Continuing nearly in line with this work, we of having any mounted. come upon a huge one hundred and twenty-eight Here also we met with those immense piles of pounder columbiad, cast at the Tredegar Works dirt to which we have become so accustomed, in Richmond, careened over so as to rest its the invariable earthworks and rifle-pits. The breech upon the ground, pointing up to the hea- trenches and breastworks back from the river, vens at an acute angle, several piles of shell
, solid of which there are in some places two lines, and shot, and two or three small ovens for heating in others detached pieces, are of the most stupenshot, more smoldering carriages, and then a dous kind. Deep and wide rifle-trenches have blank space in the middle, which appears to have been dug around the brows of every commanding been overflown, and the guns, if ever mounted, hill, backed by a stout line of earthworks, behind have been displaced long ago. Toward the low- which field-pieces are intended to be placed. er end, the tier of batteries rises so as to present The line of intrenchments running from one a large, roomy and elaborate system of bomb- end to the other is estimated at six miles long, proofs, traverses and parapets in front of the which, on account of the broken and abrupt face steep bank, of the most formidable kind. Some of the country, renders an attack in the rear alfive burst guns and two spiked remain of the most suicidal. Ravines, spurs, ridges, and juttwenty originally placed there. The magazines, ting points are intermingled in the inost fanciful large and commodious, with rat-holes under the order. embrasures, were well constructed,
On the extreme east of the Fort, and above At the extreme lower end of this tier were two Cole Creek, we found the remains of the camp monster mortars rent into massive fragments, all charred and in ruins. Here was the usual which by the rusty fractures indicated they had assortment of bottles, biscuits, playing-cards, Bibeen burst long before. These were evidently bles, utensils, and letters, a few coarse tents and intended as imitations and offsets for the terrible some coarser clothing. The remains showed the engines with which we were assailing them daily. soldiers to have been living in great discomfort. They had been cast at Memphis, and from the Strange to say, no shells had been directed to marks of the metal, cast from bad iron. They this spot, lying as it did too far to the left of us were only fifteen inches of rim, while those of for our attention. Accommodations were there for ours have seventeen, and were cast with a cham- perhaps two thousand men. ber in which the powder is inserted. Unlike ours In a ravine at the lower end we found the comin all other respects, they were intended to be missary storehouses burnt to the ground. An like our mortars. The shells were exact copies, immense pile of smouldering pork on one side of probably obtained from some of ours which had the road, and an immense pile of corn and beans failed to explode.
and peas on the other, told us the secret of the Two of these mortars were found three quar- illumination of the previous night. Some twenty ters of a mile further down the bank, spiked. or thirty barrels of molasses were left, which our These are the mortars which they have been fir- forces quickly appropriated to their use. All ing at us of late; but either through inferior the barracks, houses, and stores in the place had powder or want of skill in their use, they have been consumed previous to our departure. The not been able to reach us, although placed at a quantity of shot and shell left behind was ungreat elevation over our own.
usually small, and the magazines were entirely The principal battery of interest, placed nearly empty. The evacuation was complete, clean and at the top of the bluff is the casemated battery entire, nothing worth the carriage was left behind. overlooking the entrance of Cole Creek, as it is From a farmer, living three miles from the the only casemated battery in the place. The Fort, we learned that our land force had moved rebels had burned the roof and supports of the the day previous to our arrival to Mason's staroof, and the earth had fallen in so as to cover up tion, on the Memphis and Nashville road, where gun-carriage and all, and the description of the they would take the train to Corinth, as they gun must be omitted until it is exhumed. It is said, not knowing that Corinth was in bands. supposed to be a rifled eight-inch gun of superior Before leaving they had assigned their stores to
the residents as perquisites. A detachment of the river a short distance below the gunboats, Fitch's men, finding them with large quantities and sending their huge columns of spray high in of molasses, sugar, and provisions in their pos- the air. It needed no unusual power of divination session, ordered them to haul it to the Fort so to comprehend at a glance that before abandonsoon as they discovered its origin, which the ing their works, the enemy had loaded their guns, owner did.
pointed them up-stream, and then applied the He professed to be a Union man, and had been torch to their carriages. The design of this was in Memphis only three days previously. The to keep the flotilla at a respectable distance until eracuation of Corinth was not then known pub- they could make good their escape. licly, and our flotilla was still at Vicksburgh. The night wore away slowly. All were anxMemphis he described as being deserted; gave ious to advance, but the order to do so was not some account of the history of the Fort from its given till five o'clock this morning. At that hour commencement, in which he described the actions the flag-ship Benton weighed anchor and started of the rebel commanders as exceedingly tyranni- in the direction of the Fort, signalling the remaincal. “ An intelligent contraband” also backed ing gunboats to follow. On turning Craighead's up the asseverations of his master by various Point, they were not a little surprised at seeing statements. He was anxious to get North, and the Stars and Stripes already waving over the dedeclared himself fully persuaded of the superior- serted rebel works. It was afterwards learned ity of the Lincoln cause.
that during the night, Col. Ellet, of the ram-fleet As the clear result of this masterly operation --who, it will be remembered, acts independent. we have secured ten uninjured guns of various ly of the Flag-Officer — had moved down the calibres. The enemy has destroyed at least an stream with two or three of his boats, and findequal number and has removed a larger number. ing no enemy to dispute his passage, had landed He has sacrificed an immense amount of stores. at the Fort, and hoisted the banner of beauty on He has abandoned a magnificent position, from the flagstaff where the rebel ensign had so recentwhich we could hardly ever have driven him ly waved. The act was thought to be rather with the fleet alone, and has shrunk from a con- discourteous to the flotilla, some of the officers of test with his flotillas.
which manifested a little ill-feeling, but this soon The State of Tennessee is abandoned. In less wore away in the general joy of the occasion. than a week we shall have no enemy in the State. By eight o'clock every vessel, directly or indiAll the labor expended upon the works becomes rectly connected with the flotilla, was either at useless. For the hundredth time the rebels have the Fort or in motion toward it. The gunboats fallen back as a matter of pure strategy, aban. were huddled together in the stream; the tugs doning guns, ammunition, and stores. The gain were screaming and bustling about as if they had is not much to us, but the loss is great to the never before had quite so much business to at. rebels. Most of the guns they have left behind tend to; the ammunition-boats—the Great Westthey can never replace. All the guns which they ern, black as night, and the Judge Torrence, extook away are supposed to have been put on board actly the reverse—were lazily drifting down; the the gunboats; those which burst are, of course, tow-boats, puffing along slowly with two or three a dead loss to the enemy.
mortars apiece lashed to them, were doing their
utmost not to be behind the rest, and the rams CINCINNATI “GAZETTE" ACCOUNT.
and transports were scudding along at their highNational Flotilla, MISSISSIPPI River,}
est rate of speed. The scene was most inspiritIs SIGHT OF MEMPHIS, Thursday Night, June 5. ing, and every pulse on the flotilla beat quicker Fort Pillow has fallen! The only remaining at the sight. No wonder the hospitals of our stronghold of the enemy on the river—the much land forces were almost entirely cleared. No talked of “last ditch," named after the celebrated wonder that pale faces grew flushed. No wonditch-digger himself, where the rebels have so der that each vied with the other who should be long promised the world they would die-has at first within the deserted rebel stronghold. The last been abandoned.
long, long canker of inaction was over, and someEarly last evening it became apparent that the thing toward closing the account of the rebellion enemy were evacuating Fort Pillow. Between on the Mississippi was about to be done. six and seven o'clock dense volumes of smoke When the transport having on board a brigade were seen rising in the direction of the Fort, and of newspaper correspondents reached the Fort, we as the shadows of the coming night began to found its intrenchments thronged with our men, thicken, they were succeeded by fierce flames Col. Fitch of the Forty-sixth Indiana, having which shot up from a hundred different points, been on the ground some time with his regiabove the tops of the highest trees, brilliantly il- ment. luminating the scene in the immediate vicinity, Our transport had hardly touched her landing and leaving no doubt in the minds of those on before we were on shore, leaping ditches, scaling the flotilla that the immense barracks of the ene- escarpments, peering into magazines, looking my had been fired and abandoned. During the down the muzzles of huge guns, creeping into conflagration, some twelve or fifteen heavy dis- casemates, looking through embrasures, thread. charges of artillery were heard, and before the ing zigzag paths, climbing almost perpendicular evening was too far advanced, some of the shot heights, walking seemingly interminable lines of and shell from these could be seen plunging into breastworks, and kicking around the charred re
mains of the desolate-looking place. All were 1 10-inch Parrott, dismounted.
All these guns, except the mortars, had been Fort Pillow is naturally the strongest place on which burned their carriages and caused them
heavily loaded, and fires were built around them, the Lower Mississippi. The Chickasaw Bluff
, on to explode or dismount themselves when diswhich it stands, is from seventy-five to one hun
charged. dred feet high, and is cut up by ravines in a most
The two ten-inch mortars are located a short remarkable manner. Those who have only seen distance back of the brow of the bluff, below the it from the river have no idea how broken, rough, lower end of the water-batteries. They are oldrolling and rugged its surface is. Before the evacu- fashioned but very good guns. The thirteen-inch ation of the Fort, ten thousand determined men mortar is split directly through the centre. Porcould have successfully held it against ten times tions of one half of it are embedded in the surtheir number. As a defensible point it is even preferable to Columbus, and although more guns it fell. The metal is porous, hard, and altogether
rounding works, and the other half is lying where were mounted at Island No. Ten than at Pillow, unsuited for the use to which it was in this inthe former place will not compare with the latter stance put. This confirms the statement'I made either in commanding position or strength.
The work on Fort Pillow was begun on the some weeks ago relative to the bursting of this thirteenth of April , 1861, and was prosecuted gun:
It appears from the statements of some of the with great vigor during most of the summer of natives, that after the surrender of Island No. that year. From three to five thousand negroes, Ten the garrison of Fort Pillow was about twenty so I am informed by one of the natives, were em
thousand men. All of them but about one thouployed upon it at one time. Its intrenchments sand five hundred were withdrawn some six weeks in the rear are miles in length, and have been constructed under the superintendence of able ago to reënforce Beauregard at Corinth. A week engineers. Their counterscarps are lined with ago, the garrison was further weakened by the
withdrawal of the Twelfth Louisiana, the only plank, and the whole works surrounded with full regiment in the Fort, and during the last two ditches of the most impassable character. The bluff presents a bold and almost perpen- mained — barely enough to make sure the work
or three days not more than sevent', řte men redicular front to the river. From its base to the of destruction. These, we were informed, rewater's edge, there is a kind of plateau, two or treated into the interior, but not before performthree hundred feet wide, and generally elevated ing the duty assigned them in a manner that above high water-mark. Here were located the principal batteries of the enemy. Embrasures authorities; for a place more barren of trophies
must have been highly satisfactory to the rebel have been made for about forty guns, but ap-than Fort Pillow it would be difficult to find. pearances do not indicate that more than twenty
An attack upon Fort Pillow was contemplated five have at any time been mounted. In the construction of the batteries, sand-bags, railroad made, owing to the non-sulfilment of some plans.
by Col. Fitch yesterday morning, but was not iron, and heavy timber have been used without All things were ready, however, this morning, stint.
when an assault would have been made had not I cannot give your readers a better idea of the the evacuation in the mean time taken place. A armament of the Fort than by making the follow- bridge of cypress logs had been thrown over a ing transcript from my memorandum - book. sloo" between Flower Island and the TennesPassing along the line of water-batteries, about see shore, on which our forces would have half a mile in extent, beginning at the upper end, crossed, landing near the head of the upper bat: I made the annexed entry:
tery, and in such a position as to have enfiladed 1 128-pounder, rifled, casemated.
the enemy's guns, without their being able to 1 heavy 10-inch gun.
reply from any of them. Col. Fitch is satisfied 1 8-inch Parrott.
his plan would have succeeded. Perhaps so, as 1 24-pounder, dismounted.
there were only seventy-five men in the Fort; 1 32-pounder, burst.
but if there had been two or three thousand in1 24-pounder, burst.
stead, I am inclined to think his plan would not 1 32-pounder, burst.
have worked entirely as he anticipated. 1 64-pounder, (Dahlgren,) burst. 1 32-pounder, dismounted. 1 heavy 8-inch columbiad, burst.
Doc. 55. 1 heavy 10-inch columbiad, burst. 1 13-inch mortar, burst.
FIGHT AT JASPER, TENN. 1 128-pounder, dismounted.
GENERAL NEGLEY'S REPORT, On the bluff but eight guns and two mortars
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES, had been mounted, of which six only remained,
SWEEDEN'S Cove, East-TENNESSEE, June 4, 1862. as follows:
General 0. M. Mitchel, Huntsville : 2 32-pounders, dismounted.
Sir: By making a forced march of twenty 1 64-pounder, (rifled,) burst.
miles, over a rugged and almost impassable moun.
tain road, and by capturing the enemy's pickets, great honor on the old Keystone State. He we succeeded in completely surprising General found no rebel forces between Fayetteville and Adams's command of rebel cavalry, encamped at Winchester. the foot of the mountain. They formed in line On reaching Winchester, he learned that the and fired upon Col. Hambright's advance, which rebel General Adams was in command of a heavy we replied to from two pieces of artillery, which force of rebels at Jasper, some thirty miles dishad been placed in position unobserved. They tant. He at once determined to surprise them. retreated through a narrow lane, towards Jasper, In order to do this, he was compelled to make a closely pursued by a portion of Col. Haggard's forced march, some twenty miles, over a rough, Fifth Kentucky cavalry and Major Wynkoop's mountainous country. This was accomplished. battalion of Seventh Pennsylvania cavalry. My He soon discovered their pickets, and by a wellescort, commanded by Lieuts. Wharton and Funk, laid plan, succeeded in capturing them. He imled the charge with reckless daring, dashing into mediately moved on, and within a few miles of the midst of the enemy, using their sabres with Jasper, came upon a large force of the enemy. terrible execution. The narrowness of the lane, They, the rebels, immediately formed into line and very broken ground, alone prevented the of battle, and opened with a heavy volley. Col. enemy being totally destroyed. They fled in the Hanıbright, who was leading our advance, replied wildest disorder
, strewing the ground for miles from three pieces of artillery, which had been with guns, pistols, and swords. We captured very rapidly placed in position. Only one round their ammunition and commissary wagons, with was needed to rout them. They became panicsupplies. The enemy's loss, as far as we could stricken, and commenced one of the most disascertain, was twenty killed and about the same graceful retreats ever known. They took up a number wounded, among whom is Major Adams, narrow lane, toward Jasper, closely pursued by General Adams's brother. We captured twelve Haggard and Wyncoop, the former of the Fifth prisoners, including two commissioned officers, Kentucky cavalry, and the latter of the Seventh with a large number of horses. Our loss, which Pennsylvania cavalry. They gained upon them, I regret to say was chiefly sustained by my es- and coming into a narrow defile, they closed with cort, is two killed and seven wounded, several them. seriously. The troops acted with admirable effi- Then commenced one of the fiercest skirmishes ciency. Col. Hambright, Acting Brigadier-Gene- of the war. Our charge of cavalry was led on ral, with Col. Haggard, Major Wynkoop, and by Negley's escort, commanded by Lieuts. WharLieuts. Wharton, Funk, Sypher, and Nell
, de ton and Funk. The contest was severe. Hand serte special notice.
to hand was the terrible sabre-duel, ending in the Yours, very truly, JAMES S. NEGLEY, death of twenty rebel cavalry, many badly
Brig.-Geu. Commanding. wounded, and some twenty prisoners, among
them Major Adams, brother of the General, and CINCINNATI “COMMERCIAL" ACCOUNT.
also two other commissioned officers. The road Under an order from Gen. Mitchel, Gen. Neg- for miles was strewed with guns, sabres, carley, in charge of a heavy force, left Fayetteville bines, knapsacks, etc. Some fifty or sixty horses on Monday, June second, to pay a friendly visit were also taken, together with a large train of to the large bodies of guerrillas infesting the commissary stores, ammunition and camp equipcounties of Franklin and Marion, in East-Tennes- age. see, with additional instructions to call on Chat- The flying rebels passed on through Jasper, tanooga, if possible, and Mitchel seldom deems notwithstanding the great efforts used by their anything impossible in his department.
officers in trying to stop them. They cursed These guerrillas have been making sad havoc Adams and their ill-luck, and only stopped in among the people of that section, destroying the their frightened career when they reached Chatproperty of Union men, and all those who will tanooga, having placed the waters of the Tennesnot yield to the edicts of the barbarous conscrip- see between them and their pursuers. Night tion act. Hundreds of men have taken refuge in closed in over the scene, and our brave but weathe mountains to escape imprisonment into the ried lads rested on the north bank of the famous rebel service — not only white, but black men Tennessee. Our casualties were two killed, of leaving their new crops unattended, their families Negley's escort, and seven badly wounded. subjected to every species of insult, their last ear Though small the enemy's loss, and this only of corn and peck of meal taken, horses and cattle a skirmish, yet nothing has taken place here, carried off, and they left in comparative destitu- since the capture of Huntsville, so important in tion,
its future results, as this gallant charge of the Mitchel has been aware of these facts for some daring Kentuckians and brave Pennsylvanians, time, and has only waited a fitting opportunity led on by such as Haggard and Wyncoop. Col. to surprise them. To accomplish this, it needed Hambright, who led the advance from Winchesthe right kind of a leader ; that leader was Gen. ter to Jasper, and received the enemy's first fire, Negley. Negley is bold, brave, and ardent in displayed great courage and coolness. his attachment to the cause that has called him Who will dare say that this foul rebellion will out from bis Pennsylvania home. His worth is not be forever crushed, and our Union sustained, known and highly appreciated by our Command- and come out of this fearful contest like gold ing General. He is a Pennsylvanian, and reflects tried in the fire, when such scenes as the above