fired boats-there were two together-I had stopped at a distance of 1,000 yards, but even there our skylights were shattered by the concussion, the light upper deck was raised bodily, doors were forced open, and locks and fastenings everywhere broken. The whole river for half a mile around about was completely "beaten up" by the falling fragments and the shower of shot, grape, balls, &c. The house of a reported Union man was blown to pieces, and it was suspected there was design in landing the rebels in front of the doomed house.
The Lexington having fallen astern, and being without a pilot on board, I concluded to wait for both of the boats to come up. Joined by them, we proceeded up the river. Lieutenant-Commander Gwin had destroyed some of the trestle work of the end of the bridge, burning with them a lot of camp equipage. I. N. Brown, formerly a lieutenant in the Navy, now signing himself "Lieutenant, C. S. N.," had fled with such precipitation as to leave his papers behind. These, Lieutenant-Commander Gwin brought, and I send them to you, as they give an official history of the rebel floating preparations on the Mississippi, Cumberland, and Tennessee.* Lieutenant Brown had charge of the construction of gunboats.
At night on the 7th we arrived at a landing in Hardin County, Tennessee, known as Cerro Gordo, where we found the steamer Eastport being converted into a gunboat. Armed boat crews were immediately sent on board and search made for means of destruction that might have been devised. She had been scuttled and the suction pipes broken. These leaks were soon stopped. A number of rifle shots were fired at our vessels, but a couple of shells dispersed the rebels. On examination, I found that there were large quantities of timber and lumber prepared for fitting up the Eastport; that the vessel itself-some 280 feet long-was in excellent condition, and already half finished. Considerable of the plating designed for her was lying on the bank, and everything at hand to complete her. I therefore directed Lieutenant-Commander Gwin to remain with the Tyler, to guard the prize, and to load the lumber, &c., while the Lexington and Conestoga should proceed still higher up.
Soon after daylight on the 8th we passed Eastport, Miss., and at Chickasaw, farther up, near the State line, seized two steamers, the Sallie Wood and Muscle, the former laid up, the latter freighted with iron destined for Richmond and for rebel use. We then proceeded on up the river, entering the State of Alabama, and ascending to Florence, at the the foot of the Muscle Shoals. On coming in sight of the town three steamers were discovered, which were discovered, which were immediately set on fire by the rebels. Some shots were fired from the opposite side of the river below. A force was landed and considerable quantities of supplies, marked "Fort Henry," were secured from the burning wrecks. Some had been landed and stored. These I seized, putting such as we could bring away on board our vessels and destroying the remainder. No flats or other craft could be found. I found also more of the iron plating intended for the Eastport.
A deputation of citizens of Florence waited upon me, first desiring that they might be made able to quiet the fears of their wives and daughters with assurances from me that they should not be molested, and secondly praying that I would not destroy their railroad bridge. As for the first, I told them that we were neither ruffians nor savages, and that we were there to protect them from violence and to enforce