War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0421 Chapter XVII. EXPEDITION TO EASTPORT, MISS.

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us. The commanding general will please announce to the country the fall of Bowling Green and its present occupation by United States troops.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

O. M. MITCHEL,

Brigadier-General.

FEBRUARY 15-22, 1862.- Expedition from Cairo, Ill., to Eastport, Miss.

Report of Lieutenant William Gwin, U. S. Navy.

U. S. GUNBOAT TYLER,

Cairo, February 23, 1862.

SIR: I have returned to this place after having gone up the Tennessee River as high as Eastport, Miss. I am happy to state that I have met with an increased Union sentiment in South Tennessee and North Alabama. I saw few Mississippians. In Hardin, McNairy, Wayne, Decatur, and a portion of Hardeman, all of which border upon the river, the Union sentiment is strong, and those who do not express themselves openly loyal are only prevented by their fears of the military tyranny and coercion which is practiced by marauding bands of guerrilla companies of cavalry.

I waited at Fort Henry as long as I deemed it advisable for the company of cavalry designated to accompany me up the river. Not being able to get transportation for them, I concluded to take in their stead some fifty sharpshooters, as I could accommodate them on board of the Tyler. I was not able to accomplish the destruction of Bear Creek Bridge (my great desire), as I found that the rebels had sent immediately after our first ascent of the river as large force - 1,000 - to this bridge, and some 3,000 or 4,000 to a station Iuka, 3 miles from the bridge. Learning that a large quantity of wheat and flour was stored in Clifton, Tenn., intended, of course, to be shipped to the South, a large portion of it having been brought for a firm in Memphis, on my way down I landed there and took on board about a thousand sacks and one hundred barrels of flour, and some six thousand bushels of what. I considered it my duty to take possession of the above, to prevent its being seized by the rebels or disposed of in rebel country.

the glorious success of our arms at Forts Henry and Donelson has been most beneficial to the Union cause throughout South and West Tennessee and Alabama. Union men can now begin to express their loyal sentiments without fear of being mobbed, especially along the banks of the river. I would suggest that you would urge upon the commanding general the necessity of sending a force (a brigade, if possible; at least a regiment of cavalry), locate it at Savannah, Hardin County, a place well adapted for its support; and then it would be in a section almost entirely Union, nucleus around which Union men could rally.

I feel confident that a regiment of Home Guards could be raised in ten days. Savannah is in good striking distance of Eastport, Miss. (45 miles by the river), which is the nearest point to the Memphis and Charleston Railroad (8 miles). At that point there is an important bridge over Bear Creek, as well as some extent of trestle-work, which, it destroyed, together with a part of the Mobile and Ohio road at its junction with the Memphis and Railroad, will cut the Southern Confederacy almost in two.