66 men; Captain Rucker, with 18 men (almost his original number) Captain Hoadley, with 24 men; Captain Jones, with 33 men, and Captain Dismuke, with 36 men. It is impossible to give an accurate report as to the precise number who effected their escape from the post of Madrid Bend at present, from the fact that they are coming in daily.
I found, on reaching Bell's Station, that, contrary to orders, Captain Caruther's company had gone to Trenton, Tenn., in command of Lieutenant Roe, who, having asked permission to take his men a short distance in advance, so that they could get accommodations, as it was difficult to provide for so many together, I granted his request, and instructed him to keep his company together and wait for the remainder of the command. To my surprise, on my arrival at Bell's Station, I was informed of his having gone to Trenton. I ordered Captain Caruthers, who had escaped, though sick, and had overtaken this command, to Trenton, to collect the members of his company.
I am much indebted to Captain Kingman, quartermaster of heavy artillery, for the zeal and energy he evinced in guiding the command through the swamp to the ferry, and for providing, under so many difficulties, for all.
I regret not having been able to furnish this report sooner, and will send a complete list, when it can be procured, of all under my command who effected their escape from Madrid Bend.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. JACKSON, JR.,
Captain of Artillery.
Numbers 34. Report of Captain Edward W. Rucker, C. S. Artillery.
CAMP POLK, ISLAND Numbers 10, Mississippi River,
March 26, 1862.
GENERAL: In compliance with your order I submit the following report of the occurrences at Battery Numbers 1 (the redan fort) during the bombardment by the enemy since the 15th instant, while commanding said battery:
On the morning of Saturday, March 15, the Federal fleet appeared in sight, coming down the Seven-Mile Reach above the fort at 11 a. m. The enemy's advance, consisting of several gun and mortar boats, seemed to be examining for a position to commence an attack. Shortly after several shot and shell were fired at the battery and at intervals during the day.
At 5 p. m., observing several tugs nearly in front of my battery, reconnoitering a slough just above the sand bar, and with transports seeming to locate at this point two mortar boats, I opened fire upon them, throwing several shells, some falling short and others ranging beyond. The transports immediately moved away, when the gunboats and mortars replied to the fire.
At 9 p. m. Captain Commings, of the Signal Corps, came up to my battery to establish a signal station. He reported to me that a large steamboat would be sunk in the slough during the night, which was done by Captain Gray, of the Engineers, at about 2 o'clock Sunday