No. 95. Report of Captain Jefferson Falkner, Chambers Cavalry (Confederate), of burning of Cypress Creek Bridge, May 30.
CAMP NEAR CLEAR CREEK, TENN., June 6, 1862.
On the night of the 29th ultimo I received an order in writing at Cypress Bridge about 12 o'clock directing me to take my company and Captain Elliott's and march immediately to Kossuth and to leave Lieutenant Prather and 10 men, and for him to wait until daylight and then to burn the bridge, and to do it effectually, and not to burn it until daylight, as many trains would pass during the night. Having to send after my pickets, and from other causes, I did not leave the camp until about daybreak. As I was about leaving a man came and inquired for Lieutenant Prather, and informed him that Colonel Searcy had sent him to direct him (Prather) not to burn the bridge at daylight, as there was yet a number of trains to pass, but stated that the order was not in writing, and the colonel said it was not necessary that it should be. Neither myself nor Prather knew the man or whether he was a soldier or not. I then left.
I think that about one hour after sunrise I met a man on horseback inquiring the way to the bridge and how to find Prather. I told him how to find him. He informed me that he had an order for Prather, and, it not being sealed, I examined it, and found it to be from Colonel Lindsay. He went on, and soon after he had time to get there I saw the smoke ascending from the bridge. I afterward saw as many as four trains passing the railroad in that direction. The only order that I received was the order in writing, above referred to.
Captain Chambers Cavalry.
No. 96 Report of Captain Jackson, Lay's Cavalry (Confederate), of burning of Tuscumbia Bridge, May 30.
----, --- --, 1862.
On the morning of the 30th I was ordered in writing at 2.30 a.m. (Copy filed, marked A.*) I will here say I sent this order to Captain Grundy, named in it, who returned it to me, and I now have the original. I showed the order to the officers in charge of companies with me, and also to commander of artillery (one piece), who was with me. We had rifle pits, and all concurred in the opinion that there was no necessity for leaving so soon. The under timber was all cleared, and we had a full, clear range of 200 yards all around the bridge.
Captain Grundy's command (1 mile below) crossed the bridge at 4.45 a.m. I then waited until 10.5 a.m. before I set fire to the bridge. (This was the Tuscumbia Bridge.) I think the bridge, which was set on fire in many places, had been burning ten minutes, when an engine ran up. I called to him to put on steam and run through, as the bridge was strong but fully enveloped in flames. I immediately posted a man to