these guns, but about 3.30 o'clock was ordered by Major Smith, in command of the artillery, to place them on the Mobile road, which was done.
In the mean time the trains had been made up, and as all orders had now been executed and the track was clear, the trains commenced leaving. Two trains had left at 12 o'clock, and there remained five engines with trains attached and two engines without trains, which were kept there for emergency, to be used on either road.
The last train left about 4.30 a.m., and carried all the cars remaining at Corinth up to that time. The depot had been emptied of all valuable freight, the officers cleared of all books, papers, and office furniture, and no car of any description remained upon any of the tracks. I came out on that train. We reached Chewalla about 5 a.m., where we found the six preceding trains, and where we heard for the first time, and to our utter astonishment, that the three bridges between Chewalla and Pocahontas had been ordered to be burned at daylight. The Maury, being the foremost engine, had, previous to my arrival, gone forward across Cypress Creek to Tuscumbia Creek, to give notice of the fact that the trains were behind, and prevent the burning if possible. Upon arriving at Tuscumbia Bridge the engineer found it in flames,and was compelled to return across Cypress Creek to Chewalla to his train.
Upon receiving this intelligence my first impulse was to endeavor to return to Corinth, and endeavor to take all the trains down the Mobile and Ohio Railroad; but a little reflection convinced me that, as all the trains going south on that road had undoubtedly passed some of their bridges, it was almost certain that they would be destroyed, and that the position of our trains would be far worse under these circumstances upon the Mobile road than upon our own. I determined, therefore, to push forward to Tuscumbia Creek (supposing the bridge across this to be the only one burned) and endeavor to cross this by a temporary trestle. To this end all the trains were again set in motion, and proceeded as far as Cypress Creek, where we found that the bridge had been fired immediately after the recrossing of the engine spoken of above, and had fallen.
It was now nearly 6 o'clock; we could go no farther, and the heavy firing, which now began to be heard in the direction of Corinth and above and below that point, admonished us that no time was to be lost. I accordingly ordered each engineer to run his engine off the track,burn her or otherwise dismantle her,so as to render her completely useless. The locomotive Maury was thrown from the track down a bank and lay upon her side; her links and other parts of her machinery were taken off and buried or thrown into the creek. Locomotives J. R. Mason and Columbia were burned. These belonged to the Nashville and Decatur Railroad. I afterward learned that the flues of the Mason were made of iron. If this is true, burning would not effectually disable her. I did not, however, know this at the time. The Madison was stripped of most of the essential parts of her machinery, such as links, rods, &c., which were buried in various places through the swamp. The remaining three engines, the Jones, Powhatan, and Memphis, were stripped as far as possible. In some cases the cylinder heads were heads were broken, the eccentrics broken and rods removed, and in others the links and value stems and pumps were broken and dismantled, and the parts buried and scattered through the swamp. While the enginemen were engaged with their engines the conductors were busy in burning the trains. I passed the entire length of all the trains twice while they were burning, and think that this work was thoroughly