War of the Rebellion: Serial 010 Page 0873 Chapter XXII. SIEGE OF CORINTH, MISS.

Search Civil War Official Records

accomplished. Sixty-two cars were fired and one (a passenger car) ran off crosswise of the track.

It would be difficult, indeed impossible, to give anything line an accurate inventory of the contents of these trains. They were hastily loaded, mostly with Government freight, and no notice given at the office either of the contents of cars or their destination. I noticed two car loads of hospital stores, a large quantity of sugar and molasses, a small quantity of bacon, salt, and coffee; some flour, rice, and a brass cannon, mounted, with caisson. The cannon was dismounted and buried and the carriage and caisson burned.

The company lost some 3 hogsheads of sugar and 7 barrels of molasses, with a quantity of other miscellaneous freight taken from the depot at Corinth. I can make no approximate estimate of the quantity or value of the freight thus burned. I had not seen it until we arrived at Cypress, and had no time to take note of it.

I may add that one of the great difficulties in getting the train away from Corinth was the fact that empty trains were arriving constantly on the main track behind trains that were loaded or loading, and the side tracks, as well as the main track, so crowded that it was impossible to make up trains without stopping the process of loading, which was, under the circumstances, the most important of all other matters; hence the last train that came in must be loaded and be the first to go out. This will account, I hope satisfactorily, for so many trains being together and the trains not leaving as they were loaded.

I heard nothing from any officer about destroying the bridges or trains until after I heard of the destruction of the bridges. I then determined to destroy the cars and engines, and did so. After the destruction was nearly completed I received an order from Colonel Claiborne to destroy them.

I left the train between 2 and 3 o'clock on the evening of the 30th. Up to that time I saw no officer, nor did I hear of any, sent to destroy the trains. Certainly no person came to destroy the trains up to the time I left, and all that was done was done by my order, and the engines and cars were as effectually destroyed as could be done with the means at our command. Nor can I believe that any of the engines could be put in condition to run without going into a machine-shop and under going considerable repairs and refitting.

Respectfully submitted.


Assistant Superintendent Memphis and Charleston Railroad.

Captain W. J. ROSS,

General Superintendent Memphis and Charleston Railroad.

No. 100 Report of Brig. General Andrew J. Smith, U. S. Army, of affair near Rienzi, Miss., June 2.

ADVANCED CAMP, June 3, 1862-4.30 a.m.

GENERAL: A detachment of 30 men of the Forty-second Illinois was sent out from this camp yesterday evening on the railroad toward Rienzi to examine cross-roads, &c., and encamped about 1 mile of Rienzi. One of the party has just come in, and states that they were attached about