No. 3 Report of Brig. General M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard.
CONFEDERATE STATES RIVER DEFENSE SERVICE,
Gunboat General Bragg, May 10, 1862-10 p.m.
GENERAL: At a council of war held last night by the captains of the fleet it was determined to attack the enemy this morning, to cut out a gunboat which for the past two days has been guarding the mortar boat.
We started at the commodore's signal at 6 a.m. and steamed round the point in front of Fort Pillow. The boat guarding the mortar boat immediately started into the current and ran for the shoal water on Plum Point. The General Bragg, Captain Leonard, which had the lead, ran rapidly at her (supposed to be the Saint Louis), striking her a glancing blow on the starboard bow and receiving a broadside at 10 feet distance. The Bragg then backed out, and the Sumter, Captain Lamb, passed on, striking the same boat on the starboard quarter, and continued upstream to strike another. The Van Dorn, Captain Fulkerson, which came next, went up to the mortar boat and fired into it at 20 yards distance, and, passing for larger game, ran into another large gunboat, and then, unfortunately, ran ashore, where for several minutes she sustained a terrific cannonade until she backed off. The Price, Captain Henthorne, which was third in the line of attack, went gallantly in and struck a large gunboat, supposed to be the Benton, and also received several point-blank shots. The other boats of this fleet, viz, the Beauregard, Colonel Lovell, Jeff. Thompson, and Little Rebel were not able to get into the fight, except with their guns, but it is worthy of note that the gunners on the open forecastle and sterns served their guns steadily amid a shower of missiles without one casualty.
The Little Rebel was Commodore Montgomery's flag-ship, and ran about amid the storm as heedlessly as if charmed.
A tiller rope on the General Bragg was accidently cut, which prevented her from again returning to the charge, and as the difference in speed had opened the gap between our boats so far, and as the enemy's boats were enough injured to repay our attempt and damage fourfold, the commodore hoisted his recall, and we fell back cheering and shouting.
Our loss has been: W. W. Andrews, steward on the Van Dorn, killed;----, third cook on the Bragg, mortally wounded, and 8 or 10 slightly wounded, among whom is Captain Fulkerson-a contusion on the hand, more painful than dangerous.
Where all acted so handsomely it would be invidious to discriminate, and I will simply state that the captains and crews of this fleet deserve the confidence which has been reposed in them, and my officers and men acted, as they always have, bravely and obediently.
Yours, most respectfully,
M. JEFF. THOMPSON,
Brigadier-General, Missouri State Guard,
Comdg. Confederate Troops on Fleet.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD,
C. S. A., Corinth, Miss.