War of the Rebellion: Serial 010 Page 0900 KY.,TENN.,N.MISS.,N.ALA.,AND SW.VA. Chapter XXII.

Search Civil War Official Records

enemy was gone, having left at about 1 or 2 o'clock this morning. We found they had destroyed or carried away nearly all the property of the fort; the gun-carriages were burned and burning, and many of the guns that could not be removed were burst. The Hetty Gilmore, in passing the ram fleet and Benton, gave notice what her signal would be if the enemy had left and what if they remained, and was followed very soon by Colonel Ellet's rams, and after an interval by the gunboats and the other transports, the signal that there was no enemy in sight having been given.

I am not able to state at this time the amount of property in the fort, but my impression is that it cannot be properly garrisoned without a new armament and a corps of artillerists. For all practical purposes one or two gunboats would be more effective than my command of infantry. I propose, therefore, to proceed directly toward Memphis this p.m., leaving one company here to collect the property. Captain Davis, commanding flotilla, leaves also one gunboat. I await orders.

Yours, respectfully,

G. N. FITCH,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Major-General JOHN POPE,

Comdg. District of Mississippi.

No. 2 Reports of Colonel Charles Ellet, jr., commanding Ram Flotilla.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER, ABOVE FORT PILLOW,

June 4 (via Cairo, June 5), 1862.

SIR: For the purpose of testing the temper of a doubtful crew and ascertaining the strength of the enemy's position, I determined yesterday to take the Queen of the West and try to reach a rebel steamer lying around Craighead's Point, under the guns of Fort Pillow. The captain, two out of the three pilots, the first made, and all the engineers, and nearly all the crew declined the service and were allowed to go off with their baggage to a barge. Hastily forming a new crew of volunteers, I took command of the boat, and directed Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet to follow in the Monarch at supporting distance. The captain, David M. Dryden, and all the crew of the Monarch, stood at their post. The rebel steamer slipped lines and escaped before I could reach her. The firing of the fort was at short range and quite brisk, but I think only revealed about seven or eight guns, corresponding with the count previously made in two land reconnaissances by Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet. My boat was not hit. While the strength of the rebel batteries seems to be greatly overrated, their fleet of rams and gunboats is much larger than min. It consists of eight gunboats, which usually lie just below the fort, and four others at Randolph, a few miles farther down. Commodore Davis will not join me in a movement against them nor contribute a gunboat to my expedition,nor allow any of his men to volunteer, so as to stimulate the pride and emulation of my own. I shall therefore first weed out some had material, and then go without him.

Respectfully,

CHAS. ELLET, Jr.,

Colonel, Commanding.

Honorable E. M. STANTON.