OPPOSITE RANDOLPH, 12 MILES BELOW FORT PILLOW, June 5 [via Cairo, June 8], 1862.
SIR: To my mortification the enemy evacuated Fort Pillow last night. They carried away or destroyed everything of value. Early this morning Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet and a few men in a yawl went ashore, followed immediately by Colonel Fitch and a part of his command. The gunboats then came down and anchored across the channel. I proceeded with three rams 12 miles below the fort to a point opposite Randolph, and sent Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet ashore, with a flag of truce, to demand the surrender of the place. Their forces had all left-two of their gunboats only an hour or two before we approached. The people seemed to respect the flag which Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet planted. The guns had been dismantled and some piles of cotton were burning. I shall leave Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet here in the advance, and return immediately to Fort Pillow to bring on my entire force. The people attribute the suddenness of the evacuation to the attempt made night before last to sink one of their gunboats at Fort Pillow. Randolph, like Fort Pillow, is weak, and could not have held out long against a vigorous attack. The people express a desire for the restoration of the old order of things, though still professing to be secessionists.
CHAS. ELLET, JR.,
Colonel, Commanding Ram Flotilla.
Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
WASHINGTON, June 7, 1862.
Col. CHARLES ELLET, JR.,
Commander of Ram Fleet on the Mississippi [via Cairo]:
Your several dispatches have been received and your proceedings cordially approved. The Department regrets that you have had to encounter so much opposition in the employment of your force, and hopes that the obstacles will give way before your energetic purpose. You will return the thanks of the Department to the gallant volunteers and soldiers of your command, of whose patriotic and generous courage honorable public notice will be given. You will please report the names and residence of those who exhibit special merit, in order that they may receive due honor and reward, and also of those who shrunk from their duty. In your discretion and conduct the Department feels every confidence, and will not fail to support you and your command.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
No. 3 Report of L. D. McKissick.
MEMPHIS, June 3, 1862.
I telegraphed General Villepigue to-day, asking him if he could hold Fort Pillow three days, until we could get telegraph wire and instruments down. Just received following reply:
Will endeavor to do so, but fear disaster; have sent off all my troops. Cavalry