U. S. GUNBOAT TYLER,
Cairo, Ill., March 5, 1862.
Flag-Officer ANDREW H. FOOTE, U. S. N.,
Commanding Naval Forces on Western Waters:
SIR: I have returned from up the Tennessee,having left Pittsburg (the place of our late engagement) last night. The enemy has not renewed his attempt to fortify. I watched the point closely, and yesterday landed (under flag of truce), which was allowed to go a mile from the river before being stopped by their pickets. No sign of a renewed attempt could be discovered. In my report of the engagement I stated that I felt confident the enemy had suffered severely. I can now report that on the morning after the engagement (Sunday) 9 dead bodies and 100 wounded, many of them mortally, were counted in their camp, which had been removed the evening of the engagement 3 miles back from the river. Some tents where they were carrying badly-wounded men they would not allow any one to visit; they were still bringing in wounded. There is no doubt of the correctness of the above. It was reported that they buried 15 the evening of the engagement. I think I can safely put their loss down at 20 killed and 100 wounded.
Their force engaged on that day was 1,000 infantry (Louisiana), 500 cavalry (Mississippi) besides a battery of six pieces of field artillery. Two guns (32-pounders) were on the ground, but not mounted. I have reliable information that the enemy have now at Corinth, Miss., 18 miles from the Tennessee River (Pittsburg), junction of Mobile and Ohio and Memphis and Charleston Railroad, 15,000 to 20,000 troops. At Henderson Station, 18 miles from Coffee Landing, Tennessee River, and 25 miles by railroad from Corinth, some 10,000 or 12,000 and bodies of troops arriving every day, mostly from Columbus, and some from Louisiana. At Bear Creek Bridge, 7 miles back of Eastport, Miss., they have from 8,000 to 10,000, and are fortifying. At Chickasaw, Ala., I understand they are erecting heavy batteries. (This last not very reliable.)
Information received last night near Savannah, Tenn., from a reliable source, indicates that General Johnston, with all his force, is falling back from Murfreesborough to Decatur, Ala., the place where the Memphis and Charleston Railroad now crosses the Tennessee River, and the junction of the railroad leading from Nashville to that place, showing that they are preparing to send large re-enforcements to Bear Creek.
The results of the recent elections in Hardin an McNairy Counties, South Tennessee, will prove to you that the Union sentiment is very strong throughout that section of the State. The former gave 500 majority for the Union candidate out of a poll of 1,000 votes. The latter gave 200 majority Union out of a poll of 1,800 votes. The constant cry from them to me is, "Send us arms and a sufficient force to protect us in organizing, and we will drive the secessionists out of Tennessee ourselves." I enlisted a few more men. Captain Phillips recruited several for his company. I have captured J. B. Kendrick, of Captain Fitzgerald's company of Tennessee Volunteers, who represented himself as a colonel of militia of the State of Tennessee, and Clay Kendrick, private in Captain Fitzgerald's company, Colonel Crews' regiment Tennessee Volunteers.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant, Comdg. Div. of Gunboats on Tennessee River.