War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0342 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

on the night of the 10th instant, taking with me the De Soto and coal barge, and proceeded down the river. We passed Warrenton without interrupting, and reached Red River on the following evening. I destroyed, as you directed, the skiffs and flat-boats along either shore.

I ascended Red River, on the morning of the 12th, as far as the mouth of the Atchafalaya. Leaving the De Soto and coal barge in a secure position, I proceeded down this stream. Six miles from its mouth I met a train of 12 army wagons returning from Simsport. I landed and destroyed them.

On reaching Simsport, I found that two rebel steamboats had just left, taking with them the troops and artillery stationed at this point. They had left on the bank 70 barrels of Government bee, which I broke up and rolled into the river. I pursued another train of wagons for some distance, but they retreated into the swamps and escaped. One of their wagons, loaded with ammunition and stores, fell into our hands, and was destroyed.

On her return at night, a party of oversees and other civilians fired into the Queen from behind a levee, and immediately fled under cover of the darkness. First Master James D. Thompson, a gallant and efficient officer, was shot through the knee. Anchoring at the mouth of the Atchafalaya, I waited until morning, and then returned to the spot from which we had been attacked.

All the buildings on three large adjoining plantations were burned by my order.

I started up Red River the same day, and reached Black River by night.

On the morning of the 14th instant, when about 15 miles above the mouth of Black River, a steamboat came suddenly around a sharp bend in the river, and was captured before she could escape. She proved to be the Era Numbers 5, laden with 4,500 bushels of corn. She had on board 2 rebel lieutenants and 14 privates. The latter I at once paroled and set ashore.

Hearing of three very large boats lying, with steam down, at Gordon's Landing, 30 miles above, I decided on making an effort to capture them, intending to return if I should find the battery at that point too strong, and ascend the Washita. I left the Era and coal barge in charge of a guard. We reached the bend us below Gordon's Landing before dusk. The dense smoke of several boats rapould be seen over the tops of the trees as we approached. I ordered the pilot to proceed very slowly, and merely show the bow of the Queen around the point. From the sharp bend which the river makes at this palace there was no apparent difficulty in withdrawing out of range of the enemy's guns whenever it might be desired. The rebels opened upon us with four 32-pounders the moment we came in sight. Their guns were in a fine position, and, at the THIRD shot, I ordered Mr. Garvey, the pilot,

to back the Queen out. Instead of doing so, he ran her aground on the right-hand shore. The position at once became a very hot one. Sixty yards below we would have been in no danger; as it was, the enemy's shots struck us nearly every time. The chief engineer had hardly repeated to me that the escape-pipe had been shot away, when an explosion below and a rush of steam around the boat told me that the steam-pipe had been cut in two. Nothing further, of course, could be done. I gave orders to lower the yawl at the stern of the Queen, to carry off Captain Thompson, who lay wounded in my state-room. Some persons had already taken the yawl, however, and it was gone. The other yawl was on the De Soto, a short distance below. Fortunately,