he performed all the duties assigned to him by me, for which I take this occasion to return him my thanks.
I am, general, very respectfully, yours,
W. S. LOVELL,
Lieutenant Colonel and Acting Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General.
Lieutenant General J. C. PEMBERTON,
Comdg. Department of Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF Mississippi AND EASTERN LOUISIANA,
Jackson, March 2, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded for information of General J. E. Johnston and War Department.
J. C. PEMBERTON,
Numbers 4. Reports of Mr. George W. Koontz, Confederate States agent at Natchez. NATCHEZ, [February] 17, 1863. (Received February 19.)
The Yankee iron-clad gunboat Indianola passed here Sunday at 3 p. m. She laid 10 miles below here yesterday morning. The Queen of the WEST and De Soto passed up Red River on Friday evening. On their way up, captured the steamboat Era Numbers 5. The Queen of the WEST attacked our batteries at Fort Taylor, but was very soon disabled by our guns and got aground, when Colonel [C. R.] Ellet and many of the men abandoned her, floating off on cotton bales, and she is now supposed to be in our possession. Before the Queen of the WEST went up Red River, she went down the Atchafalaya near Simsport and destroyed five or six plantations. After Colonel Ellet and some of the men abandoned the Queen of the WEST, they went on board the Era Number 5., which lay some 5 miles below the batteries, and came out of Red River, and yesterday morning gained the Indianola, 10 miles below here. This information I go from a white boy who was a prisoner on board. During the engagement, the De Soto was destroyed in sight of our batteries by the enemy. The boy was brought up on the Era. I consider the information reliable. The Indianola has no doubt gone down. A courier has been sent to Alexandria.
GEO. W. KOONTZ,
NATCHEZ, [February 18, 1863.]
(Received February 19.)
The following official report of the engagement on the Red River received from Alexandria to-day:*
* * * * * * * * * *
There has been nothing further heard from the Indianola since my
*See Numbers 5, p. 348.