War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0487 Chapter XXXVI. SCOUT TO MOUTH OF DUCK RIVER, TENN.

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Grand Gulf, April 1, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report that I have examined the fragments, and inquired into the circumstances attending the loading and firing of the 20-pounder Parrott gun which burst during the action last night, and believe the cause of the disaster was the bursting of a shell in the gun, there being no fuse or an imperfect fuse in the shell. I was to the right and rear of the piece, about 30 yards distant, at the time of the explosion, and saw distinctly its effect. The cascabel was blown to the rear, the lower band entire, the center band broken. The chase and muzzle were blown to the front, and the right fragments of the re-enforce to the "right and rear"; the left fragments to the "left and front. " The right wheel was entirely demolished, the left and stock badly broken. The upper wrought-iron band was broken and nearly straight.

There is no apparent flaw in any of the metal, the fractures presenting the usual crystalline surface, devoid of any seam or crack. Parts of the shell were found among the fragments, and no separate explosion of the shell was noticed by any one. If it had burst after the piece, it certainly would have been seen. I am, therefore, satisfied that the shell was ignited and exploded before reaching the chase, thus confining the gases and bursting the piece.

The fragments of the re-enforce will weigh from 5 to 30 pounds.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major R. W. MEMMINGER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

MARCH 31- APRIL 3, 1863. - Scout from Lexington to mouth of Duck River, Tenn.


Number 1. - Major Thomas Saylor, THIRD Michigan Cavalry.

Number 2. - Captain Frederick C. Adamson, THIRD Michigan Cavalry.

Numbers 1.

Report of Major Thomas Saylor, THIRD Michigan Cavalry.

LEXINGTON, TENN., April 3, 1863.

CAPTAIN: On the receipt of the order from headquarters Cavalry DIVISION, date March 30, I immediately moved my command to Lexington; and although I had reliable information relative to the state of affairs this side of the Tennessee River that did not agree with the report received by General Hurlbut, i, on the morning of the 31st instant, sent Captain Adamson with Companies C and B to scout the country in the neighborhood of the mouth of Duck River, as per instructions. The expedition returned to-day, after a successful scout, in which they captured 14 prisoners, the most of whom were armed, destroying a number of boats, and establishing beyond a doubt the falsity of the report of the crossing of a large body of the enemy to this side.

I herewith send the prisoners captured. For their names and cause of arrest I respectfully refer you to the inclosed report of Captain Adamson. To-morrow I will send one company in the neighborhood of Hun-