War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0422 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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Number 95. Report of Captain James W. Barclay and Lieutenant H. Wilkerson, first Missouri Cavalry, and letters of congratulation. Vicksburg MISS, May 31, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, having obtained permission to burn the sunken gunboat Cincinnati, lying above the city, I left the city wharf with my own company and a few volunteers from the regiment and THIRD Missouri Cavalry, making in all 47 men all the boats could possible carry at 10. 15 yesterday evening. I reached the wreck of the river. She was a complete wreck, the shots from our batteries having completely ridded her. From what I could see, I judge her to have been a magnificent vessel. Her guns were all under water, everything of valuable had been removed from the upper works, no guns in the turrets. The river appears to have fallen considerable since the sinking of the boat, and she is careening from the shore.

Immediately after the wreck was fired, a small tug started from the enemy's fleet toward us, and after getting below the mortar-boats a short distance, returned. A few of the enemy made their appearance although I passed within about 100 yards of them.

I returned to the wharf, having accomplished all I had undertake, at 12. 15 o'clock having been absent only two hours. The boat, I think is now so completely destroyed as to be of no use whatever either to ourselves of the enemy. The men under my command all deserve great credit for their gallantry.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain. H. WILKERSON,

Lieutenant, commanding Company and Volunteers.

Captain H. M. POLLARD,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

The flag of the gunboat was found on the wreck, and is transmitted


[First indorsement.]

Approved, and respectfully forwarded.


Brigadier-General, SECOND Brigade.

[SECOND indorsement.]

Respectfully forwarded.

JNumber S. BOWEN, brigadier-General, commanding Division,




MAY 31, 1863.

Brigadier-General BOWEN,

Commanding DIVISION:

GENERAL: The Lieutenant-general commanding desires to tender his thanks to Captain Barclay, lieutenant WILKERSON, and the men under