War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0871 Chapter LI. FORREST'S RAID INTO WEST TENNESSEE.

Search Civil War Official Records

the most valuable supplies, while several acres of the shore were covered with every description of army stores. The fort was situated on a high hill and in a commanding position, and defended by strong works.

All my troops having arrived, I commenced disposing of them with a view of bombarding the enemy. As he commanded the position I designed to occupy, I was necessarily compelled to act with great caution. I planted most of my guns during the night, and while completing the work the next morning my men worked behind ambuscades, which obscured everything from the enemy. Thrall's battery of howitzers was placed in position above Johnsonville, while Morton's and Hudson's batteries were placed nearly opposite and just below town.

I ordered a simultaneous assault to commence at 3 o'clock. All my movements for twenty-four hours had been so secretive the enemy seemed to think I had retired, and for the purpose of making a reconnaissance two gun-boats were lashed together and pushed out just before the attack opened. The bombardment commenced by the section of Morton's battery commanded by Lieutenant Brown. The other batteries joined promptly in the assault. The enemy returned the fire from twenty-eight guns on their gun-boats and fourteen guns on the hill. About FIFTY guns were thus engaged at the same time, and the firing was terrific. The gun-boats, in fifteen minutes after the engagement commenced, were set on fire, and made rapidly for the shore, where they were both consumed. My batteries next opened upon the transports, and in a short time they were in flames. The immense amount of stores were also set in fire, together with the huge warehouse above the landing. By night the wharf for nearly one mile up and down the river presented one solid sheet of flame. The enemy continued a furious cannonading on my batteries.

Having completed the work designed by the expedition, I moved my command six miles during the night by the light of the enemy's a burning property. The roads were almost impassable, and the march to Corinth was slow and toilsome, but I reached there on November 10, after an absence of over two weeks, during which time I captured and destroyed 4 gun-boats, 14 transports, 20 barges, 26 pieces of artillery, $6,700,000 worth of property, and 150 prisoners. Brigadier-General Buford, after supplying his own command, turned over to my chief quartermaster about 9,000 pairs of shoes and 1,000 blankets.

My loss during the entire trip was 2 killed and 9 wounded; that of the enemy will probably reach 500 killed, wounded, and prisoners.

On this expedition my DIVISION commanders, Brigadier-Generals Chalmers and Buford, displayed the same prompt observance in obeying orders, the same kill, coolness, and undaunted courage which they have heretofore exhibited, and for which I thank them.

My brigade commanders, Colonels Bell, Rucker, Crossland, and Mabry, are deserving of the highest commendation for their conduct on this as on all former occasions.

Brigadier-General Lyon, who had been assigned to another department, reported to me on this expedition and rendered much valuable service at Johnsonville and Fort Heiman.

To Captain John W. Morton, acting chief of artillery, and the brave troops under his command, my thanks are especially due for their efficiency and gallantry on this expedition. They fired with a rapidity and accuracy which extorted the commendation of even the enemy. The