War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0880 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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men under Colonel Jesse Forrest. Major Beeler, of Illinois, and Major D. C. Smith, of Minnesota, were killed. Major Beeler killed a captain and wounded and captured another. The heroic conduct of Colonel Kent, Twenty-ninth Illinois, and officers on board, and Captain Zeigler, of the steamer, and his crew, saved the boat from capture. One paymaster's clerk was wounded, also 2 of the boat's crew. The wounded prisoner reports that Chalmers was at or near Jackson, Tenn., and that Jesse Forrest's command are flankers of the main force, and that Chalmers intends coming into Kentucky.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Fourth U. S. Colored Artillery (Heavy), Commanding Post.

Brigadier General MORGAN L. SMITH,

Commanding District of Memphis, Memphis, Tenn.

Numbers 2. Report of Major William H. Jameson, Paymaster, U. S. Army.

SAINT LOUIS, October 29, 1864.

SIR: I would respectfully report that having completed the payment of the troops in and around Memphis, in obedience to your orders, I left Memphis with the paymasters ordered to report to me, viz, Majors Whiting, Dickson, Beeler, Smith, and Patrick, on the steamer Belle of Saint Louis, on the evening of the 27th instant, on our way to Saint Louis. About midnight the boat landed at Randolph, Tenn., sixty miles above Memphis, for the purpose of taking on some cotton. As soon as the staging had been run out and the deck-hands went on shore, the captain discovered a large number of armed guerrillas rushing toward the boat and immediately gave orders for the boat to be backed out from the bank, but before that could be accomplished eight or ten of the rebels succeeded in getting on board and a large number of rebels on shore commenced firing with musketry on the boat. The rebel who succeeded in getting on board immediately stationed a guard of three men over each of the two engineers who were working the engine and ordered them to immediately land the boat again, threatening them with instant death if they refused to do so. Two or three others at the same time rushed up to the cabin and in a loud tone demanded those in charge to land the boat, and commenced robbing some of the passengers of their pocket-books and money; just at this point, as the boat was again approaching the landing, and we all felt that the boat and all on board were surrendered to the tender mercies of Jesse Forrest (who was said to be in command) and his rebel force, Majs. A. Beeler and D. C. Smith, paymasters, and members of our corps, took their revolvers and boldly approached the two rebels who were at the cabin doors. As they approached one of the rebels shot Major Smith, mortally wounding him. Major Beeler immediately shot the man who fired upon Major Smith, and, mortally wounding him, he then turned his attention to the other rebel. They both fired simultaneously, the rebel falling dead and Major Beeler mortally wounded. The rebels for a moment quailed, and, just as the bow of the boat with all the power of the engine, the rebels on board jumping overboard, and amid volleys of musketry fired upon the boat, we were soon backed out of range to a place of safety.