moved down, shelling the rebel sharsphooters along the shore as they advanced. When nearly within range of the Undine firing was heard below at the poitn nearly at the foot of the island. this proved to come from a number of gun-boats that had just arrived from below, under command of Captains Fitch and Goudy, and were engaging some rebel batteries. Our three gun-boats, under command of Lieutenant Commanding King, continued to advance upon the Undine, which had by this time been fired and abandoned by the enemy without their being able to remove a gun from her. The Key Wet, in advance ran into a battery of heavy guns withint wo miles of Johnsonville and but a short distance above where the Undine was lying. She received nineteen shots from 20-pounder guns, which passed entirely through her, before shoe could escape from this newly discovered battery. Our three gun-boats at once returned to this place, the Key West in a disabled condition. The firing from our boats below continued heavy until about 11 o'clock, when it ceased.
At this time Colonel Thompson directed that we arm and place in the intrenchments 500 of our citizen employes, which direction was immediately complied with under direction of Captain J. E. Montandon, acting assistant quartermaster. At about 2 p. m. the enemy were discovered planting batteries directly opposite, also above and below, our warehouses and levee. The gun-boats opened fire upon them, as did also our batteries upon the hill. After some twenty minutes' firing a reply was received from all the rebel batteries, and for nearly thirty minutes the cannonading was the most terrific I have ever witnessed. The gun-boats fought maginificently, and continued firing for more than twenty minutes after they were all disabled, when Lieutenant Commanding King was compelled to order them abandoned and burned. Our position was now most critical, our whole front, with the large warehouse and transfer building, stores, and transports, uncovered and almost unprotected. A large rebel force (as it has since been ascertained by trustworthy and reliable men who were captured from the transports below) of 13,000 men under Generals Forrest, Chalmers, Buford, Bell, and Lyon, with thirty-six pieces of artillery, twenty of them 20-pounder Parrotts, on opposite bank of the river. The small body of colored troops with the Kansas battery, and your own force of volunteer employes under Colonel Peteson, being the only force we could rely upon to face the enemy and defend our position. It was at this juncture, it having become evident the rebels would endeavor to cross sufficient force under the cover of their guns to obtain possession of our transports, they already having in their possession the cutter and gig of the Undine, that Colonel Thompson, upon the recommendation of Lieutenant Commanding King and other officers, directed me to destroy by fire all the transports, which direction was immediately complied with (the water being of insufficient depth to submerge them below the main deck by scuttling, which would therefore only temporarily disble them). Soon as the transports were fired the enemy directed their fire upon the warehouses and large pile of stores on the levee. The bursting of a shell soon fired the stores on the levee; also, the intense heat of the burning boats, which had been driven against the wharf by the strong wind, fired the stores in another place. The flames spread rapidly, and soon communicated to the small trasfer building, which, with its contents, was speedily consumed. Soon as I learned that the stores on the levee had caught fire, I directed Captain Montandon with a large force of employes to extinguish the flames, if possible, but owing to the great heat and the constant fire of the