Lieutenant King, U. S. Navy, and, following this example, the officer commanding the garrison ordered the transorts to be fired. This being done, the flames spread to the stores on the levee and involved them in a common ruin. The large warehouse, with the engine and machinery for hoisting frieght, escaped uninjured. The value of the transports destroyed is estimated at $300,000; of the barges, $35,000; total loss estimated at $1,500,000, $500,000 of which were commissary stores. The enemy did not cross the river, but withdrew the next day, satisfied with the mischief he had done. I am not prepared to believe that the destruction of the property at Johnsonville was necessary or warranted by circumstances. I think there was a want of judgemnt on the part of the officer who ordered the transports to be fired. It may be said he apprehended their falling into the hands of the enemy, but the answer to this is, the transports were under his fire and could hae been destroyed at any time.
For months before this occurrence the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad had been worked to its full capacity, and the few stores remaining after the fire were shipped to Nashville as rapidly as possible.
On the 30th of November the post was evacuated without further loss. The defeat of Hood army in December and its retreat across the Tennessee River at Florence necessitaed the establishment of a depot at Eastport, Miss. The Sixteenth Corps and Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi, wee transferred there at once. Soon after heavy rains set in and swelled the Tennessee to the unprecedented height of thirty feet above low-water mark. So sudden and unexpected was the rise that about 20,000 sacks of forage and some miscellaneous stores were submerged and proved a total loss. I doi not believe that the loss will exceed $150,000 in value, and its is but just to say that it occurred through no neglect of the officers of the quartermaster's department, and it was owing to the energy displayed by them that it was not greater.
On the 9th of June the south half of the immense Government store-house in Nashville, known as the Taylor Depot, and located at the terminus of the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad, was destroyed by fire. It was filled at the time with a large amount of quartermaster's stores, but was fortunately separated from the larger portion of the depot by two massive fire walls fifty feet apart, which I had caused to be erected. This precaution saved the larger portion of the building, in which, the chief commissary informed me, $4,000,000 of subsistence was stored. The origin of the fire is unknown, through the affair was thoroughly investigated and reported upon by a board of officers. The most plausible theory is, the building tookfire from sparks of a locomotive, plausible theory is, the building took fire from sparks of a locomotive, drifting in at one of the sliding doors. It is directly on the railroad track, and a locomotive had been observed passing to and fro only a few minutes before the fire broke out. I am satisfied that extraoridnary precuations had been taken to guard the building against fire, such precautions, I venture to say, as are only used in powder magazines, but it was so frail that it went like a flash, and it was found impossible to save it, though there were three fire plugs inside the building with the hose attached day and night. The plugs, however, proved of service, as their natural flow of water after the hose was burnt off saved a great deal of property around them. The loss of stores will not exceed $1,000,000, most of the iron being saved; and, strange to say, over 200 barrels of wagon greaseand 150 boxes of glass have been recovered from the debris of the ruins. The fire department rendered valuable services at the fire, and but for it the larger half of