Major-General Huger from Flag-Officer L. M. Goldsborough, commanding the enemy's forces on the Chesapeake (tranferred to me), and of my reply* to Flag-Officer Goldsborough.
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Flag-Officer, Commanding, &c.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK,
Norfolk, Va., April 17, 1862.
Flag-Officer J. TATTNALL, Commanding, &c.
SIR: I received the inclosed letter yesterday. As the prisoners captured on the U. S. frigate Congress were in charge of the Navy Department and not under my control I beg to refer this letter to you and will inform Commodore Goldsborough I have given it this direction.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Knoxville, April 18, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.
A body of 700 Union men en route for Kentucky were attacked to-day by Captain Ashby above Fincastle. After a short battle 400 were taken prisoners, whom I will send South to-morrow. Where shall they go? General Carter claims by a flag of truce a like party captured some weeks since to be Federal troops.
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS, Memphis, April 18, 1862.
Colonel T. JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.
COLONEL: In reply to dispatch from General Beauregard inquiring if any prisoners escaped I have the honor to say that the train conveying the prisoners arrived here about 6 p. m. It was impracticable to transfer the same train to the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad, and before the prisoners could be transferred from the train to the depots provided for their safe-keeping a heavy storm occurred. In the rain and darkness, although there were about 400 men on duty as a guard, it was impossible to thoroughly and efficiently guard the prisoners. Besides the guard labored under the disadvantage of having a large crowd of citizens pressing on them. The guard that came here with the prisoners had no roll of them and the officer in charge did not know how many prisoners he had. Under these circumstances it was impossible to ascertain if any prisoners escaped. I have since ascertained that one did escape, and I found this out by his being apprehended and brought back. I do not think any others got away, nor do I think there was any culpability on the part of the guard. While the prisoners were en route from this place for Jackson, Miss., the train started
*Omitted here; Tattnall to Goldsborough, April 17, with Mallory's indorsement, p. 459.