from time to time, up to within a month ago.
At first, only a few companies of confederate
soldiers were kept here ; but at the time of th
REBELLION RECORD, 1862.
surrender of Island No. Ten, the garrison was
increased to iive thousand, which has been drain
ed down to about two hundred and fifty by the
army of Beauregard at Corinth. The length of
the bluff is about four miles, three of which are
skirted by the river, Cole Creek running inland
along its base. It is at the debouch of this
creek that the fortifications commence.
Commencing at Cole Creek, we find first in
the list of works a series of charred and smoking
gun-carriages and platforms, eleven in number,
the guns of which have all been removed, with
two exceptions thirty-two-pounders which
have recoiled by the shock, so as to throw them
from their carriages.
Continuing nearly in line with this work, we
come upon a huge one hundred and twenty-eight-
pounder columbiad, cast at the Tredegar Works
in Richmond, careened over so as to rest its
breech upon the ground, pointing up to the hea
vens at an acute angle, several piles of shell, solid
shot, and two or three small ovens for heating-
shot, more smoldering carriages, and then a
blank space in the middle, which appears to have
been overflown, and the guns, if ever mounted,
have been displaced long ago. Toward the low
er end, the tier of batteries rises so as to present
a large, roomy and elaborate system of bomb-
proofs, traverses and parapets in front of the
steep bank, of the most formidable kind. Some
five burst guns and two spiked remain of the
twenty originally placed there. The magazines,
large and commodious, with rat-holes under the
embrasures, were well constructed,
At the extreme lower end of this tier were two
monster mortars rent into massive fragments, j
which by the rusty fractures indicated they had
been burst long before. These were evidently
intended as imitations and offsets for the terrible
engines with which we were assailing them daily.
They had been cast at Memphis, and from the
marks of the metal, cast from bad iron. They
were only fifteen inches of rim, while those of
ours have seventeen, and were cast with a cham
ber in which the powder is inserted. Unlike ours
in nil other respects, they were intended to be
like our mortars. The shells were exact copies,
probably obtained from some of ours which had
failed to explode.
Two of these mortars were found three quar
ters of a mile further down the bank, spiked.
These are the mortars which they have been fir
ing at us of late; but either through inferior
powder or want of skill in their use, they have
not been able to reach us, although placed at a
great elevation over our own.
The principal battery of interest, placed nearly
at the top of the bluff is the casemated battery
overlooking the entrance of Cole Creek, as it is
the only casemated battery in the place. The
rebels had burned the roof and supports of the
roof, and the earth had fallen in so as to cover up
gun-carriage and all, and the description of the
gun must be omitted until it is exhumed. It is
supposed to be a rifled eight-inch gun of superior
model, from the character of the shot surround
Next in order comes a battery of six guns, all
thirty-two pounders. Three of them have been
removed, two burst, and one dismounted. A
large number of Read balls and shells are left
behind, significant of their worthlessness. Fur
ther down-stream we come upon a single gun,
also a mammoth one hundred and twenty-eight
pounder, completely reversed by the recoil, so as
to be pitched back over, vent down. A compact
and admirable magazine is constructed in the
bank close behind it. Further down we come
upon two separate excavations, evidently design
ed for a single gun each, but bear no appearance
of having any mounted.
Here also we met with those immense piles of
dirt to which we have become so accustomed,
the invariable earthworks and rifle-pits. The
trenches and breastworks back from the river,
of which there are in some places two lines, and
in others detached pieces, are of the most stupen
dous kind. Deep and wide rifle-trenches have
been dug around the brows of every commanding
hill, backed by a stout line of earthworks, behind
which field-pieces are intended to be placed.
The line of intrenchments running from one
end to the other is estimated at six miles long,
which, on account of the broken and abrupt face
of the country, renders an attack in the rear al
most suicidal. Ravines, spurs, ridges, and jut
ting points are intermingled in the most fanciful
On the extreme east of the Fort, and above
Cole Creek, we found the remains of the camp
all charred and in ruins. Here was the usual
assortment of bottles, biscuits, playing-cards, Bi
bles, utensils, and letters, a few coarse tents and
some coarser clothing. The remains showed the
soldiers to have been living in great discomfort.
Strange to say, no shells had been directed to
this spot, lying as it did too far to the left of us
for our attention. Accommodations were there for
perhaps two thousand men.
In a ravine at the lower end we found the com
missary storehouses burnt to the ground. An
immense pile of smouldering pork on one side of
the road, and an immense pile of corn and beans
and peas on the other, told us the secret of the
illumination of the previous night. Some twenty
or thirty barrels of molasses were left, which our
forces quickly appropriated to their use. All
the barracks, houses, and stores in the place had
been consumed previous to our departure. The
quantity of shot and shell left behind was un
usually small, and the magazines were entirely
empty. The evacuation was complete, clean and
entire, nothing worth the carriage was left behind.
From a farmer, living three miles from the
Fort, we learned that our land force had moved
the day previous to our arrival to Mason s sta
tion, on the Memphis and Nashville road, where
they would take the train to Corinth, as they
said, not knowing that Corinth was in our hands.
Before leaving they had assigned their stores to
the residents as perquisites. A detachment of
Fitch s men, finding them with large quantities
of molasses, sugar, and provisions in their pos
session, ordered them to haul it to the Fort so
soon as they discovered its origin, which the
He professed to be a Union man, and had been
in Memphis only three days previously. The
evacuation of Corinth was not then known pub
licly, and our flotilla was still at Yicksburgh.
Memphis he described as being deserted ; gave
some account of the history of the Fort from its
commencement, in which he described the actions
of the rebel commanders as exceedingly tyranni
cal. "An intelligent contraband" also backed
up the asseverations of his master by various
statements. He was anxious to get North, and
declared himself fully persuaded of the superior
ity of the Lincoln cause.
"As the clear result of this masterly operation
we have secured ten uninjured guns qf various
calibres. The enemy has destroyed at least an
equal number and has removed a larger number.
He has sacrificed an immense amount of stores.
He has abandoned a magnificent position, from
which we could hardly ever have driven him
with the fleet alone, and has shrunk from a con
test with his flotillas.
The State of Tennessee is abandoned. In less
than a week we shall have no enemy in the State.
All the labor expended upon the works becomes
useless. For the hundredth time the rebels have
fallen back as a matter of pure strategy, aban
doning guns, ammunition, and stores. The gain
is not much to us, but the loss is great to the
rebels. Most of the guns they have left behind
they can never replace. All the guns which they
took away are supposed to have been put on board
the gunboats ; those which burst are. of course,
a dead loss to the enemy.
CINCINNATI " GAZETTE ACCOUNT.
NATIONAL FLOTILLA, MISSISSIPPI RIVEK, )
IN SIGHT OF MEMPHIS, Thursday Night, June 5. j
Fort Pillow has fallen ! The only remaining
stronghold of the enemy on the river the much
talked of " last ditch," named after the celebrated
ditch-digger himself, where the rebels have so
long promised the world they would die has at
last been abandoned.
Early last evening it became apparent that the
enemy were evacuating Fort Pillow. Between
six and seven o clock dense volumes of smoke
were seen rising in the direction of the Fort, and
as the shadows of the coming night began to
thicken, they were succeeded by "fierce flames
which shot up from a hundred different points,
above the tops of the highest trees, brilliantly il
luminating the scene in the immediate vicinity,
tend leaving no doubt in the minds of those on
the flotilla that the immense barracks of the ene
my had been fired and abandoned. During the
conflagration, some twelve or fifteen heavy dis
charges of artillery were henrd, and before the
Evening was too far advanced, some of the shot
and shell from these could be seen plunging into
the river a short distance below the gunboats,
and sending their huge columns of spray high in
the air. It needed no unusual power of divination
to comprehend at a glance that before abandon
ing their works, the enemy had loaded their guns,
pointed them up-stream, and then applied the
torch to their carriages. The design of this was
to keep the flotilla at a respectable distance until
they could make good their escape.
The night wore away slowly. All were anx
ious to advance, but the order to do so was not
given till five o clock this morning. At that hour
the flag-ship Benton weighed anchor and started
in the direction of the Fort, signalling the remain
ing gunboats to follow. On turning Craighead s
Point, they were not a little surprised at seeing
the Stars and Stripes already waving over the de
serted rebel works. It was afterwards learned
that during the night, Col. Ellet, of the ram-fleet
who, it will be remembered, acts independent
ly of the Flag-Officer had moved down the
stream with two or three of his boats, and find
ing no enemy to dispute his passage, had landed
at the Fort, and hoisted the banner of beauty on
the flagstaff where the rebel ensign had so recent
ly waved. The act was thought to be rather
discourteous to the flotilla, some of the officers of
which manifested a little ill-feeling, but this soon
wore away in the general joy of the occasion.
By eight o clock every vessel, directly or indi
rectly connected with the flotilla, was either at
the Fort or in motion toward it. The gunboats
were huddled together in the stream ; the tugs
were screaming and bustling about as if they had
never before had quite so much business to at
tend to ; the ammunition-boats the Great West
ern, black as night, and the Judge Torrence, ex
actly the reverse were lazily drifting down ; the
tow-boats, puffing along slowly with two or three
mortars apiece lashed to them, were doing their
utmost not to be behind the rest, and the rams
and transports were scudding along at their high
est rate of speed. The scene was most inspirit
ing, and every pulse on the flotilla beat quicker
at the sight. No wonder the hospitals of our
land forces were almost entirely cleared. No
wonder that pale faces grew flushed. No won
der that each vied with the other who should be
first within the deserted rebel stronghold. The
long, long canker of inaction was over, and some
thing toward closing the account of the rebellion
on the Mississippi was about to be done.
When the transport having on board a brigade
of newspaper correspondents reached the Fort, we
found its intrenchments thronged with our men,
Col. Fitch of the Forty-sixth Indiana, having
been on the ground some time with his regi
Our transport had hardly touched her landing
before we were on shore, leaping ditches, scaling
escarpments, peering into magazines, looking
down the muzzles of huge guns, creeping into
casemates, looking through embrasures, thread-
ing zigzag paths, climbing almost perpendicular
heights, walking seemingly interminable lines. of
breastworks, and kicking around the charred ro-
REBELLION RECORD, 1862.
mains of the desolate-looking place. All were
astonished at the strength of the works and the
vast amount of labor that had been expended
Fort Pillow is naturally the strongest place on
the Lower Mississippi. The Chickasaw Bluff, on
which it stands, is from seventy-five to one hun
dred feet high, and is cut up by ravines in a most
remarkable manner. Those who have only seen
it from the river have no idea how broken, rough,
rolling and rugged its surface is. Before the evacu
ation of the Fort, ten thousand determined men
could have successfully held it against ten times
their number. As a defensible point it is even
preferable to Columbus, and although more guns
were mounted at Island No. Ten than at Pillow,
the former place will not compare with the latter
either in commanding position or strength.
The work on Fort Pillow was begun on the
thirteenth of April, 1861, and was prosecuted
with great vigor during most of the summer of
that year. From three to five thousand negroes,
so I am informed by one of the natives, were em
ployed upon it at one time. Its intrenchments
in the rear are miles in length, and have been
constructed under the superintendence of able
engineers. Their counterscarps are lined with
plank, and the whole works surrounded with
ditches of the most impassable character.
The bluff presents a bold and almost perpen
dicular front to the river. From its base to the
water s edge, there is a kind of plateau, two or
three hundred feet wide, and generally elevated
above high water-mark. Here were located the
principal batteries of the enemy. Embrasures
have been made for about forty guns, but ap
pearances do not indicate that more than twenty-
five have at any time been mounted. In the
construction of the batteries, sand-bags, railroad-
iron, and heavy timber have been used without
I cannot give your readers a better idea of the
armament of the Fort than by making the follow
ing transcript from my memorandum - book.
Passing along the line of water-batteries, about
half a mile in extent, beginning at the upper end,
I made the annexed entry :
1 128-pounder, rifled, casemated.
1 heavy 10-inch gun.
1 8-inch Parrott.
1 24-pounder, dismounted.
1 32-pounder, burst.
1 24-pounder, burst.
1 32-poundcr, burst.
1 64-pounder, (Dahlgren,) burst.
1 32-pounder, dismounted.
1 heavy 8-inch columbiad, burst.
1 heavy 10-inch columbiad, burst.
1 1 3-inch mortar, burst.
1 128-pounder, dismounted.
On the bluff but eight guns and two mortars
had been mounted, of which six only remained,
as follows :
2 32-pounders, dismounted.
1 64-pounder, (rifled,) burst.
1 10-inch Parrott, dismounted.
2 10-inch mortars, spiked.
All these guns, except the mortars, had beeii
heavily loaded, and fires were built around then;,
which burned their carriages and caused them
to explode or dismount themselves when dis
The two ten-inch mortars are located a short
distance back of the brow of the bluff, below the
lower end of the water-batteries. They are old-
fashioned but very good guns. The thirteen-inch
mortar is split directly through the centre. Por
tions of one half of it are embedded in the sur
rounding works, and the other half is lying where
it fell. The metal is porous, hard, and altogether
unsuited for the use to which it was in this in
stance put. This confirms the statement I made
some weeks ago relative to the bursting of this
It appears from the statements of some of the
natives, that after the surrender of Island No.
Ten the garrison of Fort Pillow was about twenty
thousand men. All of them but about one thou
sand five hundred were withdrawn some six weeks
ago to reenforce Beauregard at Corinth. A week
ago the garrison was further weakened by the
withdrawal of the Twelfth Louisiana, the only
full regiment in the Fort, and during the last two
or three days not more than seventy -jvoe men re
mained barely enough to make sure the work
of destruction. These, we were informed, re
treated into the interior, but not before perform
ing the duty assigned them in a manner that
must have been highly satisfactory to the rebel
authorities ; for a place more barren of trophies
than Fort Pillow it would be difficult to find.
An attack upon Fort Pillow was contemplated
by Col. Fitch yesterday morning, but was not
made, owing to the non-fulfilment of some plans.
All things were ready, however, this morning,
when an assault would have been made had not
the evacuation in the mean time taken place. A
bridge of cypress logs had been thrown over a
"sloo" between Flower Island and the Tennes
see shore, on which our forces would have
crossed, landing near the head of the upper bat
tery, and in such a position as to have enfiladed
the enemy s guns, without their being able to
reply from any of them. Col. Fitch is satisfied*
his plan would have succeeded. Perhaps so, as
there were only seventy-five men in the Fort ;
but if there had been two or three thousand in
stead, I am inclined to think his plan would no
have worked entirely as he anticipated.
FIGHT AT JASPER, TENN.
GENERAL NEGLEY s REPORT.
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCKS, \
SWEEDEN S COVE, EAST-TKNXESSEE, June 4, 1862. \
General 0. M. Mitcliel, Huntsville :
SIR: By making a forced march of twenty
miles, over a rugged and almost impassable moun-
tain road, and by capturing the enemy s pickets,
we succeeded in completely surprising General
Adams s command of rebel cavalry, encamped at
the foot of the mountain. They formed in line
and fired upon Col. Hambright s advance, which
we replied to from two pieces of artillery, which
had been placed in position unobserved. They
retreated through a narrow lane, towards Jasper,
closely pursued by a portion of Col. Haggard s
Fifth Kentucky cavalry and Major Wynkoop s
battalion of Seventh Pennsylvania cavalry. My
escort, commanded by Lieuts. Wharton and Funk,
led the charge with reckless daring, dashing into
the midst of the enemy, using their sabres with
terrible execution. The narrowness of the lane,
and very broken ground, alone prevented the
enemy being totally destroyed. They fled in the
wildest disorder, strewing the ground for miles
with guns, pistols, and swords. We captured
their ammunition and commissary wagons, with
supplies. The enemy s loss, as far as we could
ascertain, was twenty killed and about the same
number wounded, among whom is Major Adams,
General Adams s brother. We captured twelve
prisoners, including two commissioned officers,
with a large number of horses. Our loss, which
I regret to say was chiefly sustained by my es
cort, is two killed and seven wounded, several
seriously. The troops acted with admirable effi
ciency. Col. Hambright, Acting Brigadier-Gene
ral, with Col. Haggard, Major Wynkoop, and
Lieuts. Wharton, Funk, Sypher, and Nell, de
serve special notice.
Yours, very truly, JAMES S. NEGLEY,
CINCINNATI "COMMERCIAL" ACCOUNT.
Under an order from Gen. Mitch el, Gen. Neg-
ley, in charge of a heavy force, left Fayetteville
on Monday, June second, to pay a friendly visit
to the large bodies of guerrillas infesting the
counties of Franklin and Marion, in East-Tennes
see, with additional instructions to call on Chat
tanooga, if possible, and Mitchel seldom deems
anything impossible in his department.
These guerrillas have been making sad havoc
among the people of that section, destroying the
property of Union men, and all those who will
not yield to the edicts of the barbarous conscrip
tion act. Hundreds of men have taken refuge in
the mountains to escape imprisonment into the
rebel service not only -white, but ~blaclt men
leaving their new crops unattended, their families
subjected to every species of insult, their last ear
of corn and peck of meal taken, horses and cattle
carried off, and they left in comparative destitu
Mitchel has been aware of these facts for some
time, and has only waited a fitting opportunity
to surprise them. To accomplish this, it needed
the right kind of a leader ; that leader was Gen.
Jsegley. Negley is bold, brave, and ardent in
his attachment to the cause that has called him
out from his Pennsylvania home. His worth is
known and highly appreciated by our Command-
mg General. He is a Pennsylvanian, and reflects
great honor on the old Keystone State. Ho
found no rebel forces between Fayetteville and
On reaching Winchester, he learned that the
rebel General Adams was in command of a heavy
force of rebels at Jasper, some thirty miles dis
tant. He at once determined to surprise them.
In order to do this, he was compelled to make a
forced march, some twenty miles, over a rough,
mountainous country. This was accomplished.
He soon discovered their pickets, and by a well-
laid plan, succeeded in capturing them. He im
mediately moved on, and within a few miles of
Jasper, came upon a large force of the enemy.
They, the rebels, immediately formed into line
of battle, and opened with a heavy volley. Col.
Hambright, who was leading our advance, replied
from three pieces of artillery, which had been
very rapidly placed in position. Only one round
was needed to rout them. They became panic-
stricken, and commenced one of the most dis
graceful retreats ever known. They took up a
narrow lane, toward Jasper, closely pursued by
Haggard and Wyncoop, the former of the Fifth
Kentucky cavalry, and the latter of the Seventh
Pennsylvania cavalry. They gained upon them,
and coming into a narrow defile, they closed with
Then commenced one of the fiercest skirmishes
of the war. Our charge of cavalry was led on
by Negley s escort, commanded by Lieuts. Whar
ton and Funk. The contest was severe. Hand
to hand was the terrible sabre-duel, ending in the
death of twenty rebel cavalry, many badly
wounded, and some twenty prisoners, among
them Major Adams, brother of the General, and
also two other commissioned officers. The road
for miles was strewed with guns, sabres, car
bines, knapsacks, etc. Some fifty or sixty horses
were also taken, together with a large train of
commissary stores, ammunition and camp equip
The flying rebels passed on through Jasper,
notwithstanding the great efforts used by their
officers in trying to stop them. They cursed
Adams arid their ill-luck, and only stopped in
their frightened career when they reached Chat
tanooga, having placed the waters of the Tennes
see between them and their pursuers. Night
closed in over the scene, and our brave but wea
ried lads rested on the north bank of the famous
Tennessee. Our casualties were two killed, of
Negley s escort, and seven badly wounded.
Though small the enemy s loss, and this only
a skirmish, yet nothing has taken place here,
since the capture of Huntsville, so important in
its future results, as this gallant charge of the
daring Kentuckians and brave Pennsylvanians,
led on by such as Haggard and Wyncoop. Col.
Hambright, who led the advance from Winches*
ter to Jasper, and received the enemy s first fire,
displayed great courage and coolness.
Who will dare say that this foul rebellion will
not be forever crushed, and our Union sustained,
and come out of this fearful contest like gold
tried in the fire, when such scenes as the above
REBELLION RECORD, 1862.
take place ? Away out here, amid the mountain
passes of the Cumberland, Kentucky and Penn
sylvania shake hands, and with the love of the
Union strengthening their every sinew, they rush
on side by side, with drawn sabre, to bathe them
alike in the blood of treason and cowardice.
The effect of this skirmish was soon seen. As
the retreating foe disappeared, the persecuted
Union men of Marion began to appear. General
Negley s despatch to Major-Gen. Mitchel says that
hundreds of Union men have flocked into Jasper,
and, with tears in their eyes, hail Mitchel and
Negley as their deliverers. To-day four men
came in from Chattanooga, and report that
Adams s men came into that place in the utmost
confusion, many of them only stopping for a time,
then continuing their retreat to the "last
ditch," I presume. The distance over which
they retreated was forty-three miles.
OPERATIONS IN EAST-TENNESSEE.
GENERAL NEGLEY S DESPATCHES.
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES, I
FOUR MILES BEYOND JASPER, June 5, 1862. )