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May 24. Austin, Mississippi, was visited and burned by the forces under General Ellet, commanding the ram fleet in the department of the Mississippi.--(Doc. 202.) A wagon-train, laden with commissary stores, with an escort of thirty colored troops, under the command of a white officer, were captured near Shawnee Creek, Kansas, by a gang of rebel guerrillas.--Leavenworth Conservative. The schooner Joe Flanner was captured while trying to run the blockade of Mobile, Ala., by the gunboat Pembina.--Major-Generals A. P. Hill and R. S. Ewell, of the rebel army, were appointed Lieutenant-Generals.--General Curtis relinquished the command of the Department of the West of the army of the United States, and General Schofield assumed it, and issued orders to that effect. Considerable excitement existed in England regarding the depredations of the rebel privateer Alabama--the cargoes of three of the vessels captured and destroyed by her on the South-American coast being Brit
ook place at Sartoria, Miss., between a body of National troops, under General Nathan Kimball, and two thousand rebels commanded by General Wirt Adams, resulting in the defeat and rout of the latter after a contest of half an hour. The National loss was one killed and seventeen wounded, while the rebels lost over one hundred taken prisoners, and a number killed and wounded.--Simmsport, on the Atchafalaya River, La., was destroyed by the Union ram Switzerland, under the command of Lieut.-Colonel John A. Ellet.--(Doc. 53.) The Rebel General Wheeler, with a body of cavalry, made an attack upon the National troops on the Shelbyville road, near Murfreesboro, Tenn., and skirmishing was kept up the whole day. The Second Indiana cavalry, on picket-duty, was first attacked, but being reenforced by the Thirty-ninth Indiana, under the command of Colonel Thos. J. Harrison, they succeeded in putting the rebels to rout, with a loss of several killed and wounded. The National loss was one kill
ere closed, and the sale or giving away of liquors stopped. --Chambersburgh, Pa., was entered by one thousand eight hundred rebel cavalry under General Jenkins, who sacked the town and its vicinity.--(Doc. 33.) The army of the Potomac, on its march to intercept the rebels in Pennsylvania, reached Bull Run, Va.--the rebel forces at Richmond, Miss., numbering four thousand, under the command of Major-General Walker, were attacked and driven from the town by the Union troops under Brigadier-General Ellet.--(Doc. 14.) Pbesident Lincoln issued a proclamation announcing that the rebels were threatening Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and calling for troops for their defence.--(Doc. 69.) At nine o'clock this morning, on the return of the gunboat Lackawanna toward Mobile, in company with the steamer Neptune, captured yesterday, the black smoke of a steamer was seen ahead, for which the ship, as well as the Neptune, gave chase. She was not brought to until a shot struck her,
Doc. 53.-the destruction of Simmsport, La. Headquarters M. M. Brigade, flag-ship Autocrat, Lake's Landing, Yazoo River, June 11, 1863. In accordance with instructions from Captain Henry Walke, commanding detachment of Mississippi squadron, Lieutenant-Colonel John A. Ellet, commanding the ram fleet of the Mississippi Marine Brigade, left the mouth of Red River June third, on the United States steam-ram Switzerland, on a reconnoissance as far as Simmsport, on the Atchafalaya River. The approach to the town was made slowly and cautiously, in order to insure a timely detection of any earth defences the enemy might have with which to dispute the passage of the river. It was ordered, however, that no gun should be fired until the fact of the existence of a hostile force in the place should be definitely ascertained. When within half a mile of the town the enemy opened with a battery of field-pieces and a regiment of infantry. The men on the ram replied with great vigor. B
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 27: expedition through Steele's Bayou and Deer Creek. (search)
A few days before this council, Admiral Farragut. who had come up from Red River, as before mentioned, requested Colonel Alfred Ellet to let him have two of the Ram fleet (to run the batteries at night) for the purpose of returning with him to the blockade of the Red River — saying he would make it all right with Admiral Porter, etc. To this Colonel Ellet at once agreed. Accordingly the rams Lancaster and Switzerland were prepared to run the batteries, the former commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel John A. Ellet, the latter by Charles Rivers Ellet. These Ellets were all brave fellows, and were full of the spirit of adventure. Instead of going past the batteries with comparative ease at night, they chose a time near daylight, and by the time they got abreast of the city all the batteries opened on them. The Lancaster's boilers were exploded by a shell, and being a frail vessel, she went to pieces and sunk immediately. The Switzerland had her boilers perforated by a plunging shot, and
rrived, the Indianola had been blown to splinters — not even her priceless guns having been saved. The Webb now escaped up the Red river; leaving our supremacy on the Mississippi once more undisputed and unbroken. Admiral Farragut, commanding below Vicksburg, having applied to Admiral Porter for iron-clads and rams to operate against certain small but formidable Rebel iron-clads and rams which held possession of Red river, the rams Switzerland, Col. Chas. R. Ellet, and Lancaster, Lt.-Col. John A. Ellet, were prepared for running the Vicksburg batteries; which they attempted Night of March 24-25. to do; but with ill success. Instead of being started in due season, it was daylight when they came under the Rebel fire; whereby the Lancaster was sunk and the Switzerland badly cut up. The latter succeeded in passing. Of several frailer vessels, which from time to time made the venture, two or three were sunk; the residue mainly went by unscathed. Months had now flitted since our