No. 94.-report of Lieut. Col. James Pell, lay's Cavalry (First Confederate), of burning of Cypress Creek Bridge, May 30.
____, ___ __, 1862.At 12 o'clock, May 30, after bridges had been burned, it was the impression that the men in charge of the trains had destroyed them. We then heard that they had not been out. Lieutenant McCune was sent, with a squad of men, with orders to go there, and order the conductors to destroy the trains and aid him in doing so. About 2 p. m. we heard of immense stores at Cypress Bridge, of which some might be saved. Colonel Claiborne sent me with orders to impress wagons and save all the stores I could and destroy the trains and locomotives, &c. On my arrival, just before sunset, I found all the cars had been set on fire by Lieutenant McCune, with the assistance of the country people, who had rolled off many of the stores into the marshes on both sides. I found seven locomotives-four badly and two slightly injured and one with no injury. These three latter were not so badly injured as to render them unfit for subsequent use. The others could be repaired in a machine-shop. The engineers had taken off plungers, valves, and fine work. I understood the engineers had gone off and refused to destroy these three. The truth is, they and the country people all got drunk, or most of them, from liquor on the trains. I detailed a mechanic and men to destroy them all, as much as they could, with an ax, &c.; but everything was on fire. There were 60 or 62 cars, chiefly loaded with commissary stores, a few horseshoes and guns; also a rifled piece (6-pounder) belonging to the “Appeal battery,” which is reported to have been carried out and hid, with some small-arms. I did not see them. I staid all night and pressed all the wagons I could; could not get many, and the country people carried off most of the stores. Most of the cars were heavily laden, and mostly with commissary stores. [No signature.] Thinks the railroad men knew nothing of the intention to burn the bridges; hence great confusion. About 100 sick in cars, who ran off in the swamps; do not know what became of them.