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No. 1.-reports of Col. Graham N. Fitch, Forty-sixth Indiana Infantry.

Fort Pillow, Tenn., June 5, 1862-4.30 a. m.
Arrangements were completed for a combined assault on the fort at 7 a. m. at a weak and accessible point, but the works were abandoned [899] last night, and the guns and commissary stores destroyed. We are in possession, but propose proceeding to-day toward Memphis. I report by mail.

G. N. Fitch, Colonel, Commanding Brigade. Major-General Pope, Commanding District of Mississippi.

Fort Pillow, Tenn., June 5, 1862-4.30 a. m.
On June 1 a laborious reconnaissance was made, which developed the fact that behind Flower Island, parallel with the chute between that island and the main shore, an approach to Fort Pillow could be made by infantry to Cole Creek, within 30 yards of the enemy's outer works and near the junction of the creek and Flower Island chute. At this point nothing but the creek offered any obstacle of moment, the earthworks of the Confederates being only from 2 to 4 feet high, they apparently relying upon the creek and adjacent swamp for protection.

The following morning this reconnaissance was renewed and its results verified, and it was also ascertained that at the point where Cole Creek could be crossed not a gun from the batteries could be brought to bear, while the ridges in the rear of and overlooking the fortifications would enable our infantry to approach and command them.

On the third morning three companies of this command, under Major Bringhurst, of the Forty-sixth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, was ordered to open a road parallel with the chute, secreted from observation by the timber on Flower Island and the main-land. He was likewise instructed to make and launch into the chute, 2 or 3 miles from the fort, a rude bridge, in sections, of cypress logs, taken from a cabin convenient. The orders were to complete the work and encamp on the ground, with a view of removing the remainder of the command that night toward the fort. Unfortunately, four of Colonel Ellet's rams, not knowing this detail had been sent forward, dropped around Craighead's Point, for the purpose of observation, and were fired upon by the enemy, and the shot, overreaching the boats, fell in the vicinity of the working party in the woods, whereupon the major commanding deemed it prudent to retire and abandon the work.

It being too late after this unfortunate movement to do anything more that day, Captain Schermerhorn, of the Forty-sixth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, was ordered the next morning, with a detail from that regiment and the Forty-third Indiana Volunteers, to finish the contemplated works. This he promptly accomplished undiscovered by the enemy, constructing the bridge and laying out a substantial road to within 200 or 300 yards of the enemy's intrenchments. All the troops were ordered on board the transports the same evening, with the intention of surprising and storming the fort, and all arrangements perfected for having a combined attack between the land forces and the gunboats last evening; but appearances, as well as the statement of a deserter last evening, made us apprehend that the enemy was evacuating. Therefore, instead of marching by the contemplated route, I dropped down at 3 a. m. with a small party on one of the transports (the Hetty Gilmore), preceded by open row-boats, containing Captain Sill and Lieutenant Troxell, with a few men. We dropped directly but cautiously toward the fort, and found our apprehensions verified. The [900] enemy was gone, having left at about 1 or 2 o'clock this morning. We found they had destroyed or carried away nearly all the property of the fort; the gun-carriages were burned and burning, and many of the guns that could not be removed were burst. The Hetty Gilmore, in passing the ram fleet and Benton, gave notice what her signal would be if the enemy had left and what if they remained, and was followed very soon by Colonel Ellets rams, and after an interval by the gunboats and the other transports, the signal that there was no enemy in sight having been given.

I am not able to state at this time the amount of property in the fort, but my impression is that it cannot be properly garrisoned without a new armament and a corps of artillerists. For all practical purposes one or two gunboats would be more effective than my command of infantry. I propose, therefore, to proceed directly toward Memphis this p. m., leaving one company here to collect the property. Captain Davis, commanding flotilla, leaves also one gunboat. I await orders.

Yours, respectfully,

G. N. Fitch, Colonel, Commanding Brigade. Maj. Gen. John Pope, Comdg. District of Mississippi.

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