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No. 2.-reports of Col. Charles Ellet, jr., commanding Ram flotilla.

Mississippi River, above Fort Pillow, June 4 (via Cairo, June 5), 1862.
Sir: For the purpose of testing the temper of a doubtful crew and ascertaining the strength of the enemy's position, I determined yesterday to take the Queen of the West and try to reach a rebel steamer lying around Craighead's Point, under the guns of Fort Pillow. The captain, two out of the three pilots, the first mate, and all the engineers, and nearly all the crew declined the service and were allowed to go off with their baggage to a barge. Hastily forming a new crew of volunteers, I took command of the boat, and directed Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet to follow in the Monarch at supporting distance. The captain, David M. Dryden, and all the crew of the Monarch, stood at their post. The rebel steamer slipped lines and escaped before I could reach her. The firing of the fort was at short range and quite brisk, but I think only revealed about seven or eight guns, corresponding with the count previously made in two land reconnaissances by Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet. My boat was not hit. While the strength ofthe rebel batteries seems to be greatly overrated, their fleet of rams and gunboats is much larger than mine. It consists of eight gunboats, which usually lie just below the fort, and four others at Randolph, a few miles farther down. Commodore Davis will not join me in a movement against them nor contribute a gunboat to my expedition, nor allow any of his men to volunteer, so as to stimulate the pride and emulation of my own. I shall therefore first weed out some bad material, and then go without him.


Chas. Ellet, Jr., Colonel, Commanding. Hon. E. M. Stanton.


opposite Randolph, 12 miles below Fort Pillow, June 5 (via Cairo, June 8), 1862.
Sir: To my mortification the enemy evacuated Fort Pillow last night. They carried away or destroyed everything of value. Early this morning Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet and a few men in a yawl went ashore, followed immediately by Colonel Fitch and a part of his command. The gunboats then came down and anchored across the channel. I proceeded with three rams 12 miles below the fort to a point opposite Randolph, and sent Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet ashore, with a flag of truce, to demand the surrender of the place. Their forces had all lefttwo of their gunboats only an hour or two before we approached. The people seemed to respect the flag which Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet planted. The guns had been dismantled and some piles of cotton were burning. I shall leave Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet here in the advance, and return immediately to Fort Pillow to bring on my entire force. The people attribute the suddenness of the evacuation to the attempt made night before last to sink one of their gunboats at Fort Pillow. Randolph, like Fort Pillow, is weak, and could not have held out long against a vigorous attack. The people express a desire for the restoration of the old order of things, though still professing to be secessionists.

Chas. Ellet, Jr., Colonel, Commanding Ram Flotilla. Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

Washington, June 7, 1862.
Col. Charles Ellet, Jr.,

Commander of Ram Fleet on the Mississippi (via Cairo):
Your several dispatches have been received and your proceedings cordially approved. The Department regrets that you have had to encounter so much opposition in the employment of your force, and hopes that the obstacles will give way before your energetic purpose. You will return the thanks of the Department to the gallant volunteers and soldiers of your command, of whose patriotic and generous courage honorable public notice will be given. You will please report the names and residence of those who exhibit special merit, in order that they may receive due honor and reward, and also of those who shrunk from their duty. In your discretion and conduct the Department feels every confidence, and will not fail to support you and your command.

Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

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