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[206] with liberality all the wants of the soldier. The occasional deprivations in hardships, incident to rapid marching, must be borne with patience and fortitude. Any officer who neglects to provide properly for his troops, and separates himself from them to seek his own comfort, will be held to a rigid accountability.

By command of Gen. Buell. James B. Fry, A. A. G., Chief of Staff. Official, J. M. Wright, A. A. G.

New-York times account.

Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, February 27, 1862.
Tuesday, the gunboat Conestoga was ordered to proceed from Cairo to this place, for the purpose of conveying orders to such of the gunboat fleet, as might be up the Cumberland River. The substance of the order was, I suppose, that all the boats which could be spared, should, together with the mortar-boats, report immediately at Cairo, with a view to operations down the Mississippi River.

The Conestoga, by the way, is one of the three wooden boats, and apart from her active participation in several fights, including the gallant struggles at Forts Henry and Donelson, has been engaged in active operations ever since last June. There is not a resident on the banks of any of the rivers within two hundred miles of Cairo, to whom the appearance of the Conestoga is not as familiar as the trim of his own whiskers, or the features of his helpmate. One day she might be seen moored near some house far up the Cumberland, while her suave commander, Capt. Phelps, explained to some wondering native the object and scope of the present rebellion; the next day she would probably pitch a shell into the works at Fort Henry, or carefully cruise along the shore, in search of, or exchanging broadsides with, some masked battery; twenty--four hours after she would be cruising around Columbus, or possibly convoying transports, laden with troops, on some of the thousand and one expeditions that characterized for so long a period the operations at Cairo, during the summer and fall of 1861.

The swiftest boat on the river, she has always been used for an express as well as gunboat, and thus, in one capacity or the other, has had scarcely an hour's leisure since she was first set afloat. There is not a house between Cairo and Fort Henry, on the Tennessee, and Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland, but what claims a friendly interest in the Conestoga. She never passes any of them without hats, sun-bonnets, pocket-handkerchiefs, hurrahs, and “How are you's?” being brought into requisition to show their recognition and joyfulness. Until this last trip, the Conestoga has been lucky beyond all precedent. During all her fights she has never lost a man, and was never struck but once, and then by a charge of grape, which did no further damage than to literally perforate her smoke — stack, and slightly wound a setter belonging to some of the crew.

At Lucas Bend, last September, she silenced a battery of twelve pieces that suddenly opened upon her from the shore; at Henry and Donelson the iron shower fell all around her; time and again has she been opened upon by batteries which the rebels had stationed on the river-bank for her special benefit; scores of times have rebel riflemen poured a heavy fire upon her as she steamed by some well-timbered bluff; but in no case has she met with a single loss, or had a splinter raised by hostile bullets, save with the single exception above referred to. Even that was not serious, as the dog was long since convalescent, and can now “set” a bird, or wag a tail with any dog in Christendom.

If the Conestoga be not peculiarly entitled to the term lucky, there is no luck extant. The following are the names of the officers: Captain, S. L. Phelps; First Master, John F. Duke; Second Master, Chas. P. Noble; Third Master, Benjamin Sebastian; Fourth Master, H. Cutter; Master's Mate, James Kearney; Surgeon, W. H. Wilson; Purser, Alfred Phelps; Pilots, A. M. Jordan, Wm. M. Attenborough; Gunner, Henry Hamilton; First Engineer, Thos. Cook; Second Engineer, Alexander Magee; Third Engineer, Michael Norton; Fourth Engineer, James O'Neil. I may add, that the officers, without exception, are gentlemen in the complete sense of the word, and possess, in addition to this qualification, a thorough knowledge of their duties. The efficacy of Capt. Phelps is so well known, that special reference to it would be superfluous. Suffice it that an abler or more gallant officer never trod a plank.

Fort Donelson, as we passed it, seemed more formidable than ever; its peculiar characteristics are such that, like a master-piece in painting, or an extended view of some grand mountain scenery, it cannot be appreciated at one view, but becomes huger and more formidable in proportion as one examines it. Why such a position was ever surrendered to less than one hundred thousand, and before it had been besieged six months, is a mystery of the most impenetrable character. With ten thousand Yankees behind the works, and an ample supply of food and munitions, all the rebels this side of Hades cannot take the Fort within the next decade. There was one pleasing difference between the Fort as we saw it this time, and on the Thursday which preceded its capture; the Stars and Stripes were floating gaily from the loftiest bastion of the works; companies in blue were manoeuvring about the grounds; brass bands enlivened the air with everything but “Dixie;” clean white tents, and fine-looking soldiers covered the surroundings of Dover, and, in short, everything appeared as though determination, enterprise and go-aheadativeness had got possession of the place.

All the way up to Clarksville we found evidences of loyalty among the scattered residences along the banks of the river. Beyond this, however, there seemed to be a decided change. The people were just as plenty, and expressed just as much curiosity to see us, but instead of waving hats and handkerchiefs, they stared at us in sullen silence. They seemed benumbed, stupified at the change, as though they hardly yet appreciated the fact that it was the Stars and Stripes,

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