place between the rams before the flotilla, led by the Benton, moving at a slower rate, could arrive at the closest quarters. In the mean time, hov<*>ever, the firing from our gunboats was continuous and exceedingly well directed. The General Beauregard and the Little Rebel were struck in the boilers and blown up. The ram Queen of the West, which Col. Ellet commanded in person, encountered with full power the rebel steamer General Lovell and sunk her, but in doing so sustained some serious damage. Up to this time the rebel fleet had maintained its position and used its guns with great spirit; these disasters, however, compelled the remaining vessels to resort to their superiority in speed as the only means of safety. A running fight took place, which lasted nearly an hour, and carried us ten miles below the city. It ended in the capture or, destruction of four or five of the remaining vessels of the enemy; one only, supposed to be the Van Dorn, having escaped. Two of the rams, the Monarch and Lancaster Number Three, pursued her, without success; they brought back, however, another prize. The names and fate of the vessels composing the rebel fleet are as follows: The General Lovell, sunk in the beginning of the action by the Queen of the West; she went down in deep water, in the middle of the river, altogether out of sight. Some of her crew escaped by swimming; how many went down in her, I have not been able to ascertain. The General Beauregard, blown up by her boilers and otherwise injured by shot, went down near shore. The Little Rebel, injured in a similar manner, made for the Arkansas shore, where she was abandoned by her crew. The Jeff. Thompson, set on fire, by our shells, was run on the river-bank and abandoned by her crew. She burnt to the water's edge and blew up by her magazine. The General Price was also run on the Arkansas shore. She had come in contact with one of the rams of her own party, and was otherwise injured by cannon-balls. She also was abandoned by her crew. The Sumter is somewhat cut up, but is still afloat. The fine steamer General Bragg is also above water, though a good deal shattered in her upper works and hull. The Van Dorn escaped. Of the above-named vessels, the Sumter, General Bragg, and Little Rebel, will admit of being repaired. I have not received the reports of the engineers and carpenters, and cannot yet determine whether it will be necessary to send them to Cairo, or whether they can be repaired here. The pump of the Champion Number Three will be applied to raise the General Price. No other vessels of the rebel flotilla will, I fear, be saved. I have not received such information as will enable me to make an approximate statement of the number of killed, wounded, and prisoners on the part of the enemy. One of the vessels, going in deep water, carried a part of her crew with her; another, the General Beauregard, having been blown up with steam many of her crew were frightfully scalded. I doubt whether it will ever be in my power to furnish an accurate statement of these results of the engagement. The attack made by the two rams under Col. Ellet, which took place before the flotilla closed in with the enemy, was bold and successful. Capt. Maynardier, commanding the mortarfleet, accompanied the squadron in a tug and took possession of the Beauregard, and made her crew prisoners. He captured also other prisoners during the action, and received many persons of the rebel fleet who returned and delivered themselves up after their vessels had been deserted. It is with pleasure that I call the attention of the Department to his personal zeal and activity, the more conspicuous because displayed while the mortar-boats under his command could take no part in the action. The officers and men of the flotilla performed their duty. Three men only of the flotilla were wounded, and those slightly; but one ship was struck by shot. I transmit herewith copies of my correspondence with the Mayor of Memphis, leading to the surrender of the city. At eleven o'clock A. M. Fitch, commanding the Indiana brigade, arrived and took military possession of the place. There are several prizes here, among them four large river-steamers, which will be brought at once into the service of the Government. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Despatches from Colonel Ellett.
Memphis, and opened a vigorous fire upon our gunboats, which was returned with equal spirit. I ordered the Queen, my flag-ship, to pass between the gunboats, and run down ahead of them upon the two rams of the enemy, which first boldly stood their ground. Col. Ellett, in the Monarch, of which Capt. Dryden is First Master, followed gallantly. The rebel rams endeavored to back down-stream, and then to turn and run, but the movement was fatal to them. The Queen struck one of them fairly, and for a few minutes was fast to the wreck. After separating, the rebel steamer sunk. My steamer, the Queen, was then herself struck by another rebel steamer, and disabled, but though damaged, can be saved. A pistol-shot wound in the leg deprived me of the power to witness the remainder of the fight. The Monarch also passed ahead of our gunboats and went most gallantly into action. She first struck the rebel boat that struck my flag-ship, and sunk