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[497] as also all the cotton out of which it was built. We have succeeded, so far, in gathering about four hundred and fifty bales of cotton, of which eighty are on the gunboats, and the rest on the transports. Fifty-three bales are all of the C. S.A. that have been captured, though but very little of any is marked at all. When we leave here, it will be to go up the Little Schula, as far as the town of that name. Then we go down the river, fill up with coal, and ascend the Sunflower.

There has been no Union sentiment of any moment or value expressed since our advent into these waters. On the Sunflower, however, we have reason to believe it is prominent. This is an insignificant place, containing about forty houses of all kinds, and entirely of frame buildings. The inhabitants have mostly fled, leaving a few poor Irish. It is a rendezvous for dry-goods merchants, who obtain large supplies from Memphis via Friar's Point. We have met with no young men as yet, all having been forced into the army. The last military order of the rebels is to remove or shoot all the negroes between the ages of forty-five and sixteen. Some few negroes have already been shot by the rebel scouts.

I have been up the Tallahatchie as far as where the Star of the West is sunk, which is directly opposite the Fort, (Pemberton.) At the mouth of the Yallabusha the Ed. J. Gay is sunk, the decks being just above water. About one mile below, the Arcadia is sunk, with her upper-works out, and nearly filling the river at this stage of water. We found great difficulty in turning and coming down, the light upper-works suffering to some extent. The rebel steamer Sharpe was burnt a few days ago in the Yallabusha, to prevent her falling into our hands. As the river is falling quite rapidly, and with thirteen boats in the fleet, I think I shall drop down below the bars.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. K. Owen, Lieutenant commanding Fifth District. Rear-Admiral D. D. Porter, Commanding Mississippi Squadron.

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