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[479] side batteries, that were left heavily loaded, were fired by the heat of the burning vessel, quickly followed by the magazine. The boat, in five minutes after being fired by the torch, was in total ruins, and Forrest's fleet was dissolved forever more. And thus ended my adventures as Commodore of Forrest's Tennessee-river fleet.

After finding a safe place on the top of the bank, I began to look around for some one to carry the sad tidings to General Forrest. Some distance from the river I found a cavalryman, who loaned me his horse to seek the General myself. About three miles from the river I found him sitting with his back to a tree, an oil-cloth drawn over his lap to protect him from the still pouring rain. I approached him and reported: “General, your Tennessee-river fleet is no more.” He replied: “Don't you think you gave it up rather soon?” and that was all he said, but a few days afterwards he selected me to carry his report to Chancellorsville and Richmond, where I had the pleasure of describing the main points of the final destruction of Johnsonville to both Generals Lee and Breckinridge.

Hoping I have not tired you, and hoping I have not greatly mistaken anything, I will close.

Truly, your friend,

F. P. Gracey, Captain Cobb's First Kentucky Battery.

Our command encamped the night of the 2d two miles below and across the river from Reynoldsburg, which is about four miles from Johnsonville.

The cold rain up to the morning of the 3d had been incessant. The tramp of the cavalrymen over already muddy and broken roads made them almost impassable for artillery, and we were no doubt stuck fast on some red clay hill when Captain Gracey's boat went down, for we were unable to join General Forrest a half or three-quarters of a mile north of Johnsonville until near noon. In the meantime General Forrest had made a close reconnoissance of the positions along the river bank, above and below Johnsonville. A glance at the map, for which we are indebted to Mr. W. W. Southgate, civil engineer, Nashville, the brief outlines of Johnsonville will be understood.

There was no railroad bridge spanning the stream at that time, the railroad terminating a short distance from the east bank of the river, which here is 500 yards wide. The town attained much importance from its location as a distributing point by river and rail for army supplies and troops during the war.

The map will show that it is situated just southward of Trace creek,

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