troops, remained the same.
A diversion occurred on the 10th of May.
The ‘Montgomery Rams,’ of which four out of eight were fully armed and equipped, were induced by General Jeff. Thompson
and his ‘jay-hawkers’—as the enemy called his men—to run into the Federal fleet, then besieging Fort Pillow
. General Thompson
took personal command of the movement—a decided and bold one—which would have resulted in the dispersion of the Federal fleet, had Commodore Pinckney
, who now commanded the Confederate gunboats, co-operated in the attack, as it was his plain duty to do. Two of the enemy's gunboats, the Mound City
and the Carondelet
, were seriously crippled, and compelled to seek safety in shoal water.
The mortar-boats—of which one was reported sunk—were towed out of range.
This is proof of what could be accomplished by our fleet, such as it was, when managed with determination and energy; and caused General Beauregard
to regret still more the supineness of the naval commanders charged with the protection of that part of the Mississippi River
Small hope, however, could be entertained of a change for the better in these matters.
For, on May 13th, and despite strenuous efforts on the part of General Beauregard
, the two iron-clads on the stocks at Memphis
were far from being finished.
On that day (13th) he was informed by General Villepigue
that Mr. Ellerson
, of Memphis
, offered to complete at once either of the two gunboats, if officially authorized, and properly assisted in doing so. General Beauregard
immediately forwarded instructions to that effect, as is shown by the following telegrams: