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June 6, 1862.-naval engagement off Memphis, Tenn., and occupation of that city by Union forces.

Reports, etc.

No. 1.-Col. Graham N. Fitch, Forty-sixth Indiana Infantry.

No. 2.-Brig. Gen. William K. Strong, U. S. Army.

No. 3.-Flag-Officer C. H. Davis, U. S. Navy.

No. 4.--Col. Charles Ellet,jr., with congratulatory letter from Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.1

No. 5.-Correspondence relating to the occupation of Memphis, Tenn.

No. 6.-Brig. Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard.

No. 7.-Brig. Gen. Daniel Ruggles, C. S. Army.

No. 1.-report of Col. Graham N. Fitch, Forty-sixth Indiana Infantry.

steamer H. Von Phul, City of Memphis, June 6, 1862.
The rebel fleet was found moored at this place, and fired upon our rams and gunboats at 5.30 a. m. to-day. A fierce engagement of one and a half hours. All of the rebel gunboats but one were sunk or captured. I take military possession of the city at 3 p. m.

G. N. Fitch, Colonel, Commanding. Major-General Pope.

No. 2.-report of Brig. Gen. William K. Strong, U. S. Army.

Cairo, June 8, 1862.
Friday morning our gunboats made attack on enemy's gunboats at Memphis. They had eight, including rams. All destroyed or captured but one, the Van Dorn, in one hour. Our ram fleet did good service. Enemy's loss about 100 killed and 4 taken prisoners. None hurt on our side but Colonel Ellet, of ram fleet, slightly. Flag-Officer Davis demuanded surrender of city. Mayor complied. Our flag placed upon the post-office, and all rebel flags in city and cotton yards taken down by Colonel Fitch with detachments from Forty-third and Forty-seventh Indiana. Five thousand persons on bluff looking on battle; Jeff. Thompson among them, mounted, soon disappeared. Montgomery ran his boat ashore and escaped to the woods with his crew. The gunboat Van Dorn was the only one escaped. Troops had all left Memphis Thursday. People acquiesced in new orderof things. Everything quiet when steamer left.

Wm. K. Strong, Brigadier--General. Major-General Halleck.


No. 3.-report of flag-officer C. H. Davis, U. S. Navy.

United States steamer Benton, Off Memphis, June 6, 1862.
I arrived here last night at 9 o'clock, accompanied by the mortar fleet, under Captain Maynadier. The advance steamers, store-ships, &c., anchored a mile and a half above the city. This morning I discovered the rebel fleet, which had been re-enforced, and now consisted of eight rams and gunboats, lying at the levee. The engagement, which commenced at 5.30 a. m. and ended at 7, terminated in a running fight. I was ably supported by the ram fleet, under command of Colonel Ellet, who was conspicuous for his gallantry, and is seriously, but not dangerously, wounded. The result of the action was the capture or destruction of seven vessels of the rebel fleet, as follows: General Beauregard, blown up and burned; General Sterling Price, one wheel carried away; Jeff. Thompson, set on fire by shell, burned and magazine blown up; Sumter, badly cut upbyshot, butwill berepaired; Little Rebel, boiler exploded by shot and otherwise injured, but will be repaired. Besides this, one of the rebel boats was sunk in the beginning of the action. Her name is not known. A boat supposed to be the Van Dorn escaped from.the flotilla by her superior speed. Two rams are in pursuit. The officers and crews of the rebel boats endeavored to make the shore. Many of their wounded and prisoners are now in our hands. The mayor surrendered the city to me after the engagement. Colonel Fitch came down at 11 o'clock and has taken military possession.

C. H. Davis, Flag-Oficer, Commanding pro tern. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.

No. 4.-reports of Col. Charles bullet, jr., with congratulatory letter from Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

opposite Memphis, June 6 (via Cairo, June 8), 1862.
Rebel gunboats made a stand early this morning opposite 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. Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet, in the Monarch, of which Captain Dryden was first master, followed gallantly. The rebel rams endeavored to back downstream 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 [908] the rebel boat that struck my flag-ship, and sunk the rebel. She was then struck by one of the rebel rams, but not injured. She was then pushed on and struck the Beauregard, and burst open her side. Simultaneously the Beauregard was struck in the boiler by a shot from one of our gunboats. The Monarch then pushed at the gunboat Little Rebel, the rebel flag-ship, and having little headway, pushed her before her, the rebel commodore and crew escaping. The Monarch then, finding the Beauregard sinking, took her in tow, until she sank in shoal water. Then, in compliance with the request of Commodore Davis, Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet dispatched the Monarch and the Switzerland in pursuit of one remaining rebel gunboat and some transports which had escaped. The gunboats and two of my rams have gone below. I cannot too much praise the conduct of the pilots and engineers and military guard of the Monarch and Queen, the brave conduct of Captain Dryden, or the heroic bearing of Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet. I will name all parties to you in special report. I am myself the only person in my fleet who was disabled.

Chas. Ellet, Jr., Colonel, Commanding Ram Fleet. Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

opposite Memphis, June 6, 1862 (via Cairo, June 8).
It is proper and due to the brave men on the Queen and the Monarch to say to you briefly that two of the rebel steamers were sunk outright and immediately by the shock of my two rams; one, with a large amount of cotton, &c., on board, was disabled by accidental collision with the Queen, and secured by her crew. After I was personally disabled, another, which was also hit by a shot from the gunboats, was sunk by the Monarch, towed to shoal water by that boat. Still another, also injured by the fire of our gunboats, was pushed in the shore and secured by the Monarch. Of the gunboats I can only say that they bore themselves as our Navy always does-bravely and well.

Chas. Ellet Jr. Colonel, Commanding iam fleet. Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

opposite Memphis, June 8, 1862.
Sir: Three of the rebel rams and gunboats which were struck by my two rams sank outright and were lost. Another, called the General Price, was but slightly injured, and I am now raising her, and propose adding her to my fleet. I had hoped to have the rebel flag-ship also, which we captured, but Commodore Davis has a fancy to take her for his own use. I propose to start an expedition down the river to-morrow, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Ellet, and have been much surprised by receiving an offer from Commodore Davis to send a gunboat along. Of course I will not decline, though I fear the slowness of the gunboat will impede the progress of my expedition.


Chas. Ellet, Jr., Colonel, Commanding Ram Fleet. Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War.


opposite Memphis, June 8, 1862.
Sir: There are several facts touching the naval engagement of the 6th at this place which I wish to place on record. Approaching Mlem phis, the gunboats were in the advance. I had received no notice that a fight was expected, but was informed on landing within sight of Memphis, that the enemy's gunboats had retreated down the river. My first information of the presence of the enemy was a shot, which passed over my boat. I had four of my most powerful rams in the advance and ready for any emergency. The others were towing the barge or advancing to the attack. I expected, of course, to be followed by the Monarch, the Lancaster, and the Switzerland. The Monarch came in gallantly. Some of the officers of the Lancaster, which now held the next place in the line, became excited and confused, and the engineers behaved well. The pilot erred in signals, and backed the boat ashore and disabled her rudder. The captain of the Switzerland construed the general signal order to keep half a mile in rear of the Lancaster to mean that he was to keep half a mile behind her in the engagement, and therefore failed to participate; hence the whole brunt of the fight fell upon the Queen and Monarch. Had either the Lancaster or the Switzerland followed me, as the Monarch did, the rebel gunboat Van Dorn would not have escaped, and my flag-ship would not have been disabled.


Chas. Ellet, Jr., Colonel, Commanding Ram Fleet. Hon. E. M. Stanton.

Washington, June 9, 1862.
The news of your glorious achievement at Memphis reached here last evening, and our joy was only dampened by your personal injury. You will accept for yourself, and return to your officers, engineers, pilots, soldiers, and boatmen, the cordial thanks of this Department for the gallantry, courage, and skill manifested on that occasion. When your official report is received official recognition will be made of their respective merits. I went in the evening to your house, and, as carefully as I could, communicated to Mrs. Ellet your injury. She was, of course, deeply affected, but bore the information with as much spirit and courage as could be expected. It is her design to proceed immediately to join you. I have furnished her with a pass and free passage, and she will be accompanied by your daughter. I hope you will keep me advised of your state of health and everything you want. To my official thanks I beg to add my personal regards.

Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. Col. Charles Ellet, opposite Memphis (via Cairo).

No. 5.-correspondence relating to the occupation of Memphis, Tenn.

United States Ram Switzerland, Opposite Memphis, June 7, 1862.
Sir: Yesterday, after the engagement with the rebel fleet had nearly terminated and the gunboats and one of my rams had passed below, I [910] was informed that a white flag had been raised in the city. I immediately sent my son, Medical Cadet Charles R. Ellet, ashore with a flag of truce and the following note to the authorities:

opposite Memphis, June 6, 1862.
To the Civil or Military Authorities of Memphis:
gentlemen: I understand that the city of Memphis has surrendered. I therefore send my son, with two United States flags, with instructions to raise one upon the custom-house and the other upon the court-house, as evidence of the return of your city to the care and protection of the Constitution.

Chas. Ellet, Jr., Colonel, Commanding.

The bearer of the flags and the above note was accompanied by Lieutenant Crandall, of the Fifty-ninth Illinois Regiment, and 2 men of the boat guard. The following is the reply of the mayor of the city:

Mayor's office, Memphis, Tenn., June 6, 1862.
Col. Charles Ellet, Jr., Commanding, etc.:
Sir: Your note of this date is received and contents noted. The civil authorities of this city are not advised of its surrender to the forces of the United States Government, and our reply to you is simply to state respectfully that we have no forces to oppose the raising of the flags you have directed to be raised over the custom-house and post-office.


Jno. Park, Mayor.

On receiving this reply the small party proceeded to the post-office to raise the national flag, and were there joined by the mayor. It is proper to say that the conduct of the mayor and some of the citizens was unexceptionable, but the party was surrounded by an excited crowd, using angry and threatening language. They ascended to the top of the post-office and planted the flag, though fired upon several times and stoned by the mob below. Still, I believe that this conduct was reprobated by the people of standing in the place. Indeed, many evidences reach me of an extensive Union sentiment at Memphis.


Chas. Ellet, Jr., Colonel, Commanding iam Fleet. Hon. E. M. Stanton.

headquarters Indiana Brigade, Me mphis, June 7, 1862.
General: A strong force patrolled the city last night, the populace having evinced a hostile disposition during the day and threatened to destroy certain public and private property.

The amount of the former is not yet known, but must be very considerable, including commissary stores, hospital furniture, and transports and ordnance.

On my arrival I was informed by Flag-Officer Davis that the following correspondence had taken place between himself and the mayor of the city:

U. S. Flag-steamer Benton, Of Memphis, June 6, 1862.
To His Honor the Mayor of the City of Memphis:
Sir: I have respectfully to request that you will surrender the city of Memphis to the authority of the United States, which I have the honor to represent.

I am, Mr. Mayor, with high respect, your most obedient servant,

C. H. Davis, Flag-Officer, Commanding, &c.


To which the mayor replies:

Mayor's office, Memphis, June 6, 1826.
C. H. Davis, Flag-Officer, Commanding, etc.:
Sir: Your note of this day is received and contents noted.

In reply, I have only to say that as the civil authorities have no means of defense, by the force of circumstances the city is in your hands.


Jno. park, Mayor.

Subsequently the following correspondence took place:

U. S. flag-steamer Benton, Off Memphis, June 6, 1862.
To His Honor the Mayor of the City of Memphis:
Sir: The undersigned, commanding the military and naval forces in front of Memphis, have the honor to say to the mayor of the city, that Colonel Fitch, commanding the Indiana Brigade, will take military possession of the city immediately.

Colonel Fitch will be happy to receive the co-operation of his honor the mayor and the city authorities in maintaining peace and order, and to this end he will be pleased to confer with his honor at the military headquarters at 3 o'clock this afternoon.

The undersigned have the honor to be, with high respect, your most obedient servant,

C. H. Davis, Flag-Officer, Commanding Afloat. G. N. Fitch, Colonel, Commanding Indiana Brigade.

Mayor's office, June 6, 1862.
To Flag-Officer C. H. DAvis and Col. G. N. Fitch.
Sirs: Your communication is received, and I shall be happy to co-operate with the colonel commanding in providing measures for maintaining peace and order in the city.

Your most obedient servant,

Jno. park, Mayor.

In accordance with the above, the mayor andt common council called upon me at 3 o'clock p. m., and by mutual arrangement it was agreed that the municipal functions should continue and the military to be used whenever and wherever necessary to aid the enforcement of the proper ordinances for the preservation of peace and protection of life and property and the maintenance of the supremacy of the laws and Constitution of the United States.

In addition to the threatening attitude of the mob, there is known to be a considerable body of cavalry 15 or 20 miles in the rear of the city, threatening a descent upon it.

In view of these facts, cannot a small re-enforcement, including a squadron of cavalry and a battery, be sent to this place?

G. N. Fitch, Colonel, Commanding. Maj. Gen. John Pope.

Special orders, no.--.

headquarters U. S. Forces, U. S. S. Henry Von Phul, June 6, 1862.
The company commanders will immediately see that their several companies are assembled at some particular part of the boat, which will be known as their quarters, where they will stack arms and deposit knapsacks, and be in readiness to take both at a moment's notice or [912] when the assembly sounds, and when formed will remain in ranks for orders.

Upon the landing of the boat sentinels will be placed to prevent any one from going on shore, either soldier, citizen, or officer, without orders.

Any enlisted man attempting to go on shore without orders will be severely punished, and any officer making the attempt will be arrested and sent up the river.

When we march on shore, any man found straggling from the ranks or plundering will be immediately shot.

This order will be read at the head of every company of this conmmand.

G. N. Fitch, Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Headquarter's Indiana Brigade, Memphis, June 7, 1862.
The undersigned, with the troops under his command, has taken mlilitary possession of this city in the name of the Government of the United States, for the purpose of asserting the supremacy of the Constitution and laws of the Union and restoring peace, protecting public and private property and the lives of citizens.

Residents who may have fled from their homes are exhorted to return. Merchants and others who have abandoned their business are requested to reopen their stores and shops, excepting those dealing in intoxicating liquors, who are forbidden to resume that traffic under penalty of having the stock immediately destroyed.

The mayor and common council will continue in the exercise of their municipal functions, the military authorities simply co-operating with them in enforcing all proper ordinances, unless some exigency arises rendering it imperative to place the city under martial law. It is hoped and believed, however, nothing will occur to render this step necessary. Certainly no act of this command shall afford any pretext for the citizens placing themselves in that position.

Capt. John H. Gould, Forty-sixth Indiana Volunteers, will act as provost-marshal until further orders. Maj. John C. Major, Forty-third Indiana, will have command of the pickets and patrols.

G. N. Fitch, Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

No. 6.-report of Brig. Gen. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State guard.

Grenada, Miss., June 7, 1862.
General: I am under the painful necessity of reporting to you the almost entire destruction of the River Defense Fleet in the Mississippi River in front of Memphlis. l regret that I have to state I think the misfortune was occasioned by a misapprehension of orders or misinformation as to the surrounding circumstances.

The evacuation of Fort Pillow was, from all accounts, well and orderly conducted, after once determined upon, but by some means my men were sent to Memphis on a transport instead of being placed on the gun. [913] boats. The circumstances which may have caused the evacuation of Fort Pillow did not surround Fort Randolph, and I am satisfied that, even with the few troops that were at Pillow, Randolph could have been held for several days, with a sure and safe retreat when necessary, if ever.

Our fleet, for want of coal, as represented, fell back to Memphis on the 5th with the intention of returning to Island No.40. The arrangements for this purpose were being made, but before 10 o'clock p. m. on the 5th the tugs which were on picket above the city reported the enemy's tugs in sight. This was discredited, but our boats anchored in the channel of the river, prepared for a battle.

At 12.30 a. m. on the 6th your telegram, giving Commodore Montgomery and myself the joint command of the river defense, was received. I immediately wrote a note to the commodore, inclosing your telegram, and asking what I should do to co operate with him. He requested two companies of artillery to be sent aboard at daybreak. (All of my men were at the depot, awaiting transportation to Grenada.) I at once ordered the companies to hold themselves in readiness. At the dawn of day I was awakened with the information that the enemy were actually in sight of Memphis. I hurried on board to consult with Montgomery. He instructed me to hurry my men to Fort Pickering Landing, and sent a tug to bring them up to the gunboats, which were advancing to attack the enemy. I hastened my men to the place indicated, but before we reached it our boats had been either destroyed or driven below Fort Pickering, and I marched back to the depot to come to this place to await orders.

I saw a large portion of the engagement from the river banks, and am sorry to say that in my opinion many of our boats were handled badly or the plan of the battle was very faulty. The enemy's rams did most of the execution, and were handled more adroitly than ours-I think, however, entirely owing to the fact that the guns and sharpshooters of the enemy were constantly employed, while we were almost without either. The Colonel Lovell was so injured that she sank in the middle of the river; her captain, James Delancy, and a number of others, swam to shore. The Beauregard and Price were running at the Monarch (Yankee) from opposite sides when the Monarch passed from between them, and the Beauregard ran into the Price, knocking off her wheel and entirely disabling her. Both were run to the Arkansas shore and abandoned. The Little Rebel, the commodore's flag-boat, was run ashore and abandoned after she had been completely riddled, and, I am satisfied, the commodore killed. The battle continued down the river out of sight of Memphis, and it is reported that only two of our boats, the Bragg and Van Dorn, escaped.

It is impossible now to report the casualties, as we were hurried iu our retirement from Memphis, and none but those from the Lovell escaped on the Tennessee side of the river. So soon as more informa tion can be collected I will report.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. Jeff. Thompson, Brigadier-General, Missouri State Guard. General G. T. Beauriegard, C. S. A., Baldwin, Miss.


No. 7.-report of Brig. Gen. Daniel Ruqgles, C. S. Army.

headquarters, Grenada, June 6, 1862.
Memphis surrendered to the enemy at 10 o'clock yesterday morning.

Six of Montgomery's gunboats were destroyed by the enemy in front of the city and two escaped.

I have just returned from Memphis. All public supplies were removed.

Daniel Ruggles, Brigadier-General, Commanding. General G. T. Beauregard, Commanding Mississippi Valley, Baldwin, Miss.

1 For incomplete report of Colonel Ellet, received too late for insertion here, see p. 925.

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