Thursday, January 21, 2010

Special to the Chicago Tribune

CAIRO, April 19.

When Gen. Mitchell reached Decatur, in his late bridge-burning expedition, he took possession of the telegraph office and cut the wires, leaving Decatur and Corinth only in telegraphic communication. Beauregard sent a message to President Davis, urgently demanding reinforcements for Corinth, and saying that otherwise he could not hold the position. Of course General Mitchell promised to send the reinforcements.

The river is still on the rampage, having risen five inches during the night. It is now within a foot of the levee. Intelligence from the Tennessee and Wabash rivers says that a greater volume of water may be expected. Mound City is entirely submerged, the water running into the lower stories of the hospital and private dwellings. The Illinois Central Railroad has discontinued its trips to Cairo, the track being washed away. Passengers for Chicago were compelled to take steamer for Mound City, whence they were carried in scows to the high ground in the rear.

There is nothing of great importance from Pittsburg. The two armies were nearing each other slowly, and each waiting breathlessly for the period when the long roll should announce the renewal of battle. Late arrivals from below bring intelligence of the continued bombardment of Ft. Pillow, participated in by both the gunboats and mortar fleet. The enemy reply vigorously, but doing as yet no damage. Their guns are evidently well manned and excellently well served. There is no expectation of the reduction of Fort Pillow at present. The high stage of water will prevent any cooperation on the part of the land forces for some days.

Every house in Columbus is surrounded by water. The telegraph line between Cairo and Pittsburg is down, carried away by high water.

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Tuesday Morning, April 22, 1862, p.1

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