Nine Steamers Fall into Our Hands, &c., &c.
ST. LOUIS, March 18. – The news of the evacuation of Island No. 10 was sent to the headquarters in this city by General Pope, from New Madrid. The latest intelligence to the press, by way of Cairo, was to Sunday evening whist General Pope’s dispatch was dated the next day. The fact that the newspapers here have no particulars by telegraph of the occupation of the island by the Union troops has given rise to a doubt in the minds of some, and particularly the secessionist, as to whether Gen. Halleck’s announcement in his speech at the Planter’s House last evening was not premature. But now there is no question in relation to the matter. Gen. Pope has telegraphed that in addition to the evacuation of the Island, the rebels abandoned, without destroying, nine large transport steamers, which must eventually fall (if they have not already) into our hands. The batteries at New Madrid and Point Pleasant completely blockaded the river, so that it was impossible for the rebel boats to pass.
The Union loss at the fight at Salem Ark., is five killed and twenty-five wounded. The rebel loss is 100. Among their killed is Col. Woodside.
The following are portions of a letter from a member of the Fourteenth Illinois Regiment, on board the steamer January, in the Tennessee river, 12 miles from the Alabama line, dated March 12th:
Yesterday, about 2 o’clock, as we were steering up the river, crowds of Union men and women gathered on the banks of the river, and with the wildest enthusiasm and demonstrations of joy, hailed and welcomed us. One old lady held up both arms outstretch for fifteen or twenty minutes.
The rebels have begun the work of drafting in Carroll county, Tenn., and many of the Union citizens of that county have come to this place to join the Union army.
A secesher fired into one of the boats yesterday, and then skedaddled into the bushes. – The ball wounded one man slightly in the shoulder.
The boys on [board] yelled at a furious rate at the novel sight; twenty six-sturdy, intelligent and well dressed Tennesseans hailed us, and the boat put in and took them on board, and they enlisted in our regiment.
It is reported that there are many rebels not far from here. A company of cavalry went out yesterday. It has not yet returned. We shall leave here as soon as the expedition gets ready – perhaps to-morrow.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, March 22, 1862, p. 3