CHICAGO, March 25. – The Tribune’s Special from Cairo says that a gentleman just from Memphis brings the following information:
Memphis is in a state of agitation and terror. The Fair grounds are for a camp, every one capable of bearing arms being impressed into the service. Men are even dragged from their beds.
The proclamation of the Mayor in regard to burning the city has no influence. The majority of the Aldermen, in connection with the leading military officers, decided at a meeting held a fortnight ago, to burn the city when they evacuate in spite of the mayor.
There are no fortifications at Memphis. The news of the battle of Pea Ridge caused great depression. Federal gunboats expected daily. – Two hundred and five Union prisoners in the city, who are made victims of much abuse at the hands of the guards. One of them was shot at for looking out of a window. Three gun boats are on the way at Memphis, but it will take a long time to finish.
At Randolph only four guns are mounted, but at Ft. Pillow, however, there is a strong fortification, mounting 25 sixty-fours and thirty-twos. There are about 7000 troops there. At Union City there are only 450 troops.
Gens. Beauregard, Cheatham, Polk and Clark went to Corinth, Mississippi, a fortnight ago. – The rebels have a force of 38,000 men there and expect to make a stand either at Corinth or below. It was the general impression that this battle would be the decisive one of the campaign, and that the fortunes of the South would hang upon its result.
At Memphis and other large points, even at New Orleans, considerable Union feeling prevails. Southern papers do not represent the feelings of the mass of people. They as well as everything else are under control of politicians and the military.
At New Orleans thirteen gunboats are on the ways to be plated with railroad iron.
Fort Pike represented to be in our possession was only a temporary structure mounting only three or four guns.
The report that the South is well supplied with provisions is absurd; they have not stock enough on hand to last three months. Clothing, shoes, &c., are all very difficult to obtain. No confidence is felt in southern currency, southern politicians or southern military leaders. Jeff. Davis was universally denounced as incompetent. Floyd is everywhere considered an arrant knave.
Mr[s]. Buckner had arrived at Memphis. She complained of not being allowed to go further north than Cairo. In the parlor of the Gaiso House she attracted the universal attention by her bitter denunciation of Pillow and Floyd. The former is reported to have said that he would shoot Floyd whenever he met him.
It was the general opinion at Memphis that no stand would be made at Island No. 10, but that a battle would be risked at Fort Pillow. – At the latter place, however, retreat is cut off by land, as the country in the rear is inundated and swampy.
A detachment from Jeff Thompson’s band under the command of rebel Kithen made a demonstration in the vicinity of Bloomfield, Stoddard Co., Missouri, (about 12 miles north of the Cairo & Fulton Railroad) and succeeded in arresting two ladies residing there – the wife of Lieutenant McCall of Powell’s battery and Mrs. D. Basfort, of Bloomfield. The ladies have been taken to Commerce Island, seventy miles below Bloomfield, near Arkansas, where Jeff’s camp is located.
Col. Michael Foley, of the 18th Illinois, who was wounded at Benton Barracks, arrived to-day en route for Pittsburg.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, March 29, 1862, p. 4