Monday, February 4, 2013

Report of Com. Foote

WASHINGTON, April 9. – The following was received at the Navy Department, this morning:

“Flag Ship BENTON, Island No. 10,
April 8, 1862.

“To Hon. G. Wells [sic] Sec’y of Navy

“I have to inform the Department that since I sent the telegram last night, announcing the surrender to me, of Island No. 10, possession has been taken both of the Island and the works upon the Tennessee shore, by the Gunboats and the troops under command of General Buford. – Seventeen officers & 368 privates, besides on hundred of their sick, and one hundred men employed on board the transports, are in our hands unconditional prisoners of war.

I have caused a hasty examination to be made of the forts, batteries and munitions of war captured.  There are 11 earth works, with 70 heavy cannon, varying in caliber from 32 to 100-pounders, rifled.  Their magazines are well supplied with powder, and there are large quantities of shot and shell and other munitions of war and also great quantities of provisions, four steamers afloat, have fallen into our hands and two others, with the rebel gunboat “Grampus,” are sunk, but will be easily raised.  The floating battery of 16 heavy guns, turned adrift by the rebels, is said to by lying on the Missouri shore, near New Madrid.

The enemy upon the main land appear to have fled with great precipitation, after night, leaving many instances, half prepared messes, in their quarters, and there seems to have been no concert of action between the rebels upon the Island and those occupying the shore, but the latter fled, leaving the former to their fate.

These works, erected with the highest engineering skill are of great strength, and with the natural advantages would have been impregnable if defended by men fighting in a better cause.

A combined attack of the naval and land forces would have taken place this p. m., or to-morrow morning, had not the rebels so hastily abandoned their stronghold to mature the plans of attack, which absolutely required 23 days of preparation.

Gen. Pope is momentarily expected to arrive with his army at this point, he having successfully crossed the river yesterday under a heavy fire, which no doubt led to the hasty abandonment of the works.

I am unofficially informed that the two gunboats which so gallantly ran the fire of the rebel batteries a few nights since, yesterday attacked and reduced a part of the works opposite, dismounting eight heavy guns.

The following is a copy of an order of Gen. McCall on assuming command of the Rebel forces on the 11th inst.

Soldiers:  We are strangers, Commander and commanded, each to the other.  Let me tell you who I am.  I am a General made by Beauregard.  A General selected by Beauregard and Bragg for this command when they knew it was in peril.  They have known me for twenty years.  We have stood together on the fields of Mexico.  Give me then, your confidence.  Soldiers, the Mississippi Valley is entrusted to your care.  Exhibit the vigilance and coolness of last night and hold it.

Brig. Gen. Commanding.

I regret that the painful condition of my feet, still requiring the use of crutches, prevented me from making a personal examination of the works.  I was therefore compelled to delegate Lieutenant Commanding Phelps of the Flag Ship Benton.

Flag Officer Commanding.

– Published in the Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 12, 1862, p. 3

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