Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June 5, 1862: Fort Pillow abandoned by the Confederates

U.S.S. Benton, the Union flagship on the Mississippi River.

While the Union forces arrayed against Fort Pillow prepared a combined assault, the Confederate defenders quietly slipped away during June 3-5, 1862. When the Union forces moved against the fort, they found it abandoned. The Union gunboats under Captain Charles H. Davis prepared to pursue the fleeing Confederates downriver to Memphis, Tennessee.
U.S. FLAG-STEAMER BENTON,
Fort Pillow, Thursday morning, June 5, 1862.


Fort Pillow is evacuated; the last of the rebels left between 1 and 2 oclock this morning.


The artillery and commissary stores are mostly destroyed.


Preparations were set on foot for a combined attack which was to have taken place on Wednesday morning, but was unavoidably post- poned until this morning, when it was anticipated by the retreat of the enemy.


I am making preparations for moving down the river with the greater part of my force, accompanied by transports having on board Colonel Fitch and his brigade.


C.H. Davis,
Captain, Commanding Western Flotilla, Mississippi River.


Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, IVashington, D. C.

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