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From Cairo—Columbus Supposed to Be Burned Up.


March/April 1862

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, March 3, 1862.



Sunday Night Dispatches




Southern News by the Memphis Papers.


[Special Dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

CAIRO, March 2d.—A great light could be seen last night in the vicinity of Columbus. It is generally believed here that the rebels there have burned everything of an inflammable nature.

The dispatch sent from this place to the Chicago Tribune, stating that the rebels who abandoned Nashville were preparing to make a stand at Fort Zollicoffer, is a mistake. This fort, seven miles this side of Nashville, on the Cumberland, was found deserted on last Tuesday by Gen. Nelson, on his way to Nashville.

The latest intelligence from Nashville is, that Gen. Buell had surrounded Murfreesboro, and that the rebels there had been given until yesterday to surrender.

From the Memphis Appeal of the 28th ultimo, I make the following extracts:

“We have information from Nashville up to noon of Wednesday. Gen. Buell and Commodore Foot had arrived and occupied it. The United States flag was raised over the dome of the capitol, and floats there now.

“But one federal flag was exhibited, and that was from the shop of a Yankee jeweler, who had long been suspected of disloyalty. The feeling in Nashville was strongly Southern, and deep gloom seemed to cover the community.

“The citizens avoid intercourse of any kind with the invaders. Two British flags had been raised by property holders, thus evincing their intention to claim the protection of that government.

“The sick are being removed from Columbus.

“We are pleased to learn that General Beauregard is making prompt and energetic preparations to oppose the attack which now seems so imminent on Columbus.

“The reported capture of B. P. Johnson, at Fort Donelson, is an error. He arrived in Nashville on Saturday last, having succeeded in escaping from the hands of the enemy.

“Jeff. Thompson left his old headquarters day before yesterday on a secret expedition. He will turn up somewhere.

“Thursday, Feb. 27, both Houses of the Tennessee Legislature met and adjourned for want of a quorum. But 10 Senators were present and 56 Representatives were absent.”

Concerning Jeff. Davis’s message the Appeal says:

“He is free to confess the error of his past policy and the extent of the disasters which have followed from it. We think a vigorous war will soon be made upon the advancing columns of the enemy-that we will attack, pursue and destroy instead of being attacked, pursued and destroyed.

“The spade will be dropped and the bayonet resumed. In other words, the policy of the Fabian Davis will yield to that of the Napoleonic Beauregard.

“In view of these facts, we can see light gleaming through the dark clouds that at present environ us, which will burst forth in less than sixty days, in full and resplendent lustre.”



CAIRO, March 2.—Some of the most prominent officers at this point believe that Columbus was burned last night. The light of a large fire could be seen in that direction from eight o’clock last evening until daylight this morning. At times the light would flash up as if some combustible matter had become ignited, and often the reflection was so vivid that observers thought they could discern a blaze.

Capt. Bradshaw, formerly of the Quartermaster’s Department at St. Louis, has been appointed post Quartermaster here, and will superintend river and land transportation.

Gov. Kirkwood, of Iowa, was here last Saturday. There has been no boat to-day from Commerce.



CAIRO, March 2.—The rebels are said to be fortifying Island No. 10, about thirty-five miles below Columbus, in the Mississippi, which place they will fall back upon. High ground can be found at the lower part of the island, and a place well adapted for planting batteries to command the river.

The resignation of Col. Wilson, superintendent of the telegraph wires in this department, was tendered to-day to Gen. Cullum, who replied that he had no authority to relieve him from duty.