NP, AC 1/20C/1865

From the Augusta Constitutionalist
January 20, 1865
From the Meridian Clarion, 4th
The Late Yankee Raid
   Having been cut off by the late Yankee raid, while on a business trip to Corinth, we came down the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, on our return, after walking some distance to make connection with the trains below. Had the same energy and perseverance been used on this end of the road as above Okalona, the damage done would have been repaired and the trains running through to Corinth ere this. Through the energy of Captain Chas Ley, Railroad Agent at Corinth, one hundred hands were put to work on the northern end of the road the second day after its being cut, and on Friday last, Major General {just Major, not Major General} Whitfield with two hundred additional laborers went to work to repair the track between Verona and Corinth, which was placed in running order Saturday last. This opened the road again to within thirteen and a half miles of Okolona. Up to Monday night, not a blow was struck to repair the road from Egypt to Okolona, a distance of eight miles. We now learn that a competent force went to commence work yesterday and the road will be in running order by Friday next. 
   The damage to the road was very slight indeed, compared to the amount which the raiders might have inflicted.
   On Saturday night, December 24th, about nine o'clock, they struck the road to Boonville, twenty miles south of Corinth. They numbered about one hundred and fifty; they burned the station car, all the stores, five in number, but tore up only four rails of track. Mr. Salter and Mr. Nance, in charge there, lost quite heavily -- the former about eight thousand dollars. They entered no private dwellings, and were in a hurry to leave. The Government property, tax in kind delivered at that depot, consisting of 200 bushels of wheat, 30 bushels of rye, 20 bushels of oats and about a dozen sacks of salt, some private property, such as cards, &., in the building, were destroyed. The next morning, Sunday, a large body struck the road at
   and tore up some half a mile of track in all, and burned a trestle at the south end of the switch. On Monday night they attacked and destroyed
   At Verona the loss was very heavy, and 400 yards of track turned over. The depot building, 30 by 100 feet, or about that, one end of which was the Post Office, together with every store in town, was destroyed. Many private houses were entered and clothing and provisions taken ad libitum. Mr. Raymond, merchant, lost considerable. Mr. Simpson, postmaster, saved the contents of the post office, but lost about 400 pounds of bacon. A Mr. Aheraft, who fired upon the party entering his house, lost everything, even to the loading up of his wife's and children's clothing. Some others suffered nearly as bad in the same way. The loss in tax in kind was 200 bushels of wheat, 3 bushels of oats, 5 bushels of rye, and 40 pounds of wool.
   General Forrest had a camp of rendezvous at this point, and his corn and lost heavily. They succeeded in running off their mules and horses, and some fifteen or twenty wagons. Fifty wagons, one caisson and limber, 50 skillets and ovens, 100 new Enfield rifles belonging to Chalmers' command, and a large amount of surplus clothing left by Buford's and Ross' brigades, were destroyed. The Government lost four car loads of corn, making 950 bushels; also 500 bushels of shelled corn in sacks, and some five hundred wool hats in boxes. The Railroad Company lost 10 box and four platforms cars at that point.
   Between Shannon and Verona about 300 yards of track was turned over, and six bridges and trestles destroyed; 12 flat cars, 300 bushels of corn, 3 stores, and Mr. Cowhsend's dwelling were consumed. They followed the track wherever practicable. The most important trestle, something over a mile south of Shannon, remained untouched, but from that point to Okolona, they cut and burned ten bridges and trestles in all. The most important bridges destroyed are the Kolwak, Tallabenela, Callonenela Slough, Calwaopa, and Tocalabba; the two latter badly damaged, the others are easily repaired.
   This town suffered severely -- over one half of the business portion being completely ruined, including the Express and Railroad offices. The steam water tank and turn table were burnt. Dr. Park's hotel was left standing. The business portion of the town was almost entirely destroyed. Major Quintan's commissary house, filled with stores, was given to the devouring elements early. Then went the residence of Judge Thornton, the dwelling occupied bys Major Billups, quartermaster. Next Shears' store -- loss, $5,000.
   Bordenhamer's, Helten's, Burris' and Peterson's stores, used by the government, were destroyed. The telegraph office and materials were saved. Sheppard & Morris' grocery house burnt. Their individual loss was slight, but they had goods in store on consignment that were valued at $200,000, all of which was lost. Voerhees & Moore's drug store, loss $30,000. House occupied by Capt. Mellard, burnt. Biles & Jones' store, contents saved. Barton's drug store, loss $9,000. Williams & Bro., $16,000 -- goods on consignment, $12,000. McCauley's store and contents, loss $80,000. Crow's cabinet warehouse and machinery, loss $20,000. 
   The nest building was the post office. All the mail matter was saved; but the firm of S. Bryand & Co., in the same building, lost in stock about $12,000 or $15,000. Beford's store came next, and shared the same fate, with a loss of at least $150,0poo. The building occupied by Major Wheeler as Post Commandant's and one or tow small buildings, together with the carriage manufactory and blacksmith shop of St. Clair, were consumed; the machinery and tools were of great value and cannot be replaced. His loss will reach $75,000 and comes upon one who deserved a better fate.
   The agent of the tax in kind saved all but 1,500 empty sacks and about 20 lbs wool. E. Fitzgerald, of Mobile, had in store two bales thread; 150 pairs cards, 20 sacks salt, 200 yards domestic, and about 500 worth of other goods.
   The loss in quartermaster's and commissary departments will not fall short of $200,000.
   In the loss of commissary stores may be included about $80,000 worth of flour, 2,000 lbs. bacon and 50 head of cattle.
   Major Shackelford's and Colonel Cook's houses and contents were entirely consumed, the only private dwellings burnt, but almost every house was pillaged, and many lost all their clothing having them torn to threads before their eyes, and any attempt to interfere answered by blows. Several small stores were burned and in all, thirty-one buildings consumed, making the centre and business portion of the town a blackened ruin.
   From Okolona, their course was marked by the burning of gin houses and other property, and the destruction of the Matubba bridge and three trestles including the one on the Walker plantation.
   At this point three or four hundred yards of track was destroyed, with four box cars filled with commissary stores from Okolona. A little below that point four coaches, one baggage and four box cars were burned, and 15,000 bushels of corn, tax in kind, and about 200,000 bushels belonging to citizens. Robert Adams lost 4,000 bushels of corn, and thirty-five bales of cotton. Such is, we believe, a correct statement of the loss occasioned by the late raid of Grierson.
   To recapitulate, we have about forty bridges and trestles burned, forty-one cars destroyed, several station houses, one water tank, one turn table, about one and a half miles of track turned over, and some twelve to fifteen rails be3nt. As they had a clear field it is surprising no more damage was done, one week only being required to put the road in running order.