NY Times 15 Aug 1864

THE INVASION OF ILLINOIS.; Particulars of the Guerrilla Raid Across the Ohio River to Shawneetown.

Published: August 19, 1864

Special Dispatch to the Chicago Tribune.

CAIRO, Monday, Aug. 15, 1864.

I yesterday forwarded you some information regarding the crossing of the Ohio about 100 miles north of here, at Saline Creek, of a force of rebels, and their destruction of the steamer Kate Robinson. I have this morning obtained the following particulars of the occurrence:

On Saturday noon of last Week the steamer Clara Poe, bound for the Tennessee River, with two heavy barges, loaded with Government stores, having on her own deck a load of fat cattle, was attacked by a rebel force estimated at 700, at a point four miles below Shawneetown. The rebel commander JOHNSTON ordered the Poe to bring to, and upon her Captain refusing to comply, a fire of musketry was pured upon her.

The rebels endeavored to get her off to use in conveying them across the Ohio, but failing in this, they subsequently set her on fire and destroyed her. The rebels were enabled to board the Kate Robinson by obtaining a supply of coal boats from the Curlew coal mine, near at hand. At this time they attempted to board the Poe using the same coal boats. The Captain, seeing their purpose, cut loose his valuable barges, turned his cattle loose and drove them off his guards into the river, lightening his boat enough to get her off, and putting on all steam, made his escape. It was luckily done, as the Poe was enabled to give warning to the fleet of empty steamers coming down, and send them back out of danger. Nearly 500 musket bullets pierced the texas, pilot-house and cabin, and fifty-three holes were counted in one write skirt belonging to a lady passenger. Happily, the woman was not inside the garment, which had been cleaned and suspended upon the guards to dry. Not a person was hurt on the boat. The number of Confederates who reached the Illinois shore at Saline Creek is estimated by the citizens at fully 700. They were causing the utmost consternation, and the people were flying before them. Besides those who had crossed, the country on the Kentucky side for twelve miles is reported filled with guerrillas, who are conscripting, stealing and bushwhacking generally. The destination of the raiders is said to have been Elizabethtown, where they proposed to rescue the prisoners recently captured in Kentucky by a number of the Twenty-ninth Illinois infantry, at home on furlough. Failing to obtain these, the officer proposed to burn Elizabethtown to the ground. It is possible they have performed their threat before this, unless they have been met, and which it would be manifestly improper to make public, that Col. SCOTT, of the Ninth, commanding Confederate troops at Clinton, received a dispatch announcing the fact that BEAUREGARD had been dispatched from Richmond with 20,000 men to the relief of Atlanta. This will place him in command of the city. It seems that HOOD is only General pro tem.






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