Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October 22, 1863 (Saturday): Fraud Afloat

General Nathan B. Buford

OCTOBER 22, 1863.-Destruction of the Steamer Mist on the Mississippi River.

Report of Brig. General Napoleon B. Buford, U. S. Army, commanding District of Eastern Arkansas.

Helena, Ark., October 23, 1863.
    SIR: For the information of General Hurlbut, I report the steamer Mist, Captain Calhoum, was burned by a party of 20 guerrillas, commanded by Dick Holland, at the foot of Ship Island, on the Mississippi shore, yesterday at 3 p.m., the captain robbed of a large sum, which he states to have been over $ 17,000, and the boat rifled. The captain and crew of 10 men were allowed to go free. Captain Calhoum reports his engine was out of order. He was anchored in the stream; took a skiff and went ashore to get four bales of cotton; the boat was blown ashore.
    The cotton he said had been purchased from a man named Cole, by McDonald, who had a permit to ship 50 bales. Captain Calhoun states his pilot, E. Wood, was also robbed of $ 5,000 of Confederate money, which was in the safe with the boat's funds. The guerrillas did not burn Cole's cotton. The captain further states that the steamer Evansville landed at the same place the day previous,and took on board about 20 bales of cotton without the protection of a gunboat.
    There are inconsistencies in this story which are apparent. I am informed by Colonel Silas Noble, who is here, that when he commanded at Paducah, Captain Calhoun was disloyal.
     Your obedient servant,

     N. B. BUFORD,
     Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Series I., Vol. 31, Part 1, Pages 32-33.

Buford was in Arkansas after being banished there by General Grant, who served with him at Belmont.  Here Buford describes a highly suspicious report of the not inconsiderable sum of $17,000 from a boat captain.


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