SAVANNAH [GA] REPUBLICAN, June 9, 1863, p. 1, c. 2
Tullahoma, June 2d.
While Roddy had taken his entire force, except Hannon, to pursue the invaders, numbering about 2,000 mounted infantry and a battery of light artillery, on the south bank, the force on the north side, numbering 800 mounted men and two mountain howitzers, learning of the success of their diversion on the opposite side of the river, advanced rapidly and were met by Hannon's regiment beyond Florence, but pushed them so vigorously that the latter were compelled to retire to Florence and beyond, while the Vandals, much to their delight, entered the place, commenced their work of destruction, and fully accomplished the object of their expedition, burning two large and very valuable cotton factories, upon which the people of the Tennessee valley were dependent for their supplies, and from which large quantities of cloth were procured by the army. These factories were the property of Martin, Weakley & co., and in their loss the Confederacy suffers severely. The Vandals then proceeded to burn the Masonic Hall, hotel, livery stable, blacksmith shop, and such other buildings as might have proved useful to the Confederates; and having been in the town for two or three hours, accomplished their mission, got drunk, abused the inhabitants, and were finally driven out by Hannon in a brisk little fight, in which the latter suffered the loss of Captain Locke and Major Jenks, captured, and but few were killed, wounded or captured on either side. The Vandals fell back, pursued by Hannon, who despatched couriers to Roddy to endeavor to intercept the party, and a force from Columbia was sent out for the same purpose. It was reported on Saturday that Roddy had cut them off from their boats and was driving them back towards Florence, but this proved untrue. Our forces which went in pursuit have not yet returned, nor have they been reliably heard from. In the engagement between the enemy and Hannon we were very fortunate in not losing a battery of artillery which had been sent without escort to the aid of the latter. It got in between the two forces, and was driving directly to the Yankees, unaware of their presence, when it met them on the march. The officer in command of the battery proved to have good sense and presence of mind, and coolly directing one piece to go into battery and fire on the enemy, he put the rest of the artillery upon the retreat while the Yankees were getting into line of battle, and then withdrew his other piece without loss, and ran back in safety to Athens.
The result of the whole affair was that Roddy was completely outwitted and deceived, and that the vandals accomplished everything they desired, and up to the latest advices had escaped unchastised. . .
MOBILE REGISTER AND ADVERTISER, June 9, 1863, p. 2, c. 2
Tullahoma, June 2, 1863,
[Florence, AL] while the vandals much to their delight entered the place, commenced their work of destruction, and fully accomplished the object of their expedition, burning two large and very valuable cotton factories upon which the people of the Tennessee valley were dependent for their supplies, and from which large quantities of cloth were procured by the army. These factories were the property of Martin, Weakley & Co., and in their loss the Confederacy suffers severely. The vandals then proceeded to burn the Masonic Hall, hotel, livery stable, blacksmith shop, and such other buildings as might have proved useful to the Confederates, and having been in the town for two or three hours, accomplished their mission, got drunk, abused the inhabitants, and finally, were driven out by Hannon in a brisk little fight, in which the latter suffered the loss of Capt. Locke and Major Jenks captured, and but few were killed, wounded, or captured on either side. . . .
MEMPHIS DAILY APPEAL [ATLANTA], June 13, 1863, p. 2, c. 1
The Huntsville Advocate says that during the recent Federal raid into Florence, Ala., they burnt the three cotton factories of Martin, Weakley & Co., which worked up 4000 bales per year; the woolen factories of Darby, Benham & Co., and of James Martin & Son--five factories. In Florence, they burnt the Masonic hall, one unoccupied tavern, two blacksmith, one coach and one carpenter's shops, three unoccupied houses, one small residence, etc. They broke open every store in the place, took what they could carry off, robbed citizens of money, watches, jewelry, horses, etc., took off some negroes, desolated and burned Mrs. James Jackson's place, etc. They also burned several mills and tan yards in the county. This is a fearful inventory the memory of which should be cherished, for a proper application of the principle of lex talionis.
COLUMBUS [GA] ENQUIRER, June 16, 1863, p. 1, c. 5
The Raid into Florence.
The Federal cavalry, under Col. Cornyn, entered Florence on last Thursday. The force was about 1,000 strong. The stores, &c., were broken open and robbed. Martin, Weakly & Co's three large cotton factories were burnt. They worked up about 4,000 bales of cotton per annum, and the loss is a heavy one to the owners and the country. There was a skirmish in or near the town, one man was killed and a few wounded on our side. An old man named Bob White was killed at the factories. The enemy soon retired. Five prisoners, left drunk in the town, were brought up here on Monday.
We learn, that the Federals, in large force, advanced up to Bear Creek, on the Tuscumbia side—Roddy's forces opposed them there. In the meanwhile they sent a portion of their cavalry over to the Florence side to burn the Factories, while nearly all our forces were confronting them at Bear Creek. In this way, they seem to have deceived our officers and accomplished their design to a partial extent—that of burning and destroying our factories, machinery, &c.
A deserter from the Yankees at Florence states their force to have been 2,000, with 8 mounted howitzers. That they crossed the river near Pittsburg Landing on gunboats, &c. There were five regiments, the 7th Kansas, 10th Missouri, 9th Illinois, &c.—Huntsville Adv., 3d.
COLUMBUS [GA] ENQUIRER, June 16, 1863, p. 3 c. 5
Latest from Florence.
A friend who left Florence on Tuesday evening, brings the latest news from Roddy's command. It had returned from the pursuit of the Yankees, under the brutal Cornyn, having followed them to Hamburg, where, under the protection of gunboats, they got aboard transports and crossed the Tennessee. Hannon's regiment was in advance and had a skirmish near Hamburg, without loss. It was impossible to charge the enemy at the river, when embarking, on account of the nature of the ground, the thick woods and bushes preventing it, except by a road which, for a considerable distance, exposed them to a direct fire from the gunboats. Cornyn's force is variously estimated at 800 to 2000. Roddy's command, consisting of his own, Hannon's and Biffle's regiments, were much too scattered in squads, foraging, on detail service, &c., to be concentrated in time, for successful fighting pursuit.
The Vandals burnt the Masonic Hall, and every machine, blacksmith and carpenter shop in Florence, and set fire to a drug store, which, if consumed, would have communicated fire to and destroyed nearly all the business part of the town. A Federal soldier demanded of the incendiary, who applied the torch, what he meant by it, which caused a quarrel between them, that was terminated by a Federal Lieutenant stepping up and shooting dead the soldier who interfered to prevent the Vandal act. Martin, Weakley & Co.'s three factories were burnt likewise.
Almost every private vehicle was carried off or destroyed, under the pretext that they were sometimes used for ambulances. Horses and mules were taken, and negroes who flocked to the Yankees were mounted on them and taken off. Individuals were robbed of money, jewelry, &c., &c., and all the usual savage depredations were committed. Cornyn promised to return again when the wheat fields were ripe for harvest.—Huntsville Confederate, 5th.
MOBILE REGISTER AND ADVERTISER, June 16, 1863, p. 2, c. 3
Chattanooga, June 11, 1863
[Florence] The Yankees only remained in town three hours, and then took their departure in the direction of Waterloo, recrossing the river at Hamburgh. In the country around Florence, they also committed sundry serious depredations. They burned the wool factory of Darby, Benhem & Co., and of Martin & Sons, and the three large cotton factories of Martin, Weakley & Co., making not only a private and individual loss, but a national loss of many thousands of dollars. Since last fall these factories had turned out over one million yards of jeans and osnaburgs.