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 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 8, Ch. XVIII–Confederate Correspondence.

THE
WAR OF THE REBELLION:
A COMPILATION OF THE
OFFICIAL RECORDS
OF THE
UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES.

CHAPTER XVIII.
OPERATIONS IN MISSOURI, ARKANSAS. KANSAS, AND THE INDIAN TERRITORY.
November 19, 1861-April 10, 1862.
(New Madrid, Island No. 10, Pea Ridge)
–––
CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE.

{p.683}

HEADQUARTERS, *Pocahontas, Ark., November [10], 1861.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Comdg. First Division, Western Department, Columbus, Ky.:

GENERAL: Since my dispatch of the night of the 5th I have continued my steps of precaution and preparation for defense without intermission. Details in respect to them are at present unnecessary.

{p.684}

My call upon the militia for re-enforcements has been responded to with spirit and alacrity, but, as was to have been expected, in a manner somewhat tumultuous, and in no light degree troublesome in disposing of the forces thus furnished. By last evening something more than 1,000 men had assembled here, and about an equal number reported themselves in several more distant neighborhoods as assembled and awaiting instructions. By that time I learned from my scouts that the enemy had ceased to advance and were probably falling back a little. Finding that I was thus allowed more time for preparation, and that the militiamen, as well those who had arrived here as those on the way had left home so hurriedly as to be very ill-supplied with arms, deemed it best to direct them to return home, and there organize, arm, and prepare for service as well and as speedily as possible, and having done this, as they will be able in a day or so, and reported, to await my orders, with the exception of about 100, who are sufficiently prepared here. They have all followed this direction, to an extent at least to assure me that within a week from this day I shall have within three days’ march of this place at least 3,000, probably more, men at my command, and as well prepared for service as the means of the country will allow; by which I mean that while every man will be armed with some sort of a gun-for I will have no others-yet they will be far from uniform in this respect, and many will be rather poorly armed, owing to the scarcity of guns of every kind, and especially of good ones, in this part of the country.

Companies thus organized and prepared I have agreed to receive into the service for thirty days from the time they report to me, to be subject to my orders during that time. I adopted this course and this term for these reasons: 1st, Within that time, if at all, it seems obvious to me I shall have to engage the enemy here or hereabouts; 2d, It is the only source from which I can calculate on re-enforcements of any kind within that time; 3d, Without such re-enforcements the handful of troops I have here is wholly inadequate to resist such a force as we know the enemy have in striking distance and as there can be no doubt they will bring against me if they come at all; 4th, I have made neither preparation nor calculation for a retreat, that being out of the question, as it would open our State to invasion, the very thought of which is not to be entertained for a moment, there not being one among my little band who does not feel that in holding this place he is holding the very door to his own domicile, within which are wife, children, and friends, and who would not deem himself criminal, as well as craven, if he could weigh his own life against the importance of maintaining it; 5th, within that time you will be able to order what other and better course should be pursued.

Of the forces under my command I briefly report-for there are so few of them that a brief report will cover them easily-

1. My own cavalry regiment, seven companies, number 460, and are stationed for purposes of observation, convenience of supplies, &c., between this and Pitman’s Ferry, with several companies at and near the ferry, throwing forward scouts, &c. In this service it is very constantly occupied and has been all summer and fall, until pretty well used up.

2. Colonel McCown’s five companies of infantry (raw troops), men and officers, number 378, indifferently armed and but slightly trained.

3. Major Desha’s four companies infantry number 238, in the same condition as McCown’s.

This is my whole permanent force. In addition, for this emergency, {p.685} I have stopped here in passing and retain for the present Captain Roberts’ company, about 60 men, nominally artillery, but without a battery, but armed and pretty well drilled as infantry, and about 150 recruits for the army, brought here by Major McCray and Captains White and Kykendall, and retained here by me, as is Captain Roberts’ company; altogether about 1,286 men. Of these, owing to much sickness, casualties, necessary details for guards, nurses, &c., as you will readily apprehend, I cannot, as I have ascertained by careful examination, count on more than 600 for fighting service. All even of these must be regarded as raw, inexperienced, and poorly disciplined, and indifferently armed. I may say that I have no artillery, for, although there are six pieces-four iron 6-pounders and two brass 4-pounders-here, they were repudiated by General Hardee as worthless, and are, so far as I can judge, quite so for any active or reliable service. They are so ill mounted, &c., that they cannot be used at all for flying artillery. In my destitution of such things and for this emergency, however, I shall do what I can with them by placing them in positions to cover the approaches to this place; and as Captain Roberts is the only officer here who knows anything at all about artillery, I have put him in charge of them.

I have in the first part of this letter said all I need say about the probable militia re-enforcements.

As to the supplies here, the amount of which seems to have been greatly exaggerated to you-mentioned by you in one of your letters as probably $500,000 worth-though I am satisfied not more than one-half perhaps not more than one-third of that, I have not deemed it necessary or proper to remove them lower down the river, for the reason that I don’t intend to abandon the place, and if we are to perish for the want of the timely aid that ought to have been given us if retained here at all, we will all, men and supplies, perish together; the enemy shall never have them.

I have been unable to hear from General Thompson since my last dispatch to you of the night of the 5th, though at that time and the night after I wrote to him. My messengers ought to have returned last night, but I have no news of them. Reports are here, I know not how reliable, that he has either had an engagement with the enemy at or near Bloomfield or that upon their approach he has retired south and east. If I don’t hear from him by to-morrow morning I will send again to ascertain.

Inclosed I send you a militia order and the proclamation of the Governor of Arkansas.** To the latter I invite your attention. It looks well enough on paper that I am to have so large an auxiliary force, but you need not be told that it gives nothing at all for present purposes, and promises only what will be received, if at all, in small portions at a time and a good while hence.

MONDAY MORNING, November 11.

I had written so far last night when reports reached me that induced me to pause until something more reliable should come from my scouts in time for this dispatch. At 1.30 o’clock this morning a dispatch from my outpost at Pitman’s Ferry, 20 miles north, to this effect:

The scouts send in word that they have reliable intelligence that there are 300 infantry and 150 cavalry at Rives’ Station, on Black River, 35 miles north of Pitman’s {p.686} Ferry Also that there is a strong infantry force-7,000-at Greenville, 15 miles north of Rives’ Station.

This is confirmatory of the previous reports during the day, so far as it is reliable. Allowance must of course be made for natural exaggerations, &c., and I am doing all I can to ascertain the truth, and prepare as well as I can for whatever it may prove to be.

Not hearing from General Thompson, I have dispatched an intelligent and trusty messenger on the best route to that officer to learn what I can.

I am not without hope, of course, that what I have done and the views I here add will meet your approval, viz, that what force I have here is wholly insufficient for any useful purpose of either attack or defense, but only a provocation, and, coupled with the supplies here, an inducement to the enemy to attack us. It seems obvious to my mind that if any force at all is to be kept here or on this line it ought to be at least three if not four times as large as it is. Either make it strong enough to sustain itself or abandon it altogether. Arkansas has some twenty-two regiments in the field and some nineteen of them are in other States, while next to none are left to defend her own frontier where most exposed.

If these views are not approved I respectfully suggest that I be superseded in command over here at once. It would indeed, it seems to me, be better to do this anyway, by sending some one of the brigadier-generals to take charge. It is a brigadier’s command, and should be his responsibility, which I am daily growing more and more distrustful of my competency to sustain. Besides, indications of failing health admonish me that the public interests here would be better provided for by other and abler hands.

In haste, but from careful consideration of all I have said, I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

SOLON BORLAND, Colonel, Commanding.

* Original received too late for insertion in Series I, Vol. III.

** Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS SPRINGFIELD, MO., November 19, 1861. (Via Little Rock, November 26.)

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I shall return to Arkansas, put my troops in winter quarters soon, and ask permission to come immediately to Richmond, so as to give to the administration correct information regarding affairs in this region before it acts on matters here. The Federals left eight days since with their [1] thousand men, quarreling among themselves, and greatly injured their cause by taking negroes belonging to Union men. General Lane went to Kansas, General Hunter to Sedalia, and General Sigel to Rolla.

I have the honor to be, with respect your obedient servant,

BEN. MCCULLOCH, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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LITTLE ROCK, November 20, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Arkansas is arming the twelve-months’ troops raised under your requisition to me for McCulloch. There is a battalion at this point. {p.687} Shall send it to Borland’s command at Pocahontas, where there is trouble. Must they go to McCulloch, as originally intended?

H. M. RECTOR.

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HEADQUARTERS, Pocahontas Ark., November 20, 1861.

Col. W. W. MACKALL, A. A. G., Western Dept., C. S. Army, Bowling Green, Ky.:

COLONEL: Yours of the 4th, by mail, missent to Powhatan and forwarded from that office, was received last night.

You communicate the direction of General Johnston that I shall send my “surplus ammunition and supplies to Memphis.”

I can briefly answer this by saying that I have no surplus here of either class of these stores. But it is proper I should add that an exaggerated and somewhat extraordinary misapprehension seems to exist in the minds of our generals, particularly in that of General Polk, as expressed in one of his letters, as to the amount of ammunition and subsistence stores at this place, estimating it as he does at some half million of dollars. The precise amount of either class I cannot ascertain as soon as it seems proper to dispatch this communication, but I will send statements as soon as they can be made out; and in the mean time do not hesitate to express the opinion that there is not more than one-fourth, even if there be as much as a fifth, of that amount.

So far from having a surplus of ammunition (except it may be of some one or two kinds, for which I have no suitable guns), I am sorry to have to say that my supply is rather short. If all that General Hardee left here had been kept here and of good quality I should not have had more than enough; but the nominal amount of that is considerably reduced by the damaged condition in which a good deal of it came here, and still further, just before I returned here, by the shipment of some 200 boxes of the best to Memphis by order of General Hardee. I doubt, however, if this lot has reached General Hardee at all, or, if so, it was probably very badly damaged; for although it reached Memphis several days before I left there, it was at the time of my leaving still on the wharf where it had first been landed, without covering of any kind, and exposed to several hard rains. The master of the steamer Kanawha Valley, who had carried it there, informed me that he had tried in vain to get some attention to it from the quartermaster and ordnance offices. I wrote from Memphis to General Hardee about this.

I beg leave to add a few words about my position, &c., here. I think General Johnston will concede that it is a very precarious one in itself, and I know it is a very embarrassing one to me. As he is aware (at any rate I so informed him at Columbus), the force left here (i.e., Pitman’s Ferry, &c.) by General Hardee was very small, so small that, as I have all the while insisted, it was available for no useful purpose whatever, either of attack or defense, against such as the enemy certainly had the power and would not fail to bring against me if I should have to deal with him at all. This is obvious from the following statement of its character and numerical strength: It consisted, first, of seven mounted companies-nominally 460 men-indifferently armed, and much enfeebled by the hardest and most constant scouting service to which any troops were ever subjected, through an exceedingly {p.688} sickly season, and on little more than half rations for man or horse; and, second, of two companies of infantry, about 130 men, just mustered into the service, and indifferently armed. To these have since been added eight companies of similar infantry, numbering about 500 men; and within the last few days I have added still a little further by retaining two and a half companies, together about 150 men, that were passing here. All these together, 1,240 men, being twelve-months’ volunteers, with officers and men alike raw and inexperienced, poorly armed and equipped, and without an educated or experienced military man in the whole command. No cannon were left me, or what are no better than none; that is, six iron 6-pounders and two brass 4-pounders, all old, partly dismantled and dilapidated, and without equipment for transportation or active use, and all rejected as worthless and cast aside by General Hardee. Of the nominal force I have enumerated, making by no means an unfair allowance for sick, details, &c., 700 would fully cover the number I could count upon for the field.

Thus situated, on the 5th instant I found my position threatened by the enemy with some 400 cavalry and not less (I had some reason to believe much more) than 3,000 infantry and a battery of artillery, reported on good authority (since proved to be true) to be within 60 miles of me and marching rapidly in this direction. This has since proved to have been one of the several columns moved simultaneously from Cairo upon Columbus, from Cape Girardeau upon Bloomfield, and from Ironton upon this place.

As now ascertained, the fate of Columbus, upon the result of which doubtless the others depended, caused them to fall back, how far is not yet known with certainty, but supposed to be to their respective starting points; circumstances warranting the expectation that their southward movement will be repeated as soon as the terms of concert can be again arranged, unless forestalled by an early setting in of such winter weather as shall make the roads impracticable-a contingency too uncertain to be relied upon where interests so vital are at stake.

Thus situated, and feeling that this position is the door into our State-which in turn is a large portion of the right bank of the Mississippi-and that in holding it I was holding the very door of our domiciles, within which were wives, children, and friends, I dared not think of abandoning it, although with the force then at my command it were little better than madness to expect to do more than sacrifice every man of us in a conflict so unequal. This I resolved upon and so announced to my men, and I have no reason to doubt that I had their unanimous and cordial concurrence.

But, not to be desperate as well as determined, I instantly called for the only help then possible in reach-the militia of the adjacent country. This call was promptly responded to with some spirit, but in a manner so hurried, inconsiderate, and tumultuous-throwing in upon me an unorganized and generally unarmed crowd of some 1,500 men within two or three days. Finding this crowd unavailable in the condition in which they came, and the result of the affair at Columbus having temporarily at least warded off the threatened attack upon me, I dispensed with the militia as such and called for volunteers, organized into companies, for thirty days’ service, receiving none that are not properly organized, armed with serviceable guns, suitably equipped, clothed, &c. I fixed thirty days as the term of service, for the reason, 1st, that it would bring me the largest amount of force in the shortest time; 2d, that term would cover the period at which we would probably be attacked, if at all, as by the middle of December the weather, {p.689} roads, &c., would have made active movements of any extent impracticable; 3d, that within that time General Polk, to whom I at once dispatched an account* of my situation, could issue such orders in respect to it as he might deem best. Under this call I have received up to this time eleven companies of infantry and one of mounted gunners, numbering together about 700 men; and there are reported to me as on the way, to be here within a day or so, some four more companies, say 300 men.

It is not for me to do more than thus make known to General Johnston my situation, not doubting that he will order what is right to the extent of his power. But I trust it will not be deemed out of place to say to him that my situation here is very embarrassing. It is a brigadier-general’s command and should be his responsibility, needing not only the capability of a commander of the qualifications suited to that rank, but the advantage to the public service which the prestige of that rank confers. I do not wish that place for myself. I did once, but in all sincerity I do not now, greatly preferring to return to my regiment or even go into the ranks. I hope, therefore, some one of suitable rank will be ordered to relieve me at once. The public interest requires it.

Very respectfully,

SOLON BORLAND, Colonel Cavalry, Commanding.

* See Borland to Polk, November 10, 1861, p. 653

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 34.}

HDQRS. FIRST Dry., WESTERN DEPT., Columbus, Ky., November 21, 1861.

Captain Gray is directed to remove the grins from the fortifications at Island No. 10 as soon as he thinks best and place them in the works under construction at New Madrid, and move Captain Stewart’s company of artillery to that place to man them.

By order of Brigadier-General Pillow, commanding:

GUS. A. HENRY, JR., Assistant Adjutant-General.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 36.}

HDQRS. FIRST DIV., WESTERN DEPT., Columbus, Ky., November 22, 1861.

Colonel Smith’s regiment of Arkansas Volunteers will be placed and encamped on Island No. 10. He will procure the necessary spades, picks, and other implements, and build the battery laid off by Captain Gray, of the Engineer Corps. The work will be constructed under the direction of Captain Gray, who is now at New Madrid. Captain Gray will carry on both works at the same time. Colonel Smith will make his requisitions for supplies of subsistence, &c., upon Memphis and of the country around. He must, as far as possible, issue and use beef. The supply of salt meat in the country being about exhausted, he can issue salt meat two days per week.

By order of Brig. Gen. Gideon J. Pillow:

GUS. A. HENRY, JR., Assistant Adjutant-General. {p.690}

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 234.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., November 22, 1861.

...

7. The Indian country west of Arkansas and north of Texas is constituted the Department of Indian Territory, and Brig. Gen. Albert Pike, Provisional Army, is assigned to the command of the same. The troops of this department will consist of the several Indian regiments raised or yet to be raised within the limits of the department.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Columbus, Ky., November 23, 1861.

General THOMPSON:

GENERAL: The general commanding directs me to express his gratification on the receipt of your dispatch,* and to say that he desires you to keep your command well in hand, and to continue your works at New Madrid, with a view to holding that point securely in our possession. He wishes me to urge upon you the necessity of having the slaves now employed there sent every evening to the Tennessee side of the river after the completion of their daily labor. The general wishes you to keep your scouts well out.

I am, general, yours,

[Signed by some one of General Pillow’s staff.]

* See Thompson to Pillow, November 16, 1861, Series I, Vol. III, p. 740.

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HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION MISSOURI STATE GUARD, Camp New Madrid, Mo., November 23, 1861.

Col. W. G. PHEELAN, Commanding Second Regiment, Camp Blanton, Mo.:

DEAR COLONEL: Yours of this morning, by Major Powers, is at hand.* I am sorry to hear so bad an account of your men, and hope that you will instill more patriotism, patience, and obedience into them. They are not suffering more than any of the other regiments; in fact much less, because they are as well provided for and are within a few miles of home, where they can hear from their families daily; whereas the brave men from Cass, Bollinger, Ripley, Washington, &c., are here, equally exposed and remote from their friends. Our terms of enlistment will now soon expire, and, in the reorganization, I hope that we will not find so many home-sick men. If you have not plenty of wood and straw where you are you might move a few miles to where such things can be had; but upon no consideration should you go far from the west end of the Blanton road. I admire the patriotism that you and Kitchen displayed in being willing to sacrifice your property for the public, but I cannot compliment either your discretion or judgment in pressing the occupation of Bloomfield with a small force at this time. As soon as the fort is completed here and the grand march {p.691} of the enemy either made or deferred for the winter I will endeavor to have troops sent here, and then, if I can get forage and subsistence, I will take the whole command to Bloomfield, so that I can drive in all small parties of the enemy from the Saint Francis to Little River and occasionally threaten their strongholds at Cape Girardeau and Ironton; or if the winter sets in, so that troops cannot be marched from the Cape, I may trust a small force at Bloomfield; but now it is certainly north of our van of operations, and will only tempt the enemy instead of intimidating him. You have certainly found out by this time that there are many tories in Stoddard County, and the enemy has no difficulty in finding out all about your position and strength.

You can inform your men for me that I am fighting for the “cause,” and not for Stoddard County alone, and that, if they attempt to mutiny or desert, it can but result to their injury. I am disposed to be as lenient as possible, and from my very heart I sympathize with them in their hardships; but the whole country is now at stake, and the next few days will end the campaign for the winter, and even now it is getting to be a war of endurance instead of a war of guns, and, if our men are to be withered by the first cold breeze and return from the field the first windy night, then, indeed, will the energy of the North succeed, and we will have to “hang our harp on the willow tree.”

I will make every effort to expedite the paying off of the men and arrange for the transfer to the Confederate States; then all who want to go home can do so and stay there. I send you by Major Powers an assortment of muster and pay rolls. The muster and pay rolls should be made for the 1st of November, at which time the Confederate States commence paying us. The pay rolls will embrace the time up to November 1. I am printing a general order about our settlements, which will be out soon. Any explanation you desire will be cheerfully made. There will be a large lot of goods here in a few days; some we have now. Make your men cut lots of wood and run large camp-fires. Send over the gunsmith’s tools which you have not issued. I will establish a shop here. If your doctors are giving leaves of absence to men who are not sick, or if those who have recovered do not return, report them to me.

Yours, truly,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

* Not found.

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HDQRS. FIRST MIL. DIST., MISSOURI STATE GUARD, Camp New Madrid, Mo., November 24, 1861.

Col. SOLON BORLAND, C. S. A., Commandant, Pocahontas, Ark.:

DEAR SIR: Yours of the 17th instant, by Mr. McDowell, was handed me this day, and it affords me much pleasure to accept your invitation and write to you upon the impression I have of the policy of the enemy at that time. I really think that their whole efforts should be (and therefore will be) concentrated to the seaboard and the immediate valley of the Mississippi. They cannot make their soldiers go on a winter campaign through a hostile country when they know that we have the sympathy of the people and every advantage. Their force will be soldiers who will come to stay and will have to transport their entire subsistence for a campaign, whereas our forces, to combat or {p.692} out them off would require only a haversack to where the enemy would require a wagon. There might be a column pass from Cape Girardeau down to the end of the plank road and across here, to endeavor to cut me off; but unless Columbus was taken at the same time and the boats of the United States assist them here they would be assuredly cut off themselves.

Demonstration of parties of Home Guards, and such like, may be made between Black and Saint Francis Rivers; but I doubt it very much if a column will attempt it before spring. A party of gentlemen came in this evening from Fredericktown, and report that the troops are nearly all gone from Ironton, and that it is proposed to entirely evacuate that post. I do not believe this latter part, although I think there is no doubt about the former, as immense forces are being concentrated on the Ohio and near Cairo. If the Iron Mountain Railroad is not destroyed Ironton can easily be held; but if I can make another foray up there while the troops are below Saint Louis I can completely destroy it, and thus Ironton must be abandoned. If the winter is open I intend to keep the field with my cavalry and harm them all I can. Our terms of enlistment expire in a few days, and the most of our troops will be mustered into the service of the Southern Confederacy. What will become of me in the change I do not know. If I am held as a brigadier I intend to raise a regiment of dragoons, which I can do in ten days, and then, if not held back by some old fogy, the enemy will have to “stand from under;” for I worked up this time, and will fight up, if it has to be done over.

We are building a fort here that will hold 10,000 men, and will build redans and redoubts enough to effectually defend the place if we have time enough. We had 500 negroes at work and will increase the number to 700 to-morrow.

Immense works have been built at Columbus and constant labor is still employed. It will soon be a perfect Gibraltar, and if the enemy do not start soon it will be too late. Rumor says the whole force of the enemy is to be concentrated upon East Tennessee before the river move is made. This will certainly be good policy, if the transportation is safe enough to bring them back in time for the march down the valley. I think, however, that a good snow will cool their ardor and give us rest until spring and probably give us peace. I am very anxious to get back to Stoddard County, but cannot leave here yet. If the movement is made toward East Tennessee I will immediately go across the swamps; and, if you will help me, we will give the railroad another trial, or I will make a dash at Cape Girardeau to capture a few blankets, &c. I would be pleased to hear from you often, and, as our operations lie in the same direction, I hope we can have a perfect understanding and concert of action.

Hoping I have not exceeded the limits of your invitation and written too long a letter, I remain, yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. FIRST MIL. DIST., MISSOURI STATE GUARD, Camp New Madrid, Mo., November 24, 1861-9 p.m.

Brig. Gen. GIDEON J. PILLOW, Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR GENERAL: You will find inclosed a note from Major Kalfus,* {p.693} who has charge of my vedettes near the Cairo and Charleston Railroad, which may be of interest to you. The major is a cool-headed man, and knows all the people in Mississippi County, and probably his information is reliable. If a demonstration is made for us on East Tennessee, it can be but to return as speedily as possible to the march down the immediate valley of the Mississippi, for the enemy cannot make a winter campaign away from center means of transportation. The fort that is being built here, with the addition of a strong redoubt, near the saw-mill, will very completely defend this place. The redoubts will defend the bayou and from a column westward toward or beyond the seminary, to which point the fort can throw shot or shell without a house intervening. The fort is being built in the corn field just south of town. If you do not get the Saint Louis newspapers regularly, I will make an arrangement to furnish you from here. I can get them from Charleston.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

* Not found.

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HDQRS. FIRST MIL. DIST., MISSOURI STATE GUARD, New Madrid, Mo., November 25, 1861.

Capt. J. J. EDSON, Steamboat Ohio Belle:

SIR: I have been directed by the major-general commanding to make provision for moving the slaves belonging to the gentlemen of Missouri and Arkansas to the Tennessee side of the river each night; and, as it is absolutely necessary that the slaves and their masters should also have sufficient and comfortable quarters, I conceive it to be my duty to order you to remain here until the case shall be laid before the general at Columbus and keep the negroes on board.

Yours, respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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RICHMOND, November 25, 1861.

Gov. H. M. RECTOR, Little Rock:

It is believed to be the best policy to send all the troops raised under requisition from this Government to General McCulloch.*

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

* See Rector to Benjamin, November 20, p. 686.

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CIRCULAR.]

HEADQUARTERS Mo. S. G., November 25, 1861.

1st. The Confederate Government proposes, in accordance with the terms of the treaty recently made between this State and that Government, to receive into its service as many troops from Missouri as may volunteer to serve for twelve months.

2d. The troops thus volunteering will be enlisted as State troops, and remain under the immediate command of Major-General Price.

3d. They will be organized in conformity to the laws of Congress and the regulations for the Confederate Army as follows:*

{p.694}

4th. Election and appointment of officers.-Company officers: Each company elects its captain and lieutenants. The captain of each company selects the sergeants, corporals, musicians, and artificers from his company, and they receive their warrants from the colonel upon his approval of the appointments.

Regimental officers: The commissioned officers of each regiment elect the colonel, lieutenant-colonel, and major.

The colonel appoints the adjutant from the lieutenants of the regiment, and the sergeant-major and quartermaster-sergeant from the enlisted men.

The President will, upon the colonel’s recommendation, appoint whenever their services are required, an assistant quartermaster and assistant commissary, a surgeon and assistant surgeon, for each regiment.

5th. Whenever a sufficient number of troops shall have been thus enlisted, organized, armed, and equipped the muster rolls will be sent to the Secretary of War, and the troops will thereby be transferred to the Confederate Army. The President will immediately commission the officers and provide for and pay the troops. The President will at the same time organize the troops thus transferred into brigades and divisions, over which he will appoint brigadier-generals and a major-general from Missouri.

6th. The term of service will begin from the day of the organization of the company and will end twelve months after that date.

7th. The officers will be commissioned in the Confederate Army and their commissions be dated upon the day of their transfer to that service.

8th. Pay, &c.-Until the troops shall have been transferred to the Confederate States they will be paid by the State-the Confederate States guaranteeing, however, that they will be paid. As soon as the transfer shall have been made they will be paid and supplied by the Confederate States. The troops in the Confederate service are paid at the end of every second month.

The delivery of the muster rolls by the State to the Secretary of War completes the transfer.

The State will pay a bounty of $39 to every non-commissioned officer and private who will enlist in this service.

9th. Each enlisted man will receive one ration a day and an allowance of $25 every six months for clothing.

Each man will be allowed 10 cents a mile for his traveling expenses from the place of his enrollment to the rendezvous, and also from the place of his discharge to the place where he was enrolled.

10th. The cavalry must furnish their own horses and keep them serviceable or they will be compelled to serve on foot. The non-commissioned officers and privates will, however, be allowed 40 cents a day for the use of their horses, to be computed from the day of their enrollment to the day of their discharge, and also for every 20 miles of travel between the place of their discharge to the place of their enrollment. Horses are to be valued when brought into the service, and if killed in action will be paid for at such valuation. They will not be paid for in any other event.

11th. All arms will be paid for at a fair valuation, but will not be taken from the owner so long as he remains in the service. The commander of the company will, however, be responsible for their safekeeping.

12th. The Confederate States Government will not accept any cavalry {p.695} for twelve months unless already fully armed and equipped, and as the State cannot arm and equip more than one regiment, only one will be enlisted.

13th. The artillery will be organized as light batteries and not as regiments.

14th. The Confederate States Government will accept and fully arm and equip as many troops as may volunteer for the war, either as cavalry, artillery, or infantry.

By order of Maj. Gen. Sterling Price:

HENRY LITTLE, Col. and Asst. Adj. Gen., Mo. S. G.

* Details of organization omitted.

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Proclamation to the People of Central and North Missouri.

MARSHALL, MO., November 26, 1861.

FELLOW-CITIZENS: In the month of June last I was called to the command of a handful of Missourians, who nobly gave up home and comfort to espouse, in that gloomy hour, the cause of your bleeding country, struggling with the most causeless and cruel despotism known among civilized men. When peace and protection could no longer be enjoyed but at the price of honor and liberty your chief magistrate called for 50,000 men to drive the ruthless invader from a soil made fruitful by your labors and consecrated by your homes.

To that call less than 5,000 responded; out of a male population exceeding 200,000 men, one in forty only stepped forward to defend with their persons and their lives the cause of constitutional liberty and human rights.

Some allowances are to be made on the score of a want of military organization, a supposed want of arms, the necessary retreat of the army southward, the blockade of the river, and the presence of an armed and organized foe. But nearly six months have now elapsed; your crops have been tilled; your harvests have been reaped; your preparations for winter have been made; the Army of Missouri, organized and equipped, fought its way to the river; the foe is still in the field; the country bleeds, and our people groan under the inflictions of a foe marked with all the characteristics of barbarian warfare; and where now are the 50,000 to avenge our wrongs and free our country? Had 50,000 men flocked to our standard with their shot-guns in their hands there would not now be a Federal hireling in the State to pollute our soil. Instead of mined communities, starving families, and desolated districts, we should have had a people blessed with protection and with stores to supply the wants and necessities and comforts of life. Where are those 50,000 men? Are Missourians no longer true to themselves? Are they a timid, time-serving, craven race, fit only for subjection to a despot? Awake, my countrymen, to a sense of what constitutes the dignity and true greatness of a free people. A few men have fought your battles; a few men have dared the dangers of the battle-field; a few have borne the hardships of the camp, the scorching suns of summer, the frosts of winter, the malaria of the swamps, the privations incident to our circumstances, fatigue, and hunger, and thirst, often without blankets, without shoes, with insufficient clothing, with the cold, wet earth for a bed, the sky for a covering, and a stone for a pillow, glad only to meet the enemy on the field, where some paid the {p.696} noblest devotion known among men on earth to the cause of your country and your rights with their lives.

But where one has been lost on the field three have been lost by diseases induced by privation and toil. During all these trials we have murmured not; we offered all we had on earth at the altar of our common country-our own beloved Missouri-and we only now ask our fellow-citizens, our brethren, to come to us and help to secure What we have gained and to win our glorious inheritance from the cruel hand of the spoiler and the oppressor. Come to us, brave sons of Missouri! rally to our standard! I must have 50,000 men. I call upon you in the name of your country for 50,000 men. Do you stay at home to take care of your property? Millions of dollars have been lost because you staid at home. Do you stay at home for protection? More men have been murdered at home than I have lost in five successive battles. Do you stay at home to secure terms with the enemy? Then, I warn you, the day may soon come when you may be surrendered to the mercies of that enemy and your substance be given up to the Hessian and jayhawker. I cannot, I will not, attribute such motives to you, my countrymen.

But where are our Southern-rights friends? We must drive the oppressor from our land. I must have 50,000 men. Now is the crisis of your fate; now the golden opportunity to save the State; now is the day of your political salvation. The time of enlistment for our brave band is beginning to expire. Do not tax their patience beyond endurance; do not longer sicken their hearts by hope deferred. They begin to inquire, “Where are our friends?” Who shall give them an answer? Boys and small property-holders have in the main fought the battles for the protection of your property, and when they ask, “Where are the men for whom we are fighting?” how can I, how shall I, explain?

Citizens of Missouri, I call upon you by every consideration of interest, by every desire for safety, by every tie that binds you to home and country, delay no longer. “Let the dead bury their dead.” Leave your property to take care of itself. Commend your homes to the protection of God, and merit the admiration and love of childhood and womanhood by showing yourselves men, the sons of the brave and free, who bequeathed to us the sacred trust of free institutions. Come to the Army of Missouri, not for a week or month, but to free your country.

Strike till each armed foe expires!

Strike for your altars and your fires!

For the green graves of your sires,

God and your native land!

The burning fires of patriotism must inspire and lead you or all is lost; lost, too, just at the moment when all might be forever saved. Numbers give strength. Numbers intimidate the foe. Numbers save the necessity often of fighting battles. Numbers make our arms irresistible. Numbers command universal respect and insure confidence. We must have men-50,000 men. Let the herdsman leave his folds. Let the farmer leave his fields. Let the mechanic leave his shop. Let the lawyer leave his office till we restore the supremacy of law. Let the aspirants for office and place know they will be weighed in the balances of patriotism and may be found wanting. If there be any craven, crouching spirits, who have not the greatness of soul to respond to their country’s call for help, let them stay at home, and let only the brave and true come out to join their brethren on the tented field.

Come with supplies of clothing, and with tents, if you can procure {p.697} them. Come-with your guns of any description that can be made to bring down a foe. If you have no arms, come without them, and we will supply you as far as that is possible. Bring cooking utensils and rations for a few weeks. Bring blankets and heavy shoes and extra bed-clothing if you have them. Bring no horses to remain with the army except those necessary for baggage transportation. We must have 50,000 men. Give me these men, and, by the help of God, I will drive the hireling bands of thieves and marauders from the State. But if Missourians fail now to rise in their strength and avail themselves of the propitious moment to strike for honor and liberty, you cannot say that we have not done all we could do to save you.

You will be advised in time at what point to report for organization and active service. Leave your property at home. What if it be taken-all taken? We have $200,000,000 worth of Northern means in Missouri which cannot be removed. When we are once free the State will indemnify every citizen who may have lost a dollar by adhesion to the cause of his country. We shall have our property, or its value, with interest. But, in the name of God and the attributes of manhood, let me appeal to you by considerations infinitely higher than money! Are we a generation of driveling, sniveling, degraded slaves? Or are we men who dare assert and maintain the rights which cannot be surrendered, and defend those principles of everlasting rectitude, pure and high and sacred, like God, their author? Be yours the office to choose between the glory of a free country and a just government and the bondage of your children! I will never see the chains fastened upon my country. I will ask for six and a half feet of Missouri soil in which to repose, but will not live to see my people enslaved.

Do I hear your shouts? Is that your war-cry which echoes through the land? Are you coming? Fifty-thousand men! Missouri shall move to victory with the tread of a giant! Come on, my brave boys, 50,000 heroic, gallant, unconquerable Southern men! We await your coming.

STERLING PRICE, Major-General, Commanding.

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RICHMOND, VA., November 27, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: It will be unwise to refuse to receive into our service any of the Indians who may offer to enter it. We have now in the service four regiments, numbering in all some 3,500 men, besides the Seminole troops and other detached companies, increasing the number to over 4,000. An additional regiment has been offered by the Choctaws and another can be raised among the Creeks. If I have the authority I can enlist even the malcontents among that people. I can place in the field (arms being supplied) 7,500 Indian troops, not counting the Comanches and Osages, whom I would only employ in case of an invasion of the Indian country.

The Indian country is of great extent, and demands to be defended against the Indians of the prairie on the west and against the more villainous marauders of Kansas on the north. This might be an easy task, but the determination of the Northern Government not to permit us to hold the country in question is well known, and the spring campaign will be fought in large measure for Missouri and the Indian {p.698} country. I wish to organize a force in the Indian country that may constitute a respectable command. I am not desirous to be merely a general of Indians, because a force of 3,000 or 4,000 irregular mounted troops is only of value when sustained by infantry and artillery. More over, to hold the Indian country against the force that will be thrown into it in the spring, if it do not come there to winter, two or three important points must be strengthened by field works, only to be constructed by infantry, but which the Indian rifles will efficiently aid in defending. It is important that our Indians should have our troops by their side, that they may not conclude that they are fighting for us only and not equally for themselves.

Provisions are cheap in the Indian country and forage and fuel are cheap. It is highly desirable to organize there such a force as may not only suffice to defend the country on its western and northern frontiers, but as may be able and ready to render efficient aid to the officer to whom the conduct of operations in Missouri may be intrusted. To do this, I request authority to receive into the service an additional force of Indians, if they offer themselves with arms, or as soon as I may have arms for them, not to exceed, with those already in the service, 7,500 men. A part of this force I propose to place at the posts near Red River, and at new posts to be selected on the western and northern Indian frontier, and to require the utmost economy on the part of their quartermasters and commissaries.

I also request that one of the Arkansas regiments now in the service may be assigned to my command; that I be authorized to receive the regiment now being raised by Col. Frank A. Rector, and that I be also authorized to receive one other infantry regiment, to be commanded, if raised by him, by Charles W. Adams, of Arkansas; this and the others to be infantry, and only to be mustered into the service when armed. No more volunteers can be had in Arkansas unless arms are furnished them, nor ought the Government to incur the expense of paying and feeding unarmed men.

Colonel Rector desires the regiment he is raising to be under my command. Mr. Adams can raise his regiment if I can procure the arms, as I hope to be able to do, and I propose to receive it by companies, and that the President then appoint him colonel. If no more can be done, I request permission to receive three regiments of infantry by companies, as each company presents itself with arms, or as I have arms to supply it, and I also ask for authority to receive two companies of artillery when I shall have the guns to furnish them.

United with infantry and artillery the Indians will prove valuable auxiliaries. A force in the Indian country, little encumbered with wagons and always ready to move, will be as available for offensive or defensive operations in Kansas or Missouri as if stationed in Northwestern Arkansas or wintering in the valley of the Arkansas River.

I am, very truly, your obedient servant,

ALBERT PIKE, Brigadier-General, Provisional Army, C. S. A.

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COLUMBUS, Ky., November 28, 1861.

Maj. Gen. STERLING PRICE, Missouri State Guard:

GENERAL: I avail of the going of one of your command to write a line to say I have strengthened this position until I regard it as safe from any assault the enemy may make against it.

{p.699}

I am now concentrating here a strong force and am fortifying New Madrid.

I have also at my disposal the gunboats belonging to Commander Hollins’ fleet, so that we are getting into a position to aid you above.

I shall be governed by circumstances as to my movements, but feel that you should not allow the enemy to rest or move from Saint Louis southward.

The messenger will give you further information as to details.

With my best wishes for your success in your effort to break the yoke of the oppressor, I remain, respectfully and truly, yours,

L. POLK, Major-General, Commanding.

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LITTLE ROCK, November 28, 1861.

JEFFERSON DAVIS:

A conspiracy has been discovered in the northern part of this State against the Confederate Government. Secret oaths, signs, and passwords adopted. The intention seems to be to join Lincoln’s army if it gets into Arkansas. Twenty-seven men have been arrested and brought here to-day and now in prison. A hundred more will doubtless be brought in a day or so. They say there are 1,700 in the State. What shall be done with them? I ask your advice in the premises. The district judge is not here. He ought to be at his post.

H. M. RECTOR, Governor of Arkansas.

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RICHMOND, November 30, 1861.

Brig. Gen. BEN. MCCULLOCH, Springfield, via Little Rock:

I cannot understand why you withdrew your troops instead of pursuing the enemy when his leaders were quarreling and his army separated into parts under different commanders. Send an explanation.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, December 2, 1861.

Brig. Gen. ALBERT PIKE, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: In answer to your letter of the 27th ultimo, I have to say that the Department makes no objection, but, on the contrary, cheerfully assents to your mustering into the service as many companies or regiments of Indians as you may be able to find arms for; also two regiments of infantry and two companies of artillery in the same manner, as soon as you can procure the arms.

No promise can be made in advance (none is ever made) as to the nomination of colonel if the companies are mustered separately into service. You will, of course, understand that the troops as proposed can only be mustered into service according to the rules of the Department, a printed copy whereof I inclose you, calling particular attention to the following points:

1st. That we can at present furnish no arms, but will cheerfully pay {p.700} at a valuation for all such as are furnished by troops who offer to enlist for the war.

2d. That if troops arm themselves and tender their services for twelve months we accept them, but do not pay for the arms.

I would not be willing to accept the Indians, even if offered for the war, as it would be of little value to put them in camps of instruction as we do with our own citizens under such circumstances. I doubt not the value of such a force as you propose to raise, and will be most happy to learn of your success.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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HDQRS. FIRST MIL. DIST., MISSOURI STATE GUARD, New Madrid, Mo., December 2, 1861.

Col. W. G. PHEELAN, MO. S. Commanding Second Regiment, Camp Blanton, Mo.:

SIR: By orders from the Secretary of War, the embargo on all produce and stock is removed. You will therefore let the people know that they can ship or drive their produce or stock. You will order the companies of Captains Galbraith and McMurray, belonging to the First Regiment of Cavalry, to report to their regiment at this place. The troops from Cairo have gone northward again, and whether they will go after Price or stop at Cape Girardeau is not known. The weather is exceedingly bad and many men are sick. As soon as I hear from Price I will prepare for winter quarters. Let me hear from you, and as soon as Kitchen returns you had better come over.

Yours, &c.,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Columbus, Ky., December 2, 1861.

Colonel Gantt will move his regiment to New Madrid and garrison the work now being constructed at that place. He will take with him four guns on siege-carriages, now on the work on the hill; the guns not now in battery. He will make requisition on the ordnance officer at this place for 100 rounds, 50 round shot, and 50 of grape for each gun, with necessary cartridges of powder. While General Thompson is at that post he will command the post and Colonel Gantt will report to and be under his orders. He will take with him twenty days’ rations for his command. A transport will be furnished by the time the command can be put in readiness.

By command of G. J. Pillow, brigadier-general, C. S. Army.

JOHN C. BURCH, Aide-de-Camp.

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LITTLE ROCK, December 3, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

I dispatched the President recently [November 28], advising him of the arrest of citizens of Arkansas who had entered into a conspiracy against the South, No answer. Twenty-seven of them are in jail here {p.701} awaiting trial. Sixty have been arrested in Searcy County and 47 in Izard. The citizens have permitted them to volunteer. A portion sent to McCulloch, others to Colonel Borland, commanding at Pocahontas. The authorities of Arkansas are asked to approve this course. We decline, unless sanctioned by yourself or the President. If sent to the army at all, our opinion is they should go south.

H. M. RECTOR, Governor and President.

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RICHMOND, VA., December 3, 1861.

Hon. W. P. HARRIS, Confederate States Congress:

MY DEAR SIR: Language was said by Talleyrand to be useful for the concealment of one’s thoughts; but in our day it fails to communicate any thought. If it had been otherwise, the complaint in relation to General Price of which you speak could not have been made. The Commissioners of Missouri were informed that when that State offered troops they would be organized according to our military laws and generals would be appointed for brigades and divisions. Until then I have no power to appoint generals for those troops. The same statement, substantially, was made to the members of Congress from Missouri who called on me yesterday. They were also informed that, from conversation with informed persons and from correspondence now on file in the War Department, I was convinced that it was needful to the public interest that a general should be sent to the Arkansas and Missouri Division who had not been connected with any of the troops on that line of operations; and to the statement that the Missouri troops would not fully enlist under any one except General Price, I asked if they required their general to be put in command of the troops of Arkansas, of Texas, and of other Southern States. To bring these different forces into harmonious co-operation is a necessity. I have sought to effect it by selecting General Heth to command them in combination. If it is designed, by calling Heth a West Point Cadet, merely to object to his education in the science of war, it may pass for what it is worth; but if it be intended to assert that he is without experience, his years of active and distinguished service on the frontier of Missouri and the territory west of it will, to those who examine before they censure, be a sufficient answer. The Federal forces are not hereafter, as heretofore, to be commanded by path-finders and holiday soldiers, but by men of military education and experience in war. The contest is therefore to be on a scale of very different proportions than that of the partisan warfare witnessed during the past summer and fall. I have long since learned to bear hasty censure, in the hope that justice, if tardy, is sure; and in any event to find consolation in the assurance that all my ends have been my country’s.

With high respect,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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LITTLE ROCK, December 4, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

Your dispatch of November 30 has been received. It is impossible to explain by telegraph.* I ask leave to go to Richmond at once for {p.702} that purpose. My army are now going into winter quarters. Nothing now can be done on this line until spring. I await answer.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

BEN. MCCULLOCH, Brigadier-General.

* See Series I, Vol. III, p. 743.

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RICHMOND, December 5, 1861.

General BEN. MCCULLOCH, Little Rock:

If you think you can safely leave your command, you are authorized to come to Richmond.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., December 5, 1861.

Gov. H. M. RECTOR, Little Rock:

It is not possible, at this distance and with imperfect knowledge of the facts, to give directions about the parties arrested. You must use your best judgment in acting on the information before you.*

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

* See Rector to Benjamin, December 3, p. 700.

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HEADQUARTERS MISSOURI STATE GUARD, Camp on Rae River, December 6, 1861.

Brigadier-General MCCULLOCH, Or other Officer Comdg. Confederate Forces in Northwestern Arkansas:

SIR: The condition of affairs in this State is such that I must move my command to the Missouri River at the earliest practicable day. Predatory bands of the enemy, under such men as Lane, Montgomery, and Jennison, supported by the United States forces, are not only desolating the country, but are committing the most barbarous outrages upon the people of that region. They at the same time effectually close the roads to the thousands of recruits who would join my army if they could get to it.

My advices from all parts of the State satisfy me that my numbers would be indefinitely increased if I could but open the way to the river. My own force is too small to effect this without incurring the greatest risks. Your co-operation would enable me to do it without risk or difficulty, and we could thereby not only relieve that part of the State, but would be able to place ourselves in the very best position for opening the campaign by destroying the railroads and getting possession of the rivers.

I do, therefore, beg you to give me your instant and effective co-operation in a movement upon the Missouri River and also into Kansas if you shall concur in it. I await your answer very anxiously.

I inclose you a proclamation* as a sample of what is threatened by the enemy upon the Missouri River, and they seem to be carrying out their threats.

{p.703}

I am transferring the State troops as rapidly as I can, and very successfully, into the Confederate service.

I am, with the greatest respect, very truly, your obedient servant,

STERLING PRICE, Major-General, Commanding Mo. S. G.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, Yarn Buren, Ark., December 7, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that, having been left in command of the division by General McCulloch, I have established my headquarters at this place. The prevalence of the small-pox at Fort Smith prevented me from making my headquarters there. I have taken every possible precaution to prevent this disease from entering the division, and I am happy to state that no case has yet occurred among the troops. The division is divided into two brigades-the First commanded by myself, is composed of five regiments of cavalry and one independent company; the Second commanded by Col. Louis Hébert (whose headquarters are at Fayetteville), is composed of six regiments of infantry, one regiment and a battalion of cavalry, and three batteries, two four-gun batteries, and one complete. My brigade is now at its stations on the Arkansas River below this and in a distance of 60 miles. The companies are busily engaged in erecting huts for winter quarters. The Second Brigade have gone into winter quarters near Fayetteville.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

JAMES MCINTOSH, Colonel, Commanding.

[Indorsement.]

DECEMBER 18, 1861.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War. In my opinion this command, instead of being put into winter quarters, would be kept free from disease by being ordered to the field in Missouri, where it would render good service to the cause. Colonel McIntosh is an intelligent, active officer, and would grace the commission of brigadier-general. Colonel Hébert is also a highly-intelligent and capable officer. A combination of the talents of these officers as leaders would doubtless produce favorable results.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector-General.

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HDQRS. FIRST MIL. DIST., MISSOURI STATE GUARD, New Madrid, Mo., December 7, 1861.

Brig. Gen. M. L. CLARK, MO. S. G., Richmond, Va.:

DEAR GENERAL: There has been a great deal of dissatisfaction among the men you left here, and upon the return of Colonel Kennelly, who was anxious to have some of them go with him, and on a representation that you had accepted a position in the Regular Army, {p.704} they determined to disband. The officers all seemed willing and anxious, and I, not feeling willing or disposed to hold them against their desire when we were all about reorganizing, gave my consent, and yesterday they scattered to the four winds. Kelly, Peterson, Wise, and Brannon remain with me. Some went. Frost and Bower and the majority have returned to Saint Louis County. The terms of enlistment of my men are expiring each day, and, as we have not been able to get a single official order or instruction as to the plan of reorganization, I am having great trouble to satisfy the men. If you can throw any light upon the subject I will be much obliged to you.

Believe me to be, yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. FIRST MIL. DIST., MISSOURI STATE GUARD, New Madrid, Mo., December 7, 1861.

Brig. Gen. GIDEON J. PILLOW, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR GENERAL: Colonel Gantt reached here last night, and is now encamping near the fort. I will have the big guns placed to-day. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Governor Jackson or definite instructions about our reorganization. The terms of enlistment of my men are expiring every day, and while there is so much suspense many are desiring to leave who would cheerfully enlist if matters could be placed right. The rumor that General Price has been superseded is producing great dissatisfaction and I hope the report is untrue. A number of outsiders have been here recruiting and my officers have been much annoyed. Everything is reported quiet about Charleston. I hope my men are reporting to your satisfaction.

Yours, respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. FIRST MIL. DIST., MISSOURI STATE GUARD, New Madrid, Mo., December 8, 1861.

His Excellency C. F. JACKSON, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Missouri, Richmond, Mo.:

SIR: I have been most anxiously waiting some definite instructions in regard to the expiration of the terms of enlistment of the men now in the field of the Missouri State Guard, and also about our organization under the Confederate States. The time of those who answered your call is fast expiring. In fact every day whole companies are relieved by expiration of terms, and as many should and ought to go home, while others would come under different officers, the present efficiency of the force is decidedly below par. If the present organization is to be continued in the field another proclamation from you is necessary, and, if a reorganization is to be had or gone into, it should be done soon and all at once, so that the appeals and excitement can be used to better advantage. I can raise a brigade without any trouble, if allowed to manage it now; but if separate companies and regiments are allowed to break up and form at different times, there will be no enthusiasm and a great falling off in numbers. I have a great many {p.705} men sick and they are dying by the wholesale. Please send me some orders on the subject of reorganization.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. FIRST MIL. DIST., MISSOURI STATE GUARD, New Madrid, Mo., December 8, 1861-10 a.m.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR GENERAL: My dispatches inform me that two of my men, who were sent to take posts on my courier line, have been captured by the enemy. Major Kalfus has sent to you a plan and description of the works at Cairo, and I am fearful they were sent by these two men, and I notify you, for fear that other plans may be sent you in lieu of those captured. I will immediately write to Major Kalfus to get the names of persons bearing his dispatch to you. Our fort is nearly ready.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. FIRST MIL. DIST., MISSOURI STATE GUARD, New Madrid, Mo., December 9, 1861.

Col. W. G. PHEELAN, MO. S. G., Camp Blanton, Mo.:

DEAR COLONEL: Governor Jackson is here, and I can now begin to talk with some knowledge of the plan of reorganization. It is proposed that all the able-bodied men shall enlist in the Confederate service, and from among themselves elect their field officers up to the colonel. The balance are to form themselves into new companies and regiments of Missouri State Guard under the old law, subject to be called out at any time the Governor may see fit. Now, I want you to tell me frankly and fairly how many we can depend upon from Stoddard County. It is very necessary that we should form a whole brigade, if possible, and, as the companies and regiments must be full, I am very anxious to know what to rely upon. If it would assist in the organization, or you think more would be induced to join, I will order all your command over to this post, so that you all can have a show in the election of field officers; for, if you remain on that side of the swamp, you can only form companies and then will have to be attached to some other regiment, where the officers may be already elected. Probably it would be as well to form companies over there, and then let them march here before the election of field officers. This applies to the cavalry as well as to the infantry, and I really am in doubt as to the best plan to give you all a fair show and satisfaction. If Bloomfield could be left exposed for a week, without danger from the enemy, I would at once order over all, to be paid off and reorganize. Therefore, I simply repeat, let me know your opinion on the subject as soon as possible, as there is not much time to lose.

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

{p.706}

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HDQRS. FIRST MIL. DIST., MISSOURI STATE GUARD, New Madrid, Mo., December 9, 1861.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR GENERAL: Governor Jackson reached here this evening, and will remain with me a few days before he goes up to see you. He wishes us to reorganize immediately, and I would be pleased if you would send us down a mustering officer immediately, as he will be able to answer the ten thousand questions with which I am now bothered and can receive the companies as they are formed.

It is proposed to christen Fort Thompson to-day, both for the purpose of trying the range of the guns and collecting our men, to be addressed by Governor Jackson. Should the guns be heard at Columbus you are notified that there is no fight down here.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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MEMPHIS, TENN., December 9, 1861.

Hon. E. C. CABELL:

MY DEAR SIR: Agreeably to your request, I beg leave to state that the following is the result of observations recently made by me whilst going to, remaining at, and returning from Saint Louis.

Saint Louis is surrounded by a single line of detached works of earth, which are well constructed, but so located as to admit of the passage of troops between them without coming under fire. This defect would have been remedied if the original plan of a second line of advanced works had been carried out. This intention has, however, been abandoned.

I learned from what I deemed good authority that a force of 30,000 or 35,000 men could be detached from Missouri for a southern expedition, and still leave a sufficient force in the State to hold that portion of it now in the possession of the Federal Government. It is generally understood to be the intention of Halleck to advance upon Columbus from Cairo in the latter part of this month or the first of the next with a force of from 75,000 to 100,000 men. Accompanying this land force will be a flotilla of some twenty or thirty gunboats, which are cased with 2 1/2-inch iron amidships, so as to protect the machinery, and some thirty mortar rafts, each carrying a 13-inch mortar, with a bulwark of iron plates 3/8-inch thick, to protect riflemen. These will be towed into position by diminutive tug-boats or propellers. The gunboats will generally carry eleven guns of large caliber. The whole expedition will be thoroughly equipped, and the flotilla will be manned by experienced sailors and officered by officers of the Navy. They will come with the full intention of taking the place at any cost, and declare that to be their determination, though it cost 20,000 men. I think the attack will be very formidable.

Columbus is tolerably well fortified, with the usual field works on the land side, while the steep bluff is a sufficient protection from assault on the river front. It strikes me, however, that there is a deficiency of guns in position for a horizontal fire, which of course is best for inexperienced gunners. The plunging fire from the high bluff is admirably fitted for the sloping sides of the gunboats, but will be quite uncertain. The large area of the field works will give a fine target for mortar practice, {p.707} which may have the effect to demoralize green troops. The want of experienced officers seems to be felt in the garrison.

Fort Pillow is a place of much greater natural strength than Columbus, and the batteries are well constructed and well located. Some sixty guns can be brought to bear on almost any point of the river within range.

I did not see the works on the land front, but was informed that they were well placed and very extensive, requiring a large garrison. The present garrison of Fort Pillow is insufficient to man the guns on the river front for any protracted engagement.

I look upon this place as one of great importance. Should boats be able to get past Columbus they could be very effectually stopped here. It is not so much exposed, or at least the main batteries are not, to a mortar fire, and it would form an excellent rallying point to any troops that might meet with a reverse in front. It ought to be commanded by an experienced and scientific officer and kept well provisioned.

With regard to affairs in Missouri, General Price has advanced toward Sedalia and issued a proclamation calling for 50,000 men. It is supposed that he will obtain them. If he does, he ought of course to make a demonstration toward Saint Louis, in order to retain there as much as possible of Halleck’s force, and at the same time he ought by all means to attack and take Fort Leavenworth, which contains supplies of every kind sufficient to winter his army, and which are estimated by those who transported them to be worth $8,000,000. Having taken Fort Leavenworth, and destroyed the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad before he did so, he could then with that force sweep down through Kansas and exterminate the jayhawking bands of Lane and Montgomery, which he could easily do, as he would then have them between two fires.

By very prompt and energetic action, such as he has heretofore exhibited, it is not impossible that Halleck’s great expedition might be paralyzed; but to do this he must have a large force, and to obtain this it has been necessary for him, in the proclamation referred to, to confess his present weakness.

When we look at the great necessity that exists for troops in this direction it seems impossible that the recent movement of troops from that theater to Arkansas can be justified.

I need not tell you that to lose Memphis now would be to lose the heart of the Southwestern States of the Confederacy. To prevent this it is necessary that those States should strain every nerve to re-enforce Fort Pillow and Columbus and that speedily and at the same time everything now possible should be done to give heart and hope to the people of Missouri.

Very truly, yours,

D. M. FROST.

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NEW MADRID, MO., December 11, 1861.

Major-General POLK:

DEAR SIR: I have deferred writing a few days to learn something of the country and of my duties here.

The fort is nearly completed. Is not so large as I anticipated; only of sufficient size to contain buildings for a magazine and commissary stores and quarters for about two infantry and two artillery companies. More than this would be dangerous, since in case of fire the soldiers {p.708} would be compelled to abandon the fort. I have selected a spot just below, immediately on the bank of the river and facing the sally-port or entrance of the fort, for the construction of barracks for my command. Have engaged the lumber, and can have them built in a week. It is the best, I think, that can be done. The position is out of the way of the guns, cannot be flanked by the enemy, and could afford him no cover in advancing upon the fort. Shall I go on and build them?

It occurs to me that another fort like this-a bastion-built higher up the river, at a point where an impassable swamp comes well-nigh up to New Madrid, would be advisable. It would command all the weak points not covered by the guns of this fort, and the two, properly controlled, would render this a very strong point.

I fear that only a few of General Thompson’s forces can be induced to re-enlist now. This will leave us here almost alone, and that in a few days. The enemy are not ignorant of this. It is useless to say they are not advised of matters here. These facts lead me to conclude that we stand in immediate need of additional forces here. The regiment at Island No. 10.-Colonel Smith’s-might, I think, be sent here, as that point could not be attacked except by way of this place or down the river. I can send forthwith for the guns I have below and arm them. Besides this, these troops need drilling and rigid discipline, the requirements of the service having kept them heretofore isolated. Logan’s battalion from Arkansas will soon reach Columbus. It is raised under the order I obtained from you a few weeks since. Could it not be ordered here? If allowed a preference, they would come. It is armed. Colonel Terry’s Arkansas command, just organized, if not otherwise disposed of, might be sent here. I sent messengers to Arkansas for a cavalry regiment, with instructions to report to you at Columbus. I fear it has gone into service elsewhere. I can soon have one organized and, I think, armed, yet not in time to meet the emergency just upon us. Unless General Thompson’s cavalry re-enlist we shall be without this arm of the service. Such a possibility, which I fear is a probability, needs no comment.

Assistant quartermaster and commissary for the Confederate forces here are indispensable. The Missouri Militia are better in marching and fighting than in army detail. I think it would be to the interest of the Confederacy to get accounts as little confused with them as possible. Their facilities are fewer, and they necessarily pay more for supplies than Confederate officers. In obedience to your instructions, the quartermaster and commissary of my regiment, who are both Confederate bonded officers, are acting as post officers for the Confederate forces here. About $3,000 placed in their hands now would enable them to open a running account for supplies, forage, &c. We can purchase pork at 6, beef at 5, and corn at 45 cents. These officers might be of service in procuring supplies for Columbus. They are energetic and competent business men.

The fort is a half mile from town and 2 or 3 miles from General Thompson’s command. While he and his command are gallant officers and soldiers, and while he as a brigadier and his staff as officers are, in my opinion, highly essential to the success of our cause in Missouri, yet in matters of discipline and drill, of defense and fortification, and all those things which pertain to the efficient and thorough organization of our army, they are somewhat careless. I cannot help feeling that the responsibility of matters connected with the fort will rest upon me. I would feel better satisfied to take command of the fort at once and report to General T. as commandant of the post. It {p.709} would be entirely agreeable to him I feel sure. I make this suggestion above because I am impressed with the necessity of a regulated and disciplined force for the task assigned us. As it is, there is an artillery company and my command belonging to the fort, but each independent of the other, and both at sea as to orders, drill, regulations, &c. The ammunition for the guns sent from Columbus not received. Captain Stewart will forward a requisition for what is necessary, which we ought to have as early as practicable.

If matters here were under your eye directly, or your knowledge of them did not have to come through channels necessarily and unavoidably imperfect, I should not have made the suggestions above, and do so with diffidence, for I am aware that it requires nice discrimination to keep in the bounds of propriety in such matters, and hope to be pardoned for anything I may have said amiss.

Regretting the length of this letter and promising brevity hereafter,

I am, yours, &c.,

E. W. GANTT, Commanding Twelfth Arkansas Regimen’

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LITTLE VERDIGRIS, December 11, 1861.

Col. JAMES MCINTOSH, Commanding McCulloch’s Division, &c.:

COLONEL: Yours of the 1st instant, by Major Clark, is at hand. Colonel Sims’ effective command is with me, and will go into winter quarters as soon as the state of affairs in this country will permit. Day before yesterday we had a battle with Hopoeithlayohola’s forces, about 2,000 strong, and a part of Colonel Drew’s regiment of Cherokees, who deserted in a body the night before and went over to the enemy. Colonel Drew and about 70 men joined me. This disaffection, I fear, is wide-spread in the Cherokee Nation, and instead of withdrawing troops, it is absolutely necessary to have additional white force. I hope you will send Colonel Young’s regiment immediately to support Col. Stand Watie or take post at or near Fort Gibson. Col. Stand Watie, if hard pressed, will fall back to that point. The true men among the Cherokees must be supported and protected or we shall lose the Indian Territory.

Respectfully,

DOUGLAS H. COOPER, Colonel, C. S. Army, Commanding Indian Department.

I am nearly out of provisions and ammunition, and shall fall back down the Arkansas slowly to mouth of Verdigris. The battle commenced about 1 o’clock and lasted until the darkness compelled me to withdraw my men from the creek bottom. Next morning the enemy had disappeared. Their loss was very heavy.

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HEADQUARTERS, Pocahontas, Ark., December 11, 1861.

General A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON, Commanding Western Department, Bowling Green, Ky.:

GENERAL: Since my letter of the 27th ultimo,* concerning insurrectionary {p.710} movements in Izard County and other portions of this State, the expedition, consisting of two companies of infantry, which, as I then informed you, would be sent to aid in suppressing those movements, has performed that duty and returned. As I had anticipated the troubles in that quarter were found to be less serious than they had been represented to me, though they were sufficiently so to require prompt attention. By the time my expedition arrived at the scene of these troubles the loyal citizens of the several neighborhoods had organized themselves into companies of Home Guards for their own protection, and had so far regained the ascendancy as to leave but little more for the force I had sent to their assistance than to aid in collecting the prisoners who were taken or had voluntarily given themselves up. As well as I can learn, some 40 of these prisoners had already been sent to Little Rock and some 75 or 80 more were confined in the jails of the different counties. Besides these, my returning force received the surrender of 57 prisoners and brought them to this place for my disposal. Upon inquiring into the character and antecedents of those 57 men, I do not find that any of them have been guilty of such overt acts of disloyalty as would warrant any severity of punishment. The most of them are ignorant men; and although they have continued to be, ever since the accession of Arkansas to the Southern Confederacy, Union men, in their associations, at least, if not in their real sentiments and decided connections, yet they are not found to have engaged in any act of open disloyalty to our Government. The most of them, moreover, declare their innocence of any such intentions, alleging that if they have done wrong at all in this respect they had been misled by others, who have made their escape from the country; and in evidence of their present sincerity and their desire to prove their loyalty to the South they have all voluntarily taken the oath of allegiance, and earnestly insist upon being permitted to enter the military service in some of our companies.

In view of this state of facts, and believing that it will be both safe and useful to the public interest, I have granted permission for such of them as may be found suitable in other respects to be received as recruits into the several companies; suitable arms for their use being furnished by the country people. Such of them as may be found unfit for the military service and are yet unwilling to return home, as all of them are, will be disposed of in the most useful and economical way, as mechanics, teamsters, &c., as opportunity may offer.

From the best information I can get, the prompt and decided steps which have been taken in this case, especially in the matter of driving the leaders entirely from the State and removing so many of the rank and file from the disaffected neighborhoods, have had the effect to crush the insurrectionary movement in all its material elements, and leave little more to be done in respect to it than to exercise ordinary vigilance and discretion for a few weeks or months to come in quieting the public mind in those neighborhoods where these troubles have existed. This I shall endeavor to do, in co-operation with the State authorities.

In the hope that what I have done in this case will meet your approval, I have the honor to be, most respectfully, yours,

SOLON BORLAND, Colonel, Commanding.

* Not found.

{p.711}

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CAMP NEW MADRID, December 13, 1861-10 a.m.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR GENERAL: I inclose you a letter from the captain of my scout near Charleston, which is rather discouraging, compared with the events of the evening before. My men attacked them, the enemy, before, and brought in 2 men, 5 muskets, 15 blankets &c. ; but they paid me for it last night. Unless something unexpected transpires between now and night, I intend to take a moonlight ride after them myself and hope then to give a good account of them.

Governor Jackson will go on the first boat to Memphis to get his family, and will probably go direct from there to see General Johnston.

I send you also a letter taken from one of the prisoners. It is rumored here that Colonel Bowen is having a fight. As soon as my little cannon arrive I will test their virtue on the enemy.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Inclosures.]

EAST PRAIRIE, December 12, 1861.

General JEFF. THOMPSON:

DEAR GENERAL: I received yours of the 11th, and in reply can say that we are still keeping a sharp lookout. The Northerners were out yesterday scouting the country west of Charleston as far as Bertrand. They took 12 citizens prisoners in that vicinity, and they came in contact with our pickets, 6 in number; 4 at one place, which they captured, the other 2 at another place, and made fight, and succeeded in killing 1 Northerner, slightly wounding another, and killing 1 horse, and made their escape into the swamp. Their forces amounted to 200 cavalry and about the same of infantry. The infantry was left at Charleston whilst the cavalry scouted. They say they know that Jeff. Thompson is in the neighborhood with at least 150 men, and tell the citizens if they don’t tell where they are that they will burn the town (Charleston) and destroy the property of all who harbor them. They say they are going to scout the country out or run us out of it. They all went back to the Point last evening except one company of cavalry, which fed their horses at Charleston and started, with orders to go to Shelly’s Bridge and thence to East Prairie. I have not heard of them since.

I send you a man who says he lives at Cook’s farm, below Belmont, and was taken on the Madrid and Charleston road, 8 miles south of Charleston, and inquiring for some mill, where he could get to work. Having no pass, telling a crooked story, I thought best to send him to camp.

Yours, truly, &c.,

CHARLES P. PRICE, Captain Co. D, First Reg. Cav., First Div., Mo. S. G.

Mr. POLK:

SIR: I have just returned from Saint Louis, and I learned that they have chartered 40 steamboats, to be at Cairo on the 10th of this month; but the river is so low that they cannot get all of their gunboats down. They will have some twelve or thirteen gunboats and three hundred guns, and they say they can take Columbus with 40,000 men most easy. {p.712} They will come down to you. I think they will have seventy-five regiments or more. They haven’t over 6,000 at Camp Holt. I don’t know how many guns they have there and at Bird’s Point. I don’t know, as they won’t let me go to their cannon. I think I will be able to go where I please soon.

I will get more information soon. They are close after me at this time. You must excuse me.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, Van Buren, Ark., December 14, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I have to-day received a communication from Major-General Price, commanding the Missouri State Guard, asking my cooperation with him in his proposed march to the Missouri River. I herewith inclose my answer. The facility with which the enemy could concentrate a force on the Missouri River renders such a project at this season of the year almost madness. In a very short time it will be nearly impossible for wagons or artillery to move over the Missouri roads.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES MCINTOSH, Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, Van Buren, Ark., December 14, 1861.

Maj. Gen. STERLING PRICE, Commanding Mo. S. G., Camp on Sac River, Missouri:

GENERAL: Your communication, dated the 6th instant, has just been received. After General McCulloch ordered the troops of this division into winter quarters, some at Fayetteville and some on the Arkansas River, he started for Richmond, leaving the command with me. On the same day I received your communication a call for aid came from General Cooper, commanding the Indian Department, who had just had another battle with Hopoeithlayohola, and was falling back. Some of the Indian regiments were disaffected, and nearly an entire regiment had deserted to the enemy. Under these circumstances I have been compelled to send three regiments to his assistance.

I am endeavoring to make the troops now in this division as effective as possible, in anticipation of a call from the Mississippi River. Memphis is menaced, and a call has been made on the neighboring States for assistance. The fall of Memphis would be disastrous in the extreme to our cause. Under all these circumstances, the want of many essentials, the want of warm clothing for our Southern troops, and, moreover, the great distance to be traveled in the depth of winter over the bleak prairies of Missouri, I feel compelled, although reluctantly, to decline to co-operate with you in your proposed march to the Missouri River. Hitherto whenever we have co-operated, and I have had a voice in the matter, it has always been to move forward with you, but I am satisfied that nothing but disaster would attend a forward movement now. Did I think the good of my country permitted this move nothing {p.713} would give me greater pleasure than to march to the aid of men so gallantly battling for their country and their homes.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES MCINTOSH, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, Van Buren, Ark., December 14, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that I have just received the inclosed communication* from Colonel Cooper, commanding the forces in the Indian Department. In answer to his call for aid I have sent seven companies of Young’s regiment, five companies of Greer’s regiment, and Major Whitfield’s battalion of three companies. I have also countermanded the order calling Sims’ regiment into winter quarters, and ordered him to report to Colonel Cooper. With this force I think Colonel Cooper will be able to march against Hopoeithlayohola with a certainty of success. I have advised him as soon as this force is concentrated to march at once and use his utmost efforts to destroy the enemy. Hopoeithlayohola has now 2,500 men, and probably more will join him unless he is soon overthrown. Drew’s regiment of Cherokees has disbanded, the greater number going over to the enemy. Hopoeithlayohola is undoubtedly securing assistance from Kansas.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES MCINTOSH, Colonel, Commanding.

* See of December 11, p. 709.

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HEADQUARTERS OF DIVISION, Van Buren, Ark., December 15, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to apply to be removed from this section of the country after the return of General McCulloch, or, if he does not return, after I am relieved from the command of this division. In the mean time I will use every possible means to organize the different departments of the division and to render the troops as efficient as the circumstances will permit. It is well known to you that as soon as I resigned from the Federal service I hastened to Montgomery, and laid before the Department the necessity of organizing a force to operate here, and I volunteered for service. I had hoped that a position would have been assigned me, giving me some command, but, notwithstanding my disappointment, I cheerfully came out as the adjutant-general of the officer assigned to duty here, and labored faithfully and under many difficulties to form an army. During the period I acted as adjutant-general the command of several different regiments was offered to me. At length I accepted one, and led it through the bloody field {p.714} of Oak Hills. My election of colonel was confirmed by the Department. Since the battle of Oak Hills I have for a great part of the time commanded the advance guard of our little army, and I am happy to say at least won the confidence of the people of this State. I do not think any battle of importance will be fought during the next year west of the Mississippi River. Probably none other than a guerrilla war will be kept up. I therefore desire and respectfully apply for service where the tug of war will be, and where I can be of more service than here. Moreover, I desire to be nearer the Department, where, if I am fortunate, I may at least be heard, and have the same chances that many of the regular officers of the Army, younger in rank than myself, have had, and rise at least to their level. I hope my request will be granted.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES MCINTOSH, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS MISSOURI STATE GUARD, Camp near Osceola, December 16, 1861.

The PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES:

SIR: The Hon. William A. Harris will present this letter to you, and will also make known to Your Excellency the present condition of affairs in this State. I have particularly instructed him to endeavor to impress upon you the importance of the instant and active co-operation of the Confederate forces in Northwestern Arkansas with this army. I have repeatedly assured your Government that such co-operation would enable me to take and maintain possession of three fourths of the State and to gather around me at least 50,000 recruits These cannot come to me in the present condition of the State. Most of them are compelled to stay at home to give whatever protection they can to their families against the armies and marauding gangs which are laying waste and desolating the State; and thousands who would gladly join the army, if they could get to it, are prevented from doing so by the extension of the enemy’s lines across the State and their occupation of every approach to the army. All that I can do under the circumstances is to occupy the most threatening position which I can dare to assume, so as to hold in check the greatest possible number of the enemy and so prevent them from being employed against us elsewhere. It is this consideration which leads me to hold my present position, which is one of the greatest peril.

I hope that Your Excellency will be pleased to order the Confederate forces in Northwestern Arkansas to co-operate with me, and to do it immediately. I fear that our cause in Missouri may otherwise become desperate. The enemy are not only laying waste those parts of the State which are liable to fall into our possession or which are occupied by our friends, but they openly declare that no crops shall be sown which can possibly fall into our hands. It is altogether important that this work of ruin and devastation should be speedily arrested. The present winter is the most favorable season for operations, and I assure you that nothing stands in the way of complete success but the want of co-operation between the Confederate and State forces.

Mr. Harris will present my views and wishes more fully and particularly {p.715} than I can write them, and I commend him to your fullest confidence.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, Your Excellency’s obedient servant,

STERLING PRICE, Major-General, Commanding Mo. S. G.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, Van Buren, Ark., December 16, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: Since my communication of day before yesterday I have heard more of the disaffection of the Cherokees and of the rapidly-increasing force of Hopoeithlayohola, the Creek chief. I have deemed the troubles there of sufficient importance to send additional force, and will myself take command and march against Hopoeithlayohola. I start to-morrow, and will march with upwards of 2,000 men. With this force and Colonel Cooper’s I hope soon to settle matters in the nation.*

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES MCINTOSH.

* See operations in the Indian Territory, November 19, 1861-January 4, 1862, pp. 4-33.

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HDQRS. FIRST MIL. DIST., MISSOURI STATE GUARD, Camp New Madrid, Mo., December 16, 1861.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR GENERAL: I would be pleased if you would send down a mustering officer as soon as possible, with such instructions as you may be pleased to give him, in regard to the matter upon which I conversed with you a few days since. I would draw your attention again to the fact that a transfer and reorganization of the Missouri State Guard is not like the formation of new companies, from the fact that many captains who cannot probably produce more than 40 or 50 men to the mustering officer may have absent on leave, or sick, or on duty more than enough to make a full company. Therefore I would ask that you would either allow the mustering officer or myself a “margin,” when from known circumstances we have reason to believe that a full company will be raised.

My instructions arrived this evening from Major-General Price, and he has been pleased to approve of my conduct during the past six months, and desires us to enter the Confederate service as soon as possible, and the eloquent appeals which appear in his Camp Journal will certainly have great weight in inducing men to re-enlist.

Many of my men are anxious to return home for a short time, and, for fear of the weather preventing their return in time, it would be well if you could station another regiment here, even though it be one of the unarmed regiments. They could assist in building such fortifications as you may desire to build here. I have discovered by experience that we cannot work the negro and our kind of soldiers on the same work at the same time; and, as the number of negroes which I {p.716} have been able to collect in this county is so small, I ordered them all sent home this evening, and more soldiers detailed for to-morrow. Smith’s regiment, at Island No. 10, could be profitably employed here, and Colonel Gantt is anxious to have them.

A scouting party of the enemy (some hundred or more) came across Jones’ Ford from Commerce last night, and captured several citizens and some of my men, who were at home. They immediately returned to Commerce or Cape Girardeau. I have not yet taken my moonlight ride, as none of the enemy are out of Bird’s Point, and my scouts say they are expecting an attack hourly at that point.

Hoping that you will send a mustering officer, or send me authority to act, I am, yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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RICHMOND, VA., December 20, 1861.

General STERLING PRICE, Commanding Missouri Forces:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have received, with much pleasure, your letter of the 10th ultimo,* with the inclosed correspondence. It was not needed to make me appreciate the difficulties and embarrassments under which you have labored nor the sacrifices and devotion displayed in the cause of Missouri and the South. For all this you have not only my thanks and those of the good people of your own State, but also those of the whole South. We here have not forgotten you; but, on the contrary, have been most anxious to give to Missouri all the aid in our power, and have been hopefully looking for the tender of troops from Missouri and Arkansas, to be organized into brigades and divisions under the laws of the Confederate States. We have at present no troops to give you except those under General McCulloch, and you are aware of their condition.

I was sorry to learn from Colonel Cooke that the term of service of your forces is for so short a period and that the term of enlistment of so many is about to expire. You know the disadvantage of short terms of service. Can you not organize a force for the war? So long as it lasts the people of the country in which it is carried on must engage in it; and, until our independence is recognized and peace restored, the only question should be, how can these ends be best promoted?

The agreement entered into with General Frémont was very desirable to us, and it is to be regretted that his removal has made the contract void.

You may rest assured that the welfare of Missouri is as dear to me as that of other States of the Confederacy, and that I will do all in my power to assist her in her struggle to maintain the common cause and to vindicate her freedom and sovereignty.

Accept my most friendly remembrance and assurances of my best wishes for your success and happiness.

Very respectfully and truly, yours,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

* See Series I, Vol. III, p. 734.

{p.717}

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 136.}

HEADQUARTERS MO. S. G., Camp on Bear Creek, December 20, 1861.

The army will move to-morrow morning at sunrise. The following will be the order of march:

1st. Eighth Division, General Rains.

2d. Third Division, General Price.

3d. Second Division, General Green.

4th. Sixth Division, General Parsons.

5th. Volunteer Corps, Colonel Little.

6th. Fourth Division, General Slack.

7th. Fifth Division, General Steen.

The Eighth Division will furnish an advance guard of 200 men, under command of a field officer, who will report to the major-general commanding, before starting, for instructions. The Fifth Division will furnish a like guard for the rear.

By order of Major-General Price.

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RICHMOND, VA., December 21, 1861.

His Excellency the GOVERNOR OF MISSOURI:

MY DEAR SIR: We are anxious that the troops of Missouri should be tendered to the Confederate Government, in order that they may be organized into brigades and divisions and general officers appointed for them, or, if preferable to them, received as independent companies or battalions, for such further organization as the interest of the service and the character of the troops may indicate. By this it is thought that their efficiency will be increased, and that they will be relieved from the anomalous position they now occupy as militia of the Confederate States without being a part of their organized Army.

This arrangement seems very desirable to me, both for the sake of the Missouri troops and the advancement of our cause, and I hope it will meet with your concurrence.

Very respectfully and truly, yours,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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FORT THOMPSON, MO., December 21, 1861.

Major-General POLK:

DEAR SIR: Regarding this place as of too much importance in the defense of the Mississippi Valley to be lost or jeopardized (and knowing that you so regard it), I cannot refrain, at the expense, possibly, of being thought obtrusive, from giving a short statement of things as they exist here.

Our force consists of two artillery companies (one of them well drilled), and the Twelfth Arkansas Regiment, armed and equipped. Of General Thompson’s immediate command 600 or 700 only are left. They are a wretched, ragged, dispirited looking set of men; half armed, undisciplined, careless, and inattentive. There is no Confederate cavalry. The garrison in the fort is at the mercy of the Missouri pickets. Of these, one entire company, while on picket duty several days ago, left their posts, disbanded, and went home. I have no sort of confidence in the vigilance and fidelity of the others. You can’t induce them, and, what is worse, the officers who take charge of them, to apprehend any danger. A feeling of too great security has resulted in a consequent want of vigilance and attention, and these men will soon disband.

These things are not written to annoy or give you trouble or uneasiness, {p.718} but from a sense of duty. Based upon them I desire to make the following suggestions, not matured, but just such as occur to me at the moment: That Colonel Smith’s regiment be sent here from Island No. 10, and that from 200 to 400 horses, with cavalry arms and equipage, be sent from Memphis (I understand they can be procured there) as soon as possible. These to be used by detachments from the infantry as pickets. The soldiers would be delighted and benefited by the change. This is proposed merely to meet the present emergency; is suggested by the scarcity of cavalry in reach and the poverty of means at hand just now. The horses and arms could be used in a few weeks as a permanent basis for that number of cavalry.

The result proposed is to have the pickets so arranged that we can be advised of the enemy’s advance at least twenty-four hours before the attack, and so be able, even with our small force and imperfect preparations, to hold out until we can get re-enforcements from above. As it is, we may be attacked at any moment, for I have no earthly confidence in this mutinous and insubordinate remnant of Missouri Militia around us.

It is due to General Thompson, who is a brave, gallant, and worthy officer, to state that this condition of things is attributable to circumstances over which he has no control and could not have been prevented by any one. It is proper to add that it is by no means impossible that my apprehensions may be groundless, and that I may err in my opinion in reference to the fidelity, &c., of these men and that your means of information may be such as to satisfy you of my error. I hope this may be so. Nevertheless, believing what I state to be true and entertaining the apprehensions that I do, I think it best out of abundance of caution to advise you of it.

There are reasons of smaller importance why these or some troops should be sent here. General Thompson can furnish no detail for work on the fort. The teams and men of my regiment are constantly required. All the timber and materials must be hauled by them. This forces me to neglect the barracks, which a few days would finish. Winter is upon us and we ought to be housed.

Can’t I get the powder and buckshot I sent for? Don’t you think them better in a close fight from the fort? Can I get a few wagons and teams?

One of my sentinels arrested a Lincolnite. He was two days out from Cape Girardeau. Says they intend taking possession of this place when Thompson’s men disband. A lady from Charleston on Wednesday reported 1,000 troops there; that they were conversant with matters here, and expressed the same intention. Latest accounts are, all the Federal pickets drawn in from near Charleston.

I hope in the hurried statement of the facts above I shall not be understood as censuring or reflecting upon any one. It is quite foreign to my nature or purpose.

In haste, your obedient servant,

E. W. GANTT Commanding Fort.

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[Received WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Dec. 21, 1861.]

List of forces under command of Brig. Gen. Ben. McCulloch, commanding at Fort Smith, Ark.

P. O. Hébert, Third Louisiana Infantry; strength, 757; present, 584.

E. McNair, Fourth Arkansas Regiment; strength, 587; present, 397.

{p.719}

Mitchell, Fourteenth Arkansas Infantry; strength, 939; present, 891.

Churchill, First Arkansas Mounted Rifles; strength, 882; present, 682.

McIntosh, Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles; strength, 722; present, 553.

E. Greer, Third Texas Cavalry; strength, 1,020; present, 747.

B. Warren Stone, Sixth Texas Cavalry; strength, 935; present, 865.

Whitfield, Texas battalion cavalry; strength, 339; present, 315.

McRae, Texas battalion infantry; strength, 358; present, 228.

Good, Texas battery artillery; strength, 109; present, 103.

Hart, Arkansas battery artillery; strength, 75; present, 75.

Provence, Arkansas battery artillery; strength, 73; present, 73.

Bennett, Texas company cavalry; strength, 83; present, 78.

Nine companies Arkansas infantry; strength, 585; present, 585; now being organized into a regiment.

Ten companies Arkansas infantry; strength, 650; present, 650; now being organized into a regiment.

Sims, Texas regiment cavalry; not yet reported.

Young, Texas regiment cavalry; strength, 850; present, 850; not yet reported.

Total strength present and absent, 8,964; total strength present, 7,676.

Colonels Sims’ and Young’s and nineteen companies infantry reported since November 1, 1861.

FRANK C. ARMSTRONG, Adjutant-General of Division.

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RICHMOND, VA., December 25, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I call your special attention to the inclosed slip,* containing important news, in the main reliable, from the Indian country.

I do not believe that Hopoeithlayohola has with him more than 2,000 or 3,000 men, but I suppose may have increased to the latter number.

The dispersion of Colonel Drew’s Cherokee regiment I have no doubt is truly reported, but I do not believe that many of his men have joined the malcontents, and attribute the dispersion of the regiment to the reluctance of the Cherokees to fight against their neighbors, the Creeks. I found that feeling strong among them in October, when the regiment was called together to march into the Creek country to the aid of Colonel McIntosh’s Creek regiment, then threatened by Hopoeithlayohola. The adjutant of the regiment spoke freely to me of his reluctance to do so, and I did not doubt that he only uttered the sentiments of the people.

The Cherokees and Creeks are neighbors, and the former are very desirous of maintaining their present friendly relations. They have long had a treaty between themselves by which they can settle in each other’s country, and many of each nation are domiciled and married in the country of the other. The Cherokees naturally fear that if they fight any part of the Creeks the feud will last between them for many years after our difficulties are settled.

I was very reluctant to employ Indians against Indians, and especially {p.720} Creeks against Creeks, but I had no alternative. When I was informed of Hopoeithlayohola’s intentions to fight, I could do no more than request Colonel Drew and Colonel Cooper to march to the assistance of Colonel McIntosh; but my reluctance to send Indians against Indians was lessened by the sanguine hope that the presence of such a force would disperse the hostiles without a fight.

In May last I recommended the Government to send into the Indian country, under command of General McCulloch, three regiments of white troops, to be united to three regiments of Indians. It was palpable to me that we ought to give the Indians ocular evidence of our power and means to hold their country by the actual presence of a body of our own troops. I never thought of holding the country and repelling invasion from Kansas by an Indian force alone.

The force suggested by me was assigned to General McCulloch, but the intended neutrality of the Cherokees caused him to decline entering the Indian country; so that up to this time he has never had a soldier there, with the exception of two or three Texas regiments in transitu and Colonel Sims’ regiment, now with Colonel Cooper.

The Creek and Choctaw regiments were raised in August and the Cherokee regiment in October; but it was a long time before Colonel Cooper’s regiment was even partially armed. No arms were furnished the others; no pay was provided for any of them, and with the exception of a partial supply for the Choctaw regiment, no tents, clothing, or camp and garrison equipage were furnished to any of them.

Without any force of our own in the country I labored under great disadvantages in treating with the Indians and these caused great delay. The battle of Oak Hills had, however, a great effect, especially with the Cherokees; but it was at the same time unfortunate that even after that it was not in our power to place a force of our own troops in the Indian country.

I raised a company of Creeks, and placed it at the North Fork village to watch the movements of the discontented, and authorized the Seminole chief to raise a battalion of his people. I advised the Department and the quartermaster at Fort Smith of this, but no steps were ever taken to muster either into the service or to pay them.

I employed an escort of 64 men which was discharged about the 20th of September, with over $2,000 due the men for pay. They still continue unpaid, Treasury notes having been sent out to pay them within the last two weeks.

I had incurred debts for the Government to traders and individual Indians, and my drafts in their favor on the Government were protested and remained unpaid until after I left the Indian country. At Fort Smith I received $20,000 in Treasury notes, and had either to remain there an indefinite time in order to take up the drafts or deposit the money at my own risk with an individual to pay them. Of course I elected the latter. I do not mention these circumstances by way of complaint or fault-finding, but that the Secretary of War may comprehend the reasons that have gone so far to produce not only discontent, but suspicion and mistrust, among the Indians. Added to the unavoidable delay in completing the treaties and the additional delay in procuring their ratification and the transmission of the moneys due under the treaties, the circumstances that I have mentioned have not unnaturally produced the impression that what I have done amounts to nothing; that the Government does not sanction what I have done, and that it has not the men or the means to hold the Indian country.

Emissaries from Kansas have been among the Indians since the treaties {p.721} were made, to promise them their moneys and to convince them that the Confederate States cannot maintain themselves, protect the Indians, nor secure them their moneys; and persons from some of the tribes have been in Kansas, holding a council with General Hunter. The Kansas Indians also have been operating upon our own Indians and sowing discontent among them, until all that was effected this summer is in a fair way to be overturned.

The Congress has now ratified the treaties, with amendments, and has appropriated the moneys to be paid under them. I have procured the moneys for the payment of the troops and other expenses of the Quartermaster’s Department, and $25,000 for the purchase of arms; and as soon as the moneys under the treaties are ready to send out to the superintendent I wish to proceed to the Indian country. It will be of no use for me to go there without the money. It should be there, ready to be paid over the moment each treaty is ratified. This, I think, will go a great way to settle the existing discontent, remove suspicion, and keep the Indians in our service. But I wish particularly to represent that it is absolutely indispensable that a force of our own troops should be placed in that country, of at least three regiments, well armed and efficient. Since the disbanding of Colonel Drew’s regiment there are but three Indian regiments, averaging, perhaps, 700 men each, and only partially and indifferently armed. Of these the Cherokee regiment of Col. Stand Watie, composed of original Southern-rights men, mostly half-breeds, and which would cheerfully have fought the discontented Creeks, has been all the time under General McCulloch’s orders, and is, I think, on the neutral land between Missouri and Kansas. This leaves me two weak regiments only, badly armed and poorly supplied with ammunition. I have received authority from you to raise and receive two regiments of infantry and two companies of artillery as soon as I can arm them; but to raise these troops will be a slow process, and, unless arms are ready to be furnished at once, almost a vain attempt. The people of Arkansas have been so dealt with, chiefly by their own authorities, that they will not enlist unless they are sure of arms. The Chief of Ordnance has directed two batteries to be furnished me at Memphis, and I have made a requisition for them; but I imagine it is quite uncertain whether I shall get them or the eight fortification guns for which I have also asked.

I hope I do not exhaust the Secretary’s patience. This detail was necessary to an understanding of the condition of things in the Indian country. It is necessary to end the insurrection at once. Crescit eundo. It grows by delay to apply the remedy, and cannot be put down by Indian troops alone. With great deference I ask leave to suggest the steps necessary to end it.

A regiment of infantry lately added to General McCulloch’s command, and for which I applied while it was raising, may very well be spared by him and transferred to my command. If it be possible 2,000 stand of good arms should be immediately placed at my disposal to arm two additional regiments of infantry. In the mean time Colonel McIntosh, in command at Fort Smith, could be ordered to march his command of five companies of cavalry, now in winter quarters on the Arkansas River, into the Indian country, and operate against the insurgents as efficiently as possible.

There is no ammunition at Little Rock for cannon or small-arms, and a supply should at once be placed there, that it may be at hand when needed. The two batteries of field artillery and eight fortification {p.722} guns, 24-pounders and 3-inch howitzers, for which I have asked, ought to be furnished at once, as I can immediately raise the companies to receive them.

The moneys, $445,000, placed in my hands for the brigade-quartermaster, will be almost wholly in large notes, 50s and 100s. I am compelled to go by the way of New Orleans, and suggest to the Secretary whether, upon a request from him, I may not be able to exchange a part of this money in New Orleans for bank notes of small denominations, say 20s, 10s, 5s, 3s, 2s, and is. Without a supply of these I do not see how the Indian troops are to be paid off at all. I also specially request that the moneys appropriated under the treaties may be immediately procured from the Treasury and sent out to the superintendent. The specie to be provided can, I suppose, be had in New Orleans and as I am going by that city I can, if the Secretary pleases, take charge of it and the other moneys, and convey all to the superintendent at Fort Smith. I have ambulances at Napoleon that can convey the specie.

Supplies of shoes, clothing, and blankets, as far as they can be had, ought to be furnished the Indian troops. If the Government has any in Richmond I hope to be able to obtain them. I also respectfully request that my recommendations for appointment may be speedily disposed of, and especially that I may be furnished with the engineers asked for. If all I need can be effected within the remaining three days of this week I hope to leave the city on Monday next. I am most anxious to do so.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALBERT PIKE, Brigadier-General, Comdg. Department of Indian Territory.

* Not found.

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HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, MO. S. G., New Madrid, Mo., December 26, 1861.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR GENERAL: Nearly all my men are disbanded and comparatively but few have re-enlisted. They seemed determined to take the Christmas holidays to themselves and are having a real noisy time of it. Two-thirds of those who have enlisted are “for the war,” and I expect that all of those who join in January will be for the war. Those that come in later will be twelve-months’ men. I have allowed each aspirant for office to open a kind of recruiting office, and I swear in each man myself, intending to combine them as soon as I find elements which suit.

I disband the cavalry to-morrow, and will be without pickets for a few days, but feel no uneasiness on that account, as I will have a soldier either on foot or horseback at every farm-house in New Madrid and Mississippi Counties, and it will be almost as safe as if every one was on duty, for they all feel insecure, and will sleep with “one eye open.” Major Kalfus, who has had charge of the pickets near Charleston, is with the disbanded men, and will take it upon himself to see that some one is always “on watch.”

A man from Cairo reports that some days ago there was considerable preparation for some purpose, when two runaway negroes arrived from near Columbus and gave a description of the submarine battery, and it was in such exaggerated terms that the project, whatever it was, was immediately abandoned, and great consternation prevailed.

{p.723}

I had determined to pass through my district to induce the mien to re-enlist who have not yet been in the service, but find it will take me away from here too long. I will endeavor to accomplish the same object by proclamations. I will endeavor to keep the field all winter.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

–––

[DECEMBER 27, 1861.-For Benjamin to Bragg, in reference to affairs in Missouri and Arkansas, see Series I, Vol. VI, p. 788.]

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FORT THOMPSON, MO., December 30, 1861.

DEAR SIR: The guns, 32-pounders, arrived on the Prince. I would detain her and send up the guns required, but Captain Barney informs me the platforms will have to be entirely changed before the guns sent can be placed in position. This would take longer than I would wish to detain the boat, and to send the guns without mounting these would leave the strongest bastion, and the one most certainly needed, dismounted, it being in the rear from the river. I therefore send the boat back. The guns sent just make up the complement for the fort, and as the platforms for the siege guns are already constructed, and as they are in position, I write this and respectfully and earnestly request that we be allowed to keep them.

That we are threatened here is beyond doubt. That it will require energy, caution, and skill to prevent a successful attack is unquestionable. Deprive us of these guns and we are weakened that much. I hope not to be understood as detaining the guns. We could not send them now without leaving their place vacant, and I hoped this letter might reach you and be answered before the change is made. If I get no answer by the time the engineer is ready to make the change, the guns shall be sent according to instructions. I hope, though, we may be able to keep them.

The horses for outpost duty are much needed. I am now sending the horses of my own and staff. The men of General Thompson’s command who are left refuse to go out. He seems to place implicit confidence in the effectiveness of his men who have gone home for this kind of service. While I do not dissent from it to him, I must say to you, with deference and respect to him, that I do not, cannot, indorse or rely upon it. They are caught up every day, and they “take the oath” as readily as they do their grog. It is unheard-of to leave a port with no other guard against surprise than the voluntary aid of men asleep at their homes.

Last night I sent out a small party of cautious, prudent men. They are just in; report 13 of Captain Price’s men captured night before last some 36 miles from here. Two hundred Federal cavalry near Charleston. If thrown upon my own resources I could keep very well guarded until the horses arrive.

This letter is written very hurriedly, but I hope I have made myself understood in the little I have attempted to say.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. W. GANTT, Colonel, Commanding Fort.

{p.724}

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NEW ORLEANS, December 30, 1861.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES:

SIR: Your letter of the 21st instant, forwarded by Colonel Gaines, has been received. With respect to the matter of transferring the Missouri troops to the Confederate Government, I have to say that the measure has not only my concurrence but my hearty approval.

The moment I received intelligence that Missouri had been admitted a member of the Confederacy I wrote to General Price, urging him to have the transfer made at the earliest moment, and to get the troops “for the war” if possible. What success has attended the general’s efforts I have no means of knowing, not having heard from him since.

Surrounded, however, as he is with embarrassments of the greatest magnitude, his men borne down by all the hardships and privations of a summer’s campaign, discouraged and disheartened as they must feel from having been abandoned by every Confederate soldier from the other States, and being left alone to face a foe of more than five times their strength, poorly clad, and suffering for the want of a proper supply of provisions, I can scarcely expect the most favorable results.

For more than six months the Missouri Army, almost single handed, have successfully held in check the Lincoln forces in our State. From time to time they have been promised assistance from the Confederate States, but it has not come-so far from it, indeed, what few Confederate troops were upon our border and within the State have been withdrawn from it, marched down to the Arkansas River, and put into winter quarters more than two months before winter had set in. Not the foot of a Southern soldier now treads the soil of Missouri, except the men under the commands of Price and Thompson.

General Price and his men being thus forsaken by those on whom they relied for aid, their State being left to the mercy of the thieving Jayhawker and murderous Hessian, their towns and their houses destroyed by fire, their property stolen, their country laid waste, and their wives and children driven from their homes to perish or to live as best they can, you may rely upon it, Mr. President, that men thus abandoned, however much they may love the gallant chief who has so nobly and successfully led them to victory upon every field and however much they may be devoted to the cause for which they have so fearlessly and cheerfully fought, it can scarcely be expected they will enter the Confederate Army with that alacrity and promptness they would do under more favorable auspices.

Their confidence in the good faith of the Confederate Government has to some extent been shaken in not having received the support of the Confederate troops stationed upon their border during the summer. They have not been able to see why the troops under General McCulloch did not co-operate with them in their march to Lexington, and in the reduction of that place.

They believe that with the aid of the Confederate forces then in the State we could have held that place, and by so doing could have doubled the strength of our army. Deprived of that support, the army was forced by the overwhelming numbers of the enemy to fall back upon our southern border.

After the evacuation of Springfield by the Federal forces General Price again determined to march toward Lexington and try once more to strengthen his army with new recruits and turn over to the Confederate Government his entire force but in this effort, as in the former, he was unsupported by the Confederate troops, and doomed to the alternative of going alone.

{p.725}

What success has attended him I am unable to say. With all my confidence in his energy, skill, and courage, I cannot but feel the most anxious solicitude for the safety of himself and men, knowing as I do the difficulties and perils by which he is surrounded.

It gives me no pleasure to recite these recurrences, and I pray you not to understand me as doing so in any spirit of complaint against the good faith of the Confederate Government toward Missouri.

An imperative sense of duty to my State, to General Price, and the brave men who have so faithfully served their country under him require, in my judgment, that you should know all the facts in the case, and I ask that you will give them the consideration due them.

That General Price will exert himself to the utmost in raising men for the Confederate service I have no shadow of doubt; but if his efforts shall not be crowned with that success we have so earnestly hoped for, it is due to him and to the country that the reasons should be known.

Without intending to have been importunate I have felt it my duty to urge again and again, as you are aware, the appointment of General Price to the chief command of the Western Department. I think him the man for the place. Those who have served under him and who know him best, as well as the whole country, believe him to be the man.

If it could be announced in his camp to-day that he is to command there would be one universal shout of joy, and such an impetus would be given to the work of recruiting as nothing else can impart to it.

If I did not feel so deeply impressed with the importance of an early, if not immediate, appointment for the Western Department, I should not press the matter, further upon your consideration. Much, very much in my judgment, depends upon early action. I hope you have already been clothed with power to make the appointment. If you have not, Congress surely will not delay in conferring it when interests so vital to the safety of the country are at stake.

I have the honor to be, &c.,

C. F. JACKSON.

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NEW ORLEANS, December 30, 1861.

Major-General PRICE:

MY DEAR GENERAL: The bearer of this letter will hand you several dispatches from Richmond, which will acquaint you with what is going on there.

I have read the letter which the President has addressed to you. I send you the one he addressed to me, and likewise a copy of my answer to him.* I think the time has come when we should speak out in plain terms. I have endeavored to call the attention of Mr. Davis to the true condition of things in Missouri, and have urged the necessity of prompt action in the premises. Whether we shall succeed in getting it I am unable to say. Why it is that he can’t give you the appointment at once I am utterly at a loss to determine. He certainly had it in contemplation to appoint Colonel Heth to the chief command, or Mr. Hunter’s dispatch to me was sent without authority, and this Mr. Hunter certainly would not do. If, then, the President had the power to appoint Colonel Heth, I cannot see why he has not the authority to appoint you. I am free to acknowledge there is a mystery about this whole affair which I do not comprehend.

{p.726}

I hope all is right, and, indeed, I have the strongest faith that you will yet receive the appointment. I know how easy it is for the acts and intentions of public men to be misunderstood, and how common it is for ill-disposed persons to cry a man down without any just cause, and therefore I will not censure the President until I know he has wronged us.

I have been extremely unhappy for the last two weeks or more about your condition. I have not been able to see how you and your men were to extricate yourselves from the perils which seemed to hang over you. I fear your sufferings have been very great, but I trust and hope you are all, with the blessing of God, yet out of the hands of the jayhawkers and Hessians. I have been doing everything in my power to advance our cause.

General Shields has been active and vigilant in pushing forward his work. In ten days, more or less, I think he will have an amount sufficient to pay off Thompson’s men. As soon as it is ready I will see that they are paid, and shall then repair to your camp with the least delay possible.

The work on our guns, all things considered, is progressing as fast as I could expect it. Every shop in the whole South is pressed with work, and but for the universal sympathy of the people here for Missouri and the desire of every one to aid us we should not have been able to get our work done in any reasonable time.

The single-barrel shot-guns I have had converted into carbines for mounted men, and will be found to be a valuable weapon.

The old rifles will be made into Mississippi rifles with a saber bayonet-the best war gun now in use, I think. They will all be boxed and forwarded as soon as they are ready; but they will not all be finished under five or six weeks.

The people of this city and State excel any I ever knew in working for our cause. I do not know the exact amount, but I feel confident with what they have already forwarded, together with the articles they are now getting ready for your army, it can hardly fall short of $100,000 in value. They never tire or flag in the good work. They do everything they can to render the soldier comfortable or that will encourage him to perform his duty.

Six young ladies are now raising a subscription to purchase a sword for you, and in order that as many as possible may have a hand in it they allow no one to give over $1. You may therefore look out for a beautiful present from the young ladies of New Orleans.

The news from Washington is that Lincoln has “backed down” and given up Mason and Slidell; just what everybody here thought the cowardly scamp would do. There is no reason to believe a decisive battle is near at hand anywhere.

My kind regards to all the friends.

Faithfully, your friend,

C. F. JACKSON.

* See Davis to Jackson, December 21, p. 717, and Jackson to Davis, December 30, p. 724.

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RICHMOND, December 31, 1861.

Col. L. HÉBERT, Third Regt. La. Vols., Comdg., &c., Fayetteville, Ark.:

SIR: A contract has been entered into with parties in Memphis to work the lead mines near Granby, in Missouri. It is understood that parties from Kansas frequently visit that portion of the country, and it is apprehended they may interfere with the work of these miners and {p.727} carry off the lead. The Chief of Ordnance here has requested protection for the work, and it is estimated that a force of about one regiment of infantry and a few cavalry will be required. This is deemed an important work, and as Granby (in Newton County, Missouri) is only some 60 or 70 miles from Fayetteville, the Secretary of War desires that you will at once detail from your command a force sufficiently strong to afford protection to the miners and the parties engaged in working them for the Government.

These instructions are not intended as adverse to any movement that may be made by General Price for the protection of these mines, which, as already stated, are in the State of Missouri.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. H. CHILTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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NEW MADRID, MO., January 1, 1862.

Maj. Gen. STERLING PRICE, MO. S. G., in Camp:

DEAR GENERAL: The instructions from your headquarters and your circular* were received, and have endeavored as far as possible to comply with your orders. I have, however, been very much discouraged by the action of my command and from newspaper rumors. I am fearful you have suffered in the same way. I endeavored to get all to disband and reorganize on the same day, each company of men selecting at once their new officers, and without any cessation to go on with our good work, but I could not get a corporal’s guard to agree to re-enlist without first returning home or taking the Christmas holidays or some other excuse, and I had to adopt a plan to suit the condition of things; it was to march each regiment to the nearest safe point to the majority of their homes, and, setting different days for them to disband, to endeavor to induce them to re-enlist. Of those disbanded at this place but few have volunteered up to this time. The Stoddard County regiment disbands this day at Camp Blanton,in Stoddard County. The Dunklin County regiment disbands on the 4th at Clarkton, and the Ripley County regiment disbands on the 8th at Pitman’s Ferry. How many of these will volunteer it is impossible to tell, but I am sure I will have but a skeleton force until February or March. The men are all sounder than the officers, and if I could but stop their croaking all would be well. I do not censure all, for many of them are patriotic gentlemen, who are willing to serve anywhere or work in any kind of harness, but many also who cannot be re-elected, from incompetency or other causes, for the purpose of covering their own defeat, hunt a thousand excuses, and delay others who would immediately Join.

I am now without an army, but still have hope, and if left single-handed and alone, I will keep the enemy in my neighborhood uneasy and on guard.

I received a letter from General Jackson yesterday from New Orleans. He says the money is being printed at the rate of $12,000 per day, and will be ready in two weeks. I am making every effort to have my pay rolls, quartermaster, and commissary accounts all straight and square, but circumstances beyond my control have gotten them considerably confused. Sickness and changes in the heads of departments have been the cause of it. I write you this short letter because I have an {p.728} opportunity to send it, but hope before long to be able to make you a full report of the brigade under my charge.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

* Not found.

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Field report of the division stationed in the western part of Arkansas, commanded by Col. James McIntosh, January 1, 1862.

[Extract.]

Commanding officer.Troops.Total. Aggregate.Field artillery.
First Brigade, Col. Jas. McIntosh, commanding.First Regiment Arkansas Mounted Riflemen (Churchill)800845
Second Regiment Arkansas Mounted Riflemen (McIntosh).820862
South Kansas-Texas Regiment (Greer)9601,003
Fourth Regiment Texas Cavalry (Sims)677713
Sixth Regiment Texas Cavalry (Stone)880927
Burnett’s company Texas cavalry (Stone)7983
Total First Brigade4,2164,433
Second Brigade, Col. Louis Hébert, commanding.Hill’s regiment, Arkansas infantry690738
McNair’s South Arkansas infantry880725
McRae’s regiment Arkansas infantry600646
Mitchell’s Fourteenth Regiment Arkansas Infantry880930
Rector’s regiment Arkansas infantry500544
Hébert’s Third Louisiana Regiment690733
Third Regiment Texas Cavalry750796
Whitfield’s battalion Texas cavalry280297
Brooks’ battalion cavalry300316
Gaines’ battery artillery70741
Good’s battery artillery1001056
Hart’s battery artillery71754
Provence’s battery artillery70734
Total Second Brigade5,6816,05215
Grand total (division)9,89710,48515

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HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Columbus, Ky., January 3, 1862.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:

Being desirous to know the exact state of things in Missouri so far as the forces in the interest of the Confederacy were concerned, as also to know the views and plans of Generals McCulloch and Price, I sent a trustworthy messenger from this post to both of their camps for that purpose. That messenger has just returned, and I have thought it best to send him without delay to you, which I do on to-morrow.

I gave General Price to understand that I regarded energetic action on his part in keeping the enemy employed in Missouri of the highest importance to the defense of my present position, and that I hoped he would leave no effort unmade to keep himself in the field during the winter. In my letter to him I expressed the opinion that if the Confederate Government could help Missouri from the east it must be through Columbus, and I was not without hope of yet aiding in the emancipation of Saint Louis through this route. In reply he has written {p.729} me at length, and the letter is of such a character as to induce me to send you a copy of it. You will see he expresses himself very freely of his associate, General McCulloch, and I am constrained to say that all the information I receive from that quarter (and I am hearing constantly) is in the same vein. In a word, I am perfectly satisfied that the force now in McCulloch’s hands should be controlled by some one who would co-operate freely and vigorously with General Price, and that this should be done as early as practicable. So long as the Federal forces under Halleck are kept occupied by Price in Missouri, they cannot co-operate with Buell against Johnston, nor be concentrated against me on my right or left flank. I hope, therefore, we shall not fail to occupy him fully with all the resources at our command. I have sent General Price several batteries and more or less of ammunition. Troops I have none to spare. This army of McCulloch’s, as it appears to me, might be better employed than in the inaction of winter quarters. The courier who takes this to you is my courier to Price. He is a Western man of intelligence, and highly respectable. He is also a man of some experience, and you may obtain from him valuable information of affairs in Missouri.

I remain, faithfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK, Major-General, Commanding.

P. S.-I at this moment require a force of 10,000 to occupy and hold Madrid and Southeastern Missouri. I have only about 1,500 in a fort which I have built at Madrid; and I require a force of 20,000 between this and Clarksville, on the Cumberland.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS MISSOURI STATE GUARD, Springfield, December 23, 1861.

Major-General POLK, Columbus, Ky.:

GENERAL: I acknowledge with very great pleasure the receipt of your letter of the 4th instant. It was handed to me yesterday by Mr. Burton, who also gave me the information which you desired him to communicate to me. I fully agree with you that it is all-important that we should be kept advised (so far as it may be safe or expedient) of each other’s position, strength, and plans, and shall be glad to aid you in the accomplishment of that object. Your plans as made known to me by Mr. Burton meet my full concurrence, and I promise you my earnest co-operation in the execution of them.

There are two main obstacles in the way of the successful prosecution of the war in this State, one of which ought to have been long since overcome and the other of which ought never to have existed, and the present existence of both of which is due mainly, if not altogether, to the conduct of General McCulloch: 1st, the fact that the great majority of those who desire to take up arms on the part of the South are prevented from doing so by the enemy’s occupation of the State, which closes to them every avenue of approach to my army; and, 2d, the dissatisfaction which General McCulloch’s constant refusal to cooperate with us has engendered in the minds of the people of Missouri, and which leads them to doubt whether the Confederate Government really sympathizes with and desires to aid them.

The most populous and truest counties of the State lie upon or north of the Missouri River. Had General McCulloch, in response to my {p.730} earnest entreaties, accompanied me to that river immediately after the battle of Springfield, we could easily have maintained our position there until my army (which was, in fact, augmented from less than 6,000 to more than 16,000 men during the few days we lay there) would have been increased to at least 50,000, and four-fifths of the State would have fallen without a struggle into our possession. As it was, however, I was soon threatened by overwhelming numbers and compelled to fall back again to the southern border of the State, and thousands of those who had flocked to my standard, feeling that they had been betrayed and abandoned by the Confederate Government, returned to their homes discontented and disheartened.

Again, after the late retreat of the enemy from the southwest I begged General McCulloch to accompany me to the Missouri, and he again refused to do so. I started thither with my own army, and reached the Osage just as the time of service of three-fourths of my own men was expiring. Nearly every one of them had left his home months before, without an hour’s notice, leaving their families unprotected and unprovided for. A severe winter was at hand; the men were themselves badly clad, and not one of them had ever received a dime in payment of his services. Many of them insisted upon going home for a few weeks to procure clothing for themselves and make some provision for the comfort of their families, who were exposed not only to the seventies of a Missouri winter, but to the fury of an enemy whose barbarity cannot be described.

I could not refuse their reasonable request, and my army became so small that it would have been highly perilous for me to have crossed the Osage, threatened as I was from Kansas, from Sedalia, and from Rolla. Knowing, however, that thousands of the people on the north side of the Missouri would come to me even at this season if I could but open the way for them, I sent a detachment of 1,100 men to Lexington, which, after remaining only a part of one day, gathered together about 2,500 recruits, and escorted them in safety to me at Osceola. Could the detachment have remained on the river only a few days longer the number of recruits would have been indefinitely in creased; but the enemy, having gotten insight into the movement, concentrated their forces against it and compelled it to return. There are many counties north of the river in which organized companies of from 500 to 1,500 are now ready to join and are only waiting an opportunity to do so.

Appreciating as I do the great importance of this movement in the direction of the Missouri, I wrote to General McCulloch again on the 6th instant, begging him to co-operate with me in it. I received a reply a few days ago, written on the 14th instant at Fort Smith by Colonel McIntosh, who commands the division in the absence of the general. He said it is impossible for him to grant my request, because he had been compelled to send three regiments into the Indian Territory, and was expecting to send others for the defense of Memphis, and because also for the want of clothing for his troops, and of “the great distance to be traveled in the depth of winter over the bleak prairies of Missouri.” With the co-operation of these troops I could not only have advanced to the river and recruited my army to any desirable extent, but could have destroyed the railroads, of which the enemy have always had possession, and which gave them an immense advantage over us; and this being done, we could easily have driven the enemy into Saint Louis before the opening of spring, and while accomplishing this we would have created a powerful diversion in favor of our arms {p.731} in Kentucky. My troops and the people know these facts, and the knowledge of their existence creates, as I before said, the greatest dissatisfaction with and distrust of the Confederate Government. This feeling grows daily, and will do us incalculable harm if it be not speedily quieted.

There is not at this time a single Confederate soldier in the State, nor does there seem to be any likelihood that one will come into it during the winter; whilst there are at least 50,000 troops in it from Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. How long can we be expected to carry on this unequal contest, almost completely isolated as we are from the Southern States and surrounded on three sides by hostile States, and especially when it is taken into consideration that we have not a single dollar with which to conduct the war? Something must be done and that speedily. I have abandoned all hope of getting the co-operation of General McCulloch. Your kind letter comes, therefore, most seasonably and doubly welcome.

We may yet make this winter campaign result in the deliverance of Missouri or at least in great good to our cause. I will have at least 20,000 men under my command in a very short time, and will gladly unite with you in a movement on Saint Louis, as suggested by you. If you will mature your plans and communicate them to me you will be seconded in the execution of them not only by myself, but by every man in my army; and whether we succeed in the main object or not, we will accomplish a great deal. Our people will see that the Government really desires to assist them. Their way to the army will at the same time be opened to them by the withdrawal of the enemy’s forces from the rest of the State for the protection of Saint Louis, and they will come to us from every quarter by hundreds and by thousands. I am informed, too, that there are over 6,000 men in Saint Louis ready to spring to arms at the first gleam of hope. I do therefore hope you will find it expedient to undertake the execution of your bold and well-conceived plan. You will have my hearty co-operation. The bearer, Mr. Burton, will inform you more particularly of the strength of my army.

I have the honor to be, general, with the greatest respect, your obedient servant,

STERLING PRICE, Major-General, Mo. S. G.

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STEAMBOAT LACKLAND, Columbus, January 4, 1862-8 p.m.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.:

DEAN GENERAL: Just after parting from you this morning I was taken very sick and compelled to come to this boat to lie down. I have been in bed until now, and therefore have not been able to accept your kind invitation or embrace the opportunity to dine with you, which I would have considered an honor and pleasure.

This boat starts down to-night and I will go home on her.

I regret exceedingly that I did not have a private conversation with you, as our Missouri affairs need some particular attention, and I am fearful that you have been misinformed by some of the parties who have visited you lately as to the true state of feeling in my district.

Every good officer and soldier will again enter the service and are {p.732} unanimous in their fondness for me; but officers who cannot be reelected, aspiring men who cannot get commands, and disaffected soldiers are all hunting excuses to cover up their own defeat, and many of them make me their stumbling block. If I can have but little encouragement in the way of outfit-tents and arms-I can have 2,500 men in the field by the 1st of February, and they will be picked men and enlisted “for the war.”

The good people of New Orleans have been sending us many presents, and I understand that there is $10,000 in bank there now to be expended as I may desire for my men. If this is continued, which by honest efforts to deserve I hope it will be, we will require from the Confederacy but tents and arms, and then by putting my headquarters again at Bloomfield I can protect all Southeastern Missouri and again keep 10,000 men watching me.

I may probably start down to New Orleans on Monday, to return with Governor Jackson and the commissioners who will come to pay my troops, as the business which now engages my attention is but a little wearisome detail settlement, which I had probably better let the quartermasters and commissaries do, as it will learn them to keep their accounts straighter hereafter, and as long as I am about all and everything, down to feeding a courier, is laid before me.

Should I start I will telegraph to you from Memphis, and if you disapprove the trip I will immediately return.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Mo. S. G.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, Fort Smith, Ark., January 4, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: The night I arrived in Fort Gibson, C. N., John Ross, the Chief of the Cherokees, held a council, and in the most emphatic language expressed his determination to stand firm to the Government of the Confederate States. He stated that he had made treaties with them and he would live and die by them. A day or two before my arrival serious fears were entertained that all was not right, and what gave grounds for this fear was that the flag of the Confederacy which floated over Fort Gibson had been reversed.

I think the march of our force into the nation has had a most happy effect. It has shown them that we are able and willing to act in their behalf, and the result of our short campaign has intimidated many who probably meditated mischief. I think John Ross is sincere and is too far committed now to recede. Colonel Cooper has a force of nearly 3,000 Indians. He is sufficiently strong to protect the Territory against any combination of Indians hostile to us. Trouble may arise in the Cherokee Nation between the full-bloods and half-breeds, but with a little determination this can be nipped in the bud. Mr. Frank C. Armstrong will inform you fully upon the state of affairs here and in the Indian Territory.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES MCINTOSH, Colonel, Commanding.

{p.733}

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 7.}

HEADQUARTERS Mo. S. G., Camp, Springfield, Mo., January 5, 1862.

The major-general commanding earnestly hopes that no depredations upon property by officers and soldiers of the army occupying houses in and around the city be committed by them or allowed to be committed by others.

The fencing around buildings and yards, timber, &c., are liable to be injured or destroyed by such an army as his. Men frequently pay but little attention to fruit and ornamental trees or shrubbery or to the value and safety of yards and gardens. These are all prized by the owners of the property, and the major-general intends to have such rights respected and protected. He calls the special attention of all officers and soldiers to the above, and hopes that no such abuses as those enumerated will occur while his army remains in Springfield.

The attention of commanders of divisions and brigades, regiments and battalions and companies, is particularly directed to this order and they will see that it is not violated. This order will be read daily to the men when in regimental, battalion, and company drill, or at roll call, for one week. For any infraction of it by the occupants of the buildings or property the company commander will be held responsible.

By order of Maj. Gen. S. Price:

WM. H. BRAND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 9.}

HEADQUARTERS MO. S. G., Camp at Springfield, Mo., January 7, 1862.

...

The major-general commanding, desiring that none but those belonging to the army shall forage (in any sense of the word) upon the community at large, as deceptions of that kind have been practiced, now orders that all who are not citizens of the county or members of the army, or who have not permission to remain either in the county or in the army, do leave.

III. Officers of the army, especially the commanders of divisions, are ordered to give notice of any infraction of this order, and unless satisfactorily explained they will in every case be held responsible therefor. Independent of the officers of the army and the commanders of the respective divisions, citizens of the city of Springfield and county of Green are earnestly requested to report any and all violations of this published order.

...

By order of Maj. Gen. S. Price:

WM. H. BRAND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, VA., January 8, 1862.

Gov. C. F. JACKSON:

SIR: Your letter of the 30th ultimo, sent me through the Hon. Jno. B. Clark, together with one addressed to himself; has been this day {p.734} received. Viewed as a reply to mine of the 21st, it is most extraordinary that you should recite the sufferings and ask me to appoint a commander of the militia over which you had control, and concerning the transfer of whom I had written to you, pointing out the necessity for their tender to the Confederate Government in order that they might be put on the footing of other volunteers in the Confederate service, that brigades and divisions might be organized, and commanding generals be appointed for them. You seem only to remember what others have not done, else in enumerating the privations of your own militia, not mustered into the Confederate service, you would have mentioned the relief afforded to them by the agent of the Confederate Government, sent by me with money to cover more than the objects you and General Atchison originally specified.

You speak of delay and neglect of Missouri by the authorities at Richmond. In what our delay consists and wherein our neglect has been manifested you do not state, but it would seem to have been in not appointing a general before we had troops for him, or in not appointing him to command your militia, and in not having an organized army in your State when you have not furnished to me a regiment; and now when we want muster rolls to send me only your reasons why the Missouri Volunteers may not be willing to enter the service of the Confederate States and contribute to make up the army which is needed to defend Missouri.

Though your letter was written at New Orleans, as you do not say how long you will remain there, I send this to Memphis, under the expectation that you will return to that place or to Missouri, and take the occasion to renew my request for the tender of any armed troops which you may be able to offer to the Confederate States for the common defense or for the local defense of Missouri.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 8.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GEN.’S OFFICE, Richmond, January 10, 1862.

...

XIX. That part of the State of Louisiana north of Red River, the Indian Territory west of Arkansas, and the States of Arkansas and Missouri, excepting therefrom the tract of country east of the Saint Francis, bordering on the Mississippi River, from the mouth of the Saint Francis to Scott County, Missouri (which tract will remain in the district of Major-General Polk), is constituted the Trans-Mississippi District of Department No. 2, and Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn is assigned to the command of the same. He will immediately repair to Bowling Green, Ky., and report for duty to General A. S. Johnston, commanding Department No. 2.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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LITTLE ROCK, January 13, 1862.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK:

General McCulloch’s command are in winter quarters, the cavalry in the Arkansas River Valley, this side of Fort Smith, the infantry {p.735} and artillery at Cross Hollow, in Benton County, 70 miles north of Fort Smith. This is the latest intelligence I have.

H. M. RECTOR, Governor of Arkansas.

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[JANUARY 12, 16, 1862.-For Benjamin to Johnston and to Polk, informing them of Van Dorn’s assignment to the Trans-Mississippi Department, see Series I, Vol. VII, pp. 826, 833.]

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NEW MADRID, MO., January 16, 1862-1 p.m.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR GENERAL: I have been busily engaged paying my men for services prior to November 1, 1861. Since my return home I have seen many citizens from the two upper counties of my district. They report all quiet. Great inducements are being offered to my men to return to their homes and violent threats against those who do not. We are laboring under great difficulties, but I am not discouraged, although opposed by many circumstances which others must assist me to remove.

As soon as Governor Jackson reaches this point I hope he will counteract the opposition to the Confederate service which seems to prevail among the people. If I do not go to Richmond next week I will desire to remove my headquarters beyond the swamp in Stoddard County.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Mo. S. G.

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NEW MADRID, MO., January 16, 1862.

His Excellency C. F. JACKSON, Governor of Missouri, Memphis, Tenn.:

DEAR GOVERNOR: I reached home safely on the 14th, and on yesterday commenced paying the men for their services prior to November 1. The $100,000 brought with me will keep us busy this week, and I hope that more will be ready to be forwarded by that time, as many persons from a distance bring quartermaster and commissary scrip with them, and are sadly disappointed when they have to go home with but a portion of their money. The whole expense of my brigade will exceed $1,000,000, and of course what I brought is but a priming when all begin to demand their pay.

There is a great delay in the enlistments in the Confederate service. Whether it be the fault of the officers or the disposition of the men or the hard wintry weather which prevails at present I do not know. Something must be attributed to the inducements offered by the Federals, but, be it what it may, things are not going on to suit me. We need some encouragement among the people. These bonds we are issuing must be made current, and to do so the Confederacy must assume the whole war debt.

I have had written on the bonds I have issued, “Prior to November {p.736} 1, 1861,” so that they can be distinguished from those issued for services since November 1, as it is better that they should be distinguished from each other, as by not doing so all may [be] considered below par, whereas everybody is willing to take those for expenses since the Confederacy assumed our debt. I hope you will instruct our commissioners to make some distinguishing mark until the whole can be made equally good, or rather instruct the paymasters, or we will have interminable confusion.

I wish you would make all inquiries necessary about repairing old guns.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 5.}

HDQRS. FIRST DIV. WESTERN DEPT., Columbus, Ky., January 16, 1862.

The major-general commanding has heard with great satisfaction from Col. E. W. Gantt and has read in the Saint Louis Republican of the 9th instant of the daring and brilliant feat of Lieut. S. Swank, of Captain Price’s cavalry, with 4 men, in attacking a marauding band of 1,300 of the enemy. *

The attack was successful to a degree rarely equaled in the annals of war. The enemy acknowledge 4 killed and 10 wounded. He admits his cavalry retreated. Our men claim they killed 5 on the spot and wounded 21, of whom 5 soon died. Either statement makes heroes of the brave men who thus dared to meet an enemy with an overwhelming force. Such an example is worthy the imitation of all Southern men.

The major-general returns his thanks to Lieutenant Swank and his men, Mathew Wyrick, George Holman, Jo. Danforth, and Alonzo Clark, for their brilliant illustration of Southern valor.

Let the soldiers of my command defend Southern soil in imitation of these brave Missourians.

By command of Major-General Polk:

GEORGE WILLIAMSON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* No report of this affair can be found.

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HEADQUARTERS MISSOURI STATE GUARD, Springfield, January 17, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that two regiments of infantry, Colonels Burbridge and Rives; one regiment of cavalry, Colonel Gates; two light batteries, one of six pieces, Captain Wade; the other of four pieces, Capt. S. Churchill Clark, have been organized here in conformity to the laws of the Confederate States for service in the Provisional Army. The muster rolls are being rapidly made out, and will be transmitted to you within five or six days.

I have organized these regiments and batteries into a temporary brigade, under the command of Col. Henry Little, C. S. Army.

{p.737}

I hope that it will be the President’s pleasure to accept the transfer of these troops without any unnecessary delay and as tendered of this date. The infantry regiments and the artillery companies are fully armed and equipped. The cavalry regiment is well armed and equipped, and will be completely armed and equipped by the State.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

STERLING PRICE, Major-General, Commanding Missouri State Guard.

P. S.-Several other regiments of infantry, a regiment of cavalry (for the war), and several companies of artillery are in a forward state of enlistment, and I expect to have the pleasure of transmitting to you the muster rolls of several additional brigades within a very few weeks.

Yours, very respectfully,

STERLING PRICE, Major-General, M. S. G.

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HDQRS. FIRST MIL. DIST. MISSOURI STATE GUARD, Camp New Madrid, January 18, 1862-9 p.m.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR GENERAL: I sent you a message to-day by the captain of the De Soto, being information which I gathered from the Chicago Times of the 14th instant, and from Lieutenant Swank, who is the officer who has fought the Federals so bravely.

If the information was correct I have no doubt but that your hands are full of business at present, unless the rain for the past twenty-four hours has compelled the enemy to retire.

It is reported to-night here that a column is at Benton on their way here and that another column occupied Bloomfield yesterday.

These reports need confirmation to me, but they are currently believed at this place. If true, I will also have my hands full; for although the country on both sides of the swamp is full of my men, yet there has been no organization, and all look to me as captain, colonel, and general.

You have probably heard that all persons living within 6 miles of Bird’s Point (men, women, and children) have been taken into the fort and are guarded there.

Should you have a moment’s leisure at any time I would be very grateful if you would write a word in my favor to the “powers” at Richmond, as it is almost impossible for me to spare the time to go to Richmond, as a majority of our Missouri brigadiers have, to attend to my interests in person, and the sooner the Missourians know who are to be their leaders, the sooner they will enlist in the Confederate service.

I know that personal enemies have told you that my popularity and efficiency are myths, but I am vain enough to believe that you think otherwise, and as between myself and the other Missouri brigadiers there is a little personal pride and ambition, and as we all cannot be appointed in the Confederate service, I would prefer to be one of those selected.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General. {p.738}

JANUARY 21, 1862.

Mem. [for General POLK]:

I have visited Island No. 10 and the positions in that vicinity, and agree with Captain Gray in the importance which he attaches to them.

It would be well, in my opinion, to remove at once to that vicinity all the troops and guns from Fort Pillow except a small battery and the men necessary to fight it, and to strengthen the different points about the island by the establishment of batteries at selected points, to contain in all from forty to fifty heavy guns, sustained by a land force of from 4,000 to 5,000 men. This done, and the works pushed on to completion, would greatly add to, if it did not entirely insure, the security of the valley of the Mississippi.

General Thompson thinks that the visit of the General Polk to New Madrid and her frequent appearance in that neighborhood is important. If I ever saw a position where steamers of war could be stopped by batteries it is the one embraced in the remarks which I, with great diffidence, have taken the liberty to submit.

I should have done myself the pleasure of seeing you personally, but I am quite unwell and much debilitated.

WM. C. WHITTLE, Commanding Naval Forces Columbus.

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FAYETTEVILLE, ARK., January 24, 1862.

[Major-General PRICE:]

GENERAL: Your communication of the 21st* was received last night. Its contents have been carefully considered. I immediately forwarded your letter addressed to Col. [James] McIntosh. He will get it this morning. I will take immediate measures to have my command fully ready for a movement should the colonel commanding division authorize it, and will go to your support at any time you ascertain an advance of the enemy. I will hear from Colonel McIntosh by to-night, if not sooner. As soon as I do, I will send you a messenger.

Be assured, general, that I have every willingness to give you my support, and will do so cheerfully if permitted.

I remain, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

LOUIS HÉBERT, Colonel Third Regiment La. Vols., Commanding Brigade.

Should you determine anything relative to the train now near here for your army, please dispatch at once. There are no new cases of small-pox.

* Not found.

–––

FAYETTEVILLE, ARK., January 22, 1862.

Maj. Gen. STERLING PRICE, Commanding Mo. S. G.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to respectfully transmit a copy of a communication addressed to me from the Adjutant General’s Office, U. S.* The document explains itself as fully as I could explain it.

{p.739}

My object, general, is now to advise with you on the subject of the mines.

My troops are all in winter quarters, and the small amount of cavalry under my command is not very efficient at present on account of sickness.

If you will permit me, I would respectfully ask that some portion of your force be sent to Granby. It may, however, be that the forces now there are sufficient for the protection of the mines. You are certainly more able to judge of this than I am.

Should you think otherwise I will send some troops up, although I do not wish to do so. In this respect, general, I would respectfully ask your advice.

I have to acknowledge your communication of the 16th instant, and I fully appreciate its kind expression of good feelings and wishes. I trust that I will do nothing to mar our pleasant relations. The cases of small-pox here were all citizens and not soldiers. Until now the disease has not spread.

On receipt of your letter I telegraphed to the medical purveyor at Fort Smith relative to vaccine matter for your army. His reply is that he will immediately give his attention to my request. I have also issued orders to all the surgeons of my brigade to save all reliable vaccine matter and to dispose of it whenever called for. The medical director of the division is also using his efforts to obtain reliable matter from the inoculation of the cow with real small-pox virus. I trust that with precaution the disease will be arrested at once.

I remain, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

LOUIS HÉBERT, Colonel Third Regt. La. Vols., Comdg. Second Brigade.

P. S.-A train of some 77 wagons from Fort Smith is arriving here destined to you. I am directed to furnish an escort to it. I would, however, request that you send an escort to meet the train as far down as possible, as I can spare but a very small body of mounted men.

The train will be ordered to follow the telegraph road to Springfield. This train is intended to bring a return load of lead from Granby.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. H., Colonel.

* See Chilton to Hébert, December 31, 1861, p. 726.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 26.}

HDQRS. MISSOURI STATE GUARD, Springfield, Mo., January 23, 1862.

I. The volunteer force will be distributed until further orders into two brigades and an extra battalion.

II. The following troops will constitute the First Brigade:

1. The First Regiment Cavalry, Colonel Gates.

2. The First Regiment Infantry, Colonel Burbridge.

3. The Second Regiment Infantry, Colonel Rives.

4. Captain Wade’s battery.

5. Captain Clark’s battery.

Col. Henry Little will assume command of this brigade, and appoint, with the major-general’s approval, a brigade staff, consisting of:

1. An adjutant, with the rank of captain.

2. An inspector, with the rank of captain.

3. An ordnance officer, with the rank of captain.

{p.740}

4. A quartermaster, with the rank of major.

5. A commissary, with the rank of major.

6. An aide-de-camp, with the rank of first-lieutenant.

7. A surgeon.

III. The following troops will until further orders constitute the Second Brigade:

1. Colonel Bevier’s battalion of infantry.

2. Colonel Rosser’s battalion of infantry.

3. Colonel McCulloch’s battalion of cavalry.

4. Captain Lucas’ squad of artillery.

5. Captain Landis’ squad of artillery, together with all other battalions, squads, and individuals that do not enlist in either the First Brigade or the extra battalion.

IV. The extra battalion will compose all volunteers who do not enlist in either the First or Second Brigades, and will be under the command of General McBride or some officer designated by him.

V. General Wm. Y. Slack will assume command of the Second Brigade, and, with the major-general’s approval, appoint such staff officers as the exigencies of the service may require. He will, further, establish an encampment, and order into it all volunteers who have not already been enrolled in, or who shall not immediately cause themselves to be enrolled in either the First Brigade or the extra battalion. This order will be rigidly and immediately enforced. He will organize the troops of the brigade into squads and battalions. Each squad shall consist of at least 25 men and each battalion of at least three squads. The commanding officer of each battalion and squad shall be appointed by the commanding officer of the brigade, subject to the major-general’s approval. All other battalion and squad officers shall be appointed by the commander of the battalion or squad, with the approval of the officer commanding the brigade.

The squads will be organized into companies as speedily as possible and the companies into regiments.

The cavalry of this brigade and one or more squads of artillery may be temporarily attached to any division of the State Guard, upon the application of the commander of such division. A daily report of the strength and condition of such cavalry or squad shall, however, be made to the commanding officer of the brigade.

VI. The term of service of any one volunteering to enter the Confederate service begins from the date of his enrollment in an organized company, or from the date of the organization of the company, when he enlists in an unorganized company.

The pay of those enlisted within 20 miles of these headquarters will begin from the date of their enrollment by the proper officer of either the First or the Second Brigade or of the extra battalion.

The troops remain in the pay of the State until the transmission of the muster rolls to the Secretary of War, which act transfers them to the Provisional Army of the Confederate States and puts them in the pay of the Confederate Government.

VII. No one except the quartermaster or commissary of one of the brigades or of the extra battalion shall purchase any stores or supplies of any kind for the use of the troops in this corps nor give a receipt for any article obtained for their use, nor shall any such quartermaster or commissary issue subsistence or supplies of any kind to any company, squad, or individual, except upon requisition in due form, approved by the commander of the brigade or extra battalion, nor shall such commander approve any requisition unless the troops for whom {p.741} it shall be made be duly enrolled in his brigade or battalion. Any officer who shall presume to disobey this order will be held to a strict accountability.

VIII. The quartermaster, commissary, and ordnance officer of the First Brigade will each take an exact inventory of all the public property within the brigade belonging to his department; and after obtaining therefor the proper receipts (in the form required by the Regulations for the Government of the Armies of the Confederate States) from the officers to whom the same has been delivered, he will receipt in due form to the Quartermaster-General and Commissary-General of the State for such property.

IX. No discharge will be hereafter granted to any soldier of the State Guard upon the ground of “re-enlistment for twelve months or longer,” unless he shall bring a certificate from the adjutant of one of the brigades or of the extra battalion that he has been duly enrolled in such brigade or battalion.

X. The Confederate Government will not accept any additional companies of cavalry unless they enlist for the war.

By order of Maj. Gen. S. Price:

WM. H. BRAND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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FAYETTEVILLE, ARK., January 24, 1862.

Maj. Gen. STERLING PRICE, Commanding Mo. S. G., Springfield, Mo.:

GENERAL: By instruction from division headquarters I transmit to you a telegram from the colonel commanding. I will use all efforts to be ready to assist you whenever called upon. I am pleased that the colonel commanding division authorizes me to move my force when you give me information of the enemy that will warrant me to advance. No news from below beyond what is given in the telegram.

In haste, I remain, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

LOUIS HÉBERT, Colonel Third Regt. La. Vols., Commanding Brigade.

[Inclosure.]

FORT SMITH, January 24, 1862 (via Fayetteville).

General PRICE:

I have ordered Colonel Hébert to put his brigade in immediate preparation to move forward on your call. If the troops now at Rolla intend an advance at once I suppose you will be able to ascertain the fact, and you can at once call on Colonel Hébert, who will move to your assistance. The troops now at Fayetteville under Colonel Hébert, nearly 4,000, can reach Springfield as soon as those from Rolla can do so.

You do not inform me of the strength or condition of your command. I should know both, in order to justify me in the responsibility of taking this step. I will at once order some of the regiments from Texas to the point in anticipation of active operations in Missouri.

I am now engaged in carrying into effect important orders received from the headquarters of the Army; but if you are in danger I will be with you with the advance of our troops. I hope you will use your utmost endeavors to have all the flour prepared you can.

{p.742}

The weather may prevent either of these movements. If a severe snow-storm should take place, I do not think the Federals could advance. I am expecting in a short time the arrival of other officers here superior in rank to myself, and they will expect an efficient force here to operate with. However, whenever I think it necessary for this division to act, I will assume the responsibility.

Colonel Hébert’s brigade comprises the greatest and most efficient part of my command. I know the importance of holding Springfield, and I know that it is unnecessary to urge you to strengthen it by every means in your power now while you have the time.

JAMES MCINTOSH, Colonel, Commanding Division.

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HEADQUARTERS NEW MADRID, MO., January 24, 1862-9 p.m.

[General POLK:]

DEAR SIR: I have just learned from my pickets that a large force of infantry and cavalry reached Charleston at 12 o’clock a.m. of to-day. Their destination may be here. If it is, and as large as represented, their progress must necessarily be slow, and you shall be advised in due time. If a small force, they had better stay away. New Madrid is not “taken” yet, and allow me to say if it is, the announcement of it in the papers shall not be so tame as that I read to-day.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. W. GANTT, Colonel, Commanding Post.

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NEW MADRID, January 24, 1862.

Col. SOL. G. KITCHEN, Clarkston:

DEAR COLONEL: The enemy are making a demonstration from Charleston as well as on your side of the swamp. I will hold myself in readiness to support you, and will send some cannon down early in the morning or to-night. I am alive to the importance of defending the plank road, and hope you will give them hell if they come before I get there; and if you have to retreat come over the plank road, as I will hold this end against the devil.

If you have time, have as much corn as possible hauled to Cane Ridge and other subsistence. If Pheelan’s ammunition is saved, I hope there will be enough until I hear again. Probably the enemy will stop to fortify Bloomfield, in which case I will be after them myself.

Let no personal prejudice interfere with good of the cause.

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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NEW MADRID, January 24, 1862.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR GENERAL: The enemy are in motion on our side of the river A courier just in from the plank road reports 2,000 men advancing on Clarkton. They cannot reach there before to morrow night. I will {p.743} have 400 or 500 men there to hold them in check until the movement on this side of the swamp is developed. You will hear from Colonel Gantt that a large force is said to be at Charleston, but as I have not heard from there for some hours I do not think they have started in this direction. There can be no active service before Monday morning, and as I am on the qui vive I will keep you posted.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General.

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NEW MADRID, January 25, 1862-8 p.m.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR GENERAL: I send you a Republican of the 22d, in which you will find a plan of campaign laid down which shows the importance of New Madrid. The movement is certainly being made to get this point, but if you have steamboats enough to make it safe and will cross a large force to make a demonstration from Belmont it may delay, if not divert them, whereas you can cross your men back again when necessary. The fort here will be held to the last extremity, but I may have to take my little force to the plank road, as I out of the fort will be Jeff. Thompson, and in it I will be but one man.

If you have heard or now believe in this movement being made, please send for several steamboats to make the negro property safe, then I can get more men.

After reading the Republican please send it to the Appeal, Memphis, as the person from whom I received it was taking it there.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, New Madrid, Mo., January 26, 1862.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR SIR: Accounts from Charleston report the enemy at that place as late as 3 o’clock yesterday evening. Their force is reported as large, consisting of infantry and cavalry. No artillery as yet, so my pickets inform me.

The reported demonstration towards Clarkton is confirmed. I do not regard it as of much significance. A mere contest with Colonel Kitchen about a lot of sugar.

Colonel Gee’s regiment (Arkansas), by the blundering of Captain Logan, has been ordered to Bowling Green. I learn there was almost a universal desire among the men and officers to be sent to this command.

Colonel Dawson’s (Arkansas) regiment will fall to pieces unless ordered away from there.

I need a steamboat here badly.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. W. GANTT Colonel, Commanding Post.

{p.744}

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HEADQUARTERS, New Madrid, Mo., January 27, 1862.

Major-General POLK, Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR SIR: My pickets came from within 3 miles of Charleston since 6 o’clock yesterday evening, the 26th. A strong force of infantry and cavalry there. Re-enforcements from Bird’s Point coming in all day; wagons and teams being pressed at Charleston. Citizens near there think this place is to be attacked. I have the Eleventh and Twelfth Arkansas Regiments and two artillery companies to meet this force should it come. General Thompson can raise near 100 men, no more. This point is regarded as so important, that it will be held or your forces here annihilated. We are in good spirits; not uneasy or insensible of the importance of our task if attacked. Could a few men and guns (small-arms) be spared from Fort Pillow?

No further news from Clarkton. My opinion unchanged in reference to that officer.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. W. GANTT, Colonel, Commanding Post.

P. S.-My pickets from Sikeston, just in, report 500 cavalry there this morning.

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HEADQUARTERS, New Madrid, Mo., January 28, 1862.

Major-General POLK, Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR SIR: Reports from my pickets up to 12 o’clock to-day. Enemy still at Charleston and Bertrand.

The direct road from Charleston here next to impassable. Road from Sikeston here good. Road from Sikeston to Charleston very bad. Information obtained by my scouts to-day leads them to conclude that the enemy are rebuilding the railroad from Charleston to Sikeston. I sent this evening a party of well-mounted men to ascertain the truth of it. We are pushing on our works with renewed vigor. Want of a steamboat retards us some.

I will endeavor to keep you advised of matters, and without any desire of reputation, but with an honest purpose to serve my country and humanity, I will make the best of the means afforded me.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. W. GANTT, Colonel, Commanding Post.

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HEADQUARTERS MISSOURI STATE GUARD, Camp at Springfield, January 28, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that the muster rolls of two regiments of infantry, one regiment of cavalry, and two companies of artillery, mentioned in my communication of the 17th instant, have this day been forwarded to General Samuel Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General, C. S. Army, by the hands of Col. Thomas L. Snead.

{p.745}

Colonel Snead has been engaged from the beginning in the formation and organization of these troops. He is fully acquainted with their organization, and for this especial reason has been directed to bear the muster rolls to Richmond and act for the State in transferring them to the Confederate Government. His statements concerning the army, its strength, and condition, as well as the prospects of the campaign, may be relied upon. I have fully communicated my views to him, and instructed him to present them to the President and yourself.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

STERLING PRICE, Major-General, Commanding Mo. S. G.

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FAYETTEVILLE, ARK., January 29, 1862.

Maj. Gen. STERLING PRICE, Springfield:

GENERAL: I write but a hasty note. You will excuse me for doing so. I have been preparing my troops to give you assistance, and intended to leave here to-morrow with some of my cavalry to pay you a rapid visit. At the same time I would have advanced some troops on the way, but, general, at 8 a.m. to-day we have here eight inches of snow and a heavy fall still going on. It is of course impossible for me to move my command.

As, general, I intend to do all things practicable to assist you, I still request that you do me the kindness of keeping me informed.

With high respect, I remain, your obedient servant,

LOUIS HÉBERT, Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 1.}

HDQRS. TRANS-MISS. DIST., DEPT. No. 2, Little Rock, Ark., January 29, 1862.

I. The undersigned, by order of the President, assumes command of the Trans-Mississippi District, which comprises the States of Missouri and Arkansas, except that portion of them lying between the Saint Francis and Mississippi Rivers, as far north as Scott County, Missouri; the State of Louisiana, as far south as Red River and the Indian Territory west of Arkansas. Headquarters, until otherwise directed, at Pocahontas Ark.

Commanders of troops in the service of the Confederate States within this district will at once make a report of the strength and condition of their commands, accompanied with a written report in full of everything relating to the supplying of the troops, their wants, their arms and equipments, their clothing, ammunition, and, in a word, of everything that might be considered useful to be known at headquarters.

II. All officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers belonging to the troops of this district, now on furlough, are hereby ordered to return immediately to their regiments. The sick alone are excepted.

It is hoped that this order will be considered a sufficient guarantee that there is a necessity for the immediate services of every soldier in the district and that those to whom it relates will respond with cheerfulness and alacrity to it.

III. The following officers are announced as staff officers at headquarters:

{p.746}

Maj. W. L. Cabell, chief of quartermaster department.

Maj. A. M. Haskell, inspector-general.

Maj. R. W. Keyworth, chief of subsistence department.

Capt. W. N. R. Beall, assistant adjutant-general.

Surg. J. J. Gaenslan, medical director.

First-Lieut. Clement Sulivane, aide-de-camp.

Communications relating to business in any of the staff departments will be addressed to the chief in the department to which they refer.

EARL VAN DORN, Major-General.

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Abstract from return of the western division of Confederate forces commanded by General Ben. McCulloch for the month of January, 1862.

Command.Present for duty.Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.
Officers.Men.
First (Col. James McIntosh’s) Brigade*1222,9913,5754,518
Second (Col. Hébert’s) Brigade**2293,9395,1926,159
Total3516,9308,76710,677

* Near Fort Smith.

** Near Fayetteville, Bentonville, and Caneville.

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Organization of McCulloch’s division, January 31, 1862.

  • First Brigade.
    Col. JAMES MCINTOSH.
    • 1st Arkansas Mounted Rifles, Col. T. J. Churchill.
    • 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles, Col. James McIntosh.
    • 4th [9th] Texas Cavalry, Col. W. B. Sims.
    • 6th Texas Cavalry, Col. B. W. Stone.
    • South Kansas-Texas Regiment, Col. E. Greer.
    • Lamar Cavalry, Capt. H. S. Bennett.
  • Second Brigade.
    Col. Louis HÉBERT.
    • 4th Arkansas, Col. E. McNair.
    • 14th Arkansas, Col. M. C. Mitchell.
    • 16th Arkansas, Colonel Hill.
    • 17th Arkansas, Col. Frank Rector.
    • 21st Arkansas, Col. D. McRae.
    • 1st Arkansas Battalion, Maj. W. H. Brooks.
    • 3d Louisiana, Col. Louis Hébert.
    • Texas Cavalry, Col. W. C. Young.
    • Texas Mounted Rifles, Maj. J. W. Whitfield.
    • Artillery Battalion (4 companies), Capt. W. R. Bradfute.

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[FEBRUARY 2, 1862.-Confederate Government calls upon Arkansas for eleven regiments “for the war.” See requisition of this date upon the several Confederate States in Series IV, Vol. I.]

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., February 3, 1862.

C. F. JACKSON, Governor of Missouri:

SIR: Congress has recently passed a law entitled “An act to authorize the President to call upon the several States for troops to serve for {p.747} three years or during the war,” and, in accordance with its provisions, I have been instructed by the President to make a call on the several States for a number of men, to be enlisted for the war, sufficient to fill up a quota equal to 6 per cent. on the entire white population. Under these instructions the number of troops required from your State would be about 71,000 men, or eighty-nine regiments, of 800 men on an average. Under the peculiar circumstances in which Missouri is placed and the difficulties which embarrass her authorities I cannot hope that you will be able at present to meet the requisition, which it is, however, my duty to make.

I therefore respectfully call on Your Excellency to raise and have mustered into the Confederate service the above-named number of regiments, or so many thereof as it may be possible for you to obtain. These regiments will be called into camps of instruction, which you are invited to select. They will there be clothed, subsisted, and armed at the expense of the Confederate States. Each man will receive a bounty of $50 when mustered into service, as well as transportation from his home to the place of rendezvous.

It is earnestly hoped that Your Excellency will spare no effort to have your troops ready for the field by March 15, at which date it is confidently believed you will be joined by the forces of your sister States in such numbers as will enable us, by conjoint effort, to drive the invaders from the soil of Missouri.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, February 5, 1862.

Maj. Gen. STERLING PRICE, Springfield, Mo.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 17th ultimo. I am much gratified to learn that you are proceeding successfully in the effort to organize troops for service under the Confederacy and have already a brigade under Col. Henry Little.

The President, whose intention it has always been to secure your services in the common cause as soon as a number of troops could be mustered in from Missouri sufficient to form a division, at first thought of tendering you the nomination of commander of the brigade already formed as a preliminary to the further nomination to command a division as soon as another brigade could be formed, but he has been arrested by the fear that your removal from the command of the State troops before the transfer was complete might have the effect of breaking up your present forces before your new command was organized.

I have to request that at your earliest convenience you forward to me (and it will be held confidential if you wish it) a list of the officers of your State troops competent, in your opinion, to command brigades, in the order of their merit. It is a most difficult and thankless task to select commanders, and at this distance from the scene of action we are entirely at a loss how to determine on the capacity of those recommended for high military commands.

You seem from the terms of your letter to be under some misapprehension when you say that you hope the transfer of the troops already brigaded will be accepted without any unnecessary delay. The troops are already accepted at the instant you have them mustered into service; {p.748} we require nothing further, but in order to secure the return of the muster rolls to this Department, I have generally refused to furnish the commissions for the regimental staff until I had the muster rolls.

You are aware that under our organization each regiment is entitled to the following staff, viz: one assistant quartermaster, one assistant commissary, one surgeon, one assistant surgeon, one chaplain, and one adjutant. We are in the habit of nominating these on the recommendation of the colonels of the regiments, and as fast as regiments are formed the colonels ought to consult their regiments and send me a list of the staff they desire to have nominated.

We are making every effort to raise for your aid such a force in Arkansas, Texas, Northern Louisiana as shall be able, when combined with your own troops, to make a vigorous campaign, commencing, if possible, by 10th to 15th next month.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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LITTLE ROCK, February 6, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

General Van Dorn has called upon me for 8,500 men; if armed, for twelve months; if not, for the war. I see that Congress has given authority to subsist men before the organization [of] companies. Will you give instructions to this effect to your quartermasters in Arkansas at once? It is almost indispensable. Those going for the war expect the bounty to be paid at once. Can it be so paid and where? With these facilities we can furnish the men desired speedily; without them, the process will be tedious.

Answer at once.

H. M. RECTOR, Governor of Arkansas.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 7.}

HDQRS. TRANS-MISS. DIST., DEPT. No. 2, Jacksonport, Ark., February 6, 1862.

General B. McCulloch, commanding Confederate forces near Fort Smith, Ark., will order two regiments of infantry, two regiments of cavalry, and one battery of artillery to proceed at once, by the most practicable and direct route, to Pocahontas, Ark., where said troops will be stationed for the present.

By order of Major-General Earl Van Dorn:

WM. N. R. BEALL, Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HDQRS. TRANS-MISS. DISTRICT, DEPT. NO. 2, Jacksonport, February 7, 1862.

General STERLING PRICE, Commanding Missouri Troops, Springfield:

DEAR GENERAL: I am sorry that I am compelled to postpone my visit to your headquarters. I learn this morning that the enemy have {p.749} taken possession of Greenville in such close proximity to my depot and base of operations that I must stay here to look to it. It is said that a regiment of infantry, three companies of cavalry, and a section of artillery are there as an advance guard to other troops moving down from Fredericktown, and that it is the intention to fortify at that point. I must not let them make a lodgment so near to me. I have ordered back Colonel McCarver’s Arkansas regiment to Pitman’s Ferry; have ordered down Col. M. C. Mitchell’s regiment from the neighborhood of Yellville, Colonel Le Moyne’s regiment from Little Rock, and will gather together such troops as I can in this vicinity to oppose this attempt of the enemy to seize so desirable a position.

I shall order General Pike to take position in Lawrence County near you, say Mount Vernon, with instructions to co-operate with you in any emergency. He has, as he told me, about 8,000 or 9,000 men and three batteries of artillery. Three of his regiments are, I believe, whites. The others half-breed Indians, &c. All true men, he says.

I will try to raise an army here (Jacksonport). McCulloch and McIntosh I will move to Pitman’s Ferry and Poplar Bluff. I hope you will be enabled to increase your command to 13,000 or 15,000 men by the 20th of March, when I desire to open the campaign, and earnestly hope that I can. I have called on Arkansas for 10,000 men, say I get 5,000. I have called on Louisiana for several regiments, say I get three (2,500.) I have called on Texas; several fine regiments there already organized, armed, equipped, and disciplined. One on Red River of 1,100 men en route to join me; say from Texas 2,000 men by the 20th. McCulloch’s will have 10,000. This will give me here 5,000 + 2,500 + 2,000 + 10,000 = 19,500. Artillery added, say 20,000. You will have, I hope, 15,000; Pike, 10,000. With these, can we not hope to take Saint Louis by rapid marches and assault? But we will speak further of this when I have the opportunity to visit you.

So many mistakes have occurred during this war by the similarity of flags that I have had a battle-flag made, one of which I send you for our army. Please have one made for each regiment of your army, to be carried in battle.

Hoping soon to have an opportunity to see you, I am, general, very sincerely and respectfully, your obedient servant,

EARL VAN DORN, Major-General.

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HDQRS. TRANS-MISS. DISTRICT, DEPT. No. 2, Jacksonport, Ark., February 7, 1862.

Col. W. W. MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-General, Bowling Green, Ky.:

SIR: I learned this morning by scouts that a column of the enemy, consisting of one regiment of infantry, three companies of cavalry, and a section of artillery, had reached Greenville, an advanced guard of other troops marching from Fredericktown. This point is so near my depot and proposed base of operations that I have thought it necessary to turn back Colonel McCarver’s battalion of six companies here en route for Memphis. The depot was too imminently threatened to be left unguarded. I trust, therefore, that General Johnston will approve of my act and allow this battalion to remain here. I had no other troops immediately available. I have ordered General McCulloch {p.750} down, but it will be two or three weeks before his command can reach here.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

EARL VAN DORN, Major-General.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Pocahontas, Ark., February 14, 1862.

Maj. Gen. STERLING PRICE, Commanding Army of Missouri:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch by the hands of Colonel Taylor, your aide-de-camp. I send orders in the morning by express to General McCulloch to send all of his infantry under Colonel McIntosh to Springfield to report to you. I presume (I have no returns) that he has about 5,000 men. I had already ordered General Pike to Mount Vernon, in Lawrence County, with about 7,000 men, mostly cavalry, from the Indian Territory. I am told by the general that most of these are half-breed Indians, and good, reliable men. His force will be increased by several regiments of Arkansas infantry now in process of organization, also by two or three batteries of artillery.

General McCulloch, with the cavalry, will come here, where I am raising an army from Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana; I hope 12,000 or 15,000 men or more. I hear of active measures being taken in Arkansas to comply with my call for 10,000 men. Louisiana will probably send me 4,000, Texas 3,000 or 4,000. This will give me, with McCulloch’s cavalry and some other troops here and coming, say 18,000 men at the Missouri line above this point. You at Springfield will have of Missouri troops, say, 10,000 men by the 1st of March, McIntosh 5,000, Pike 8,000, in all 23,000 for defensive operations, or 15,000 for offensive operations (Pike’s command being intended for defense alone or as a corps of observation on the Kansas border).

The above will be our probable force by the 1st of April; at least I hope so. I will first state general, my plan for the campaign in Missouri-afterwards what I desire should be your plan of action. It was my wish to see and consult with you on this subject in person; but I found I could not leave here, at least for the present, and am therefore compelled to put in writing what would have been better discussed personally. I shall, however, instruct Colonel Taylor to destroy this dispatch in the event of his being arrested, for its contents should be known only to yourself.

I design attempting Saint Louis. As soon as I can get my wing ready to march from Pitman’s Ferry I intend putting your column in motion toward Salem, in Dent County, covering your object by moving your advance towards Rolla. I will move so as to join you between Salem and Potosi, leaving Ironton to my right. These movements will be made secretly and rapidly, without tents or baggage, except for the sick. From the point of junction of the two columns I will push on by rapid marches to Saint Louis, and attempt it at once by assault. As we advance, the bridges on the railroads from Sedalia, Rolla, and Ironton will be destroyed, thus throwing the enemy upon the wagon roads, and preventing him from re-enforcing the city soon enough to oppose us there.

{p.751}

This seems to me the movement best calculated to win us Missouri and relieve General Johnston, who is heavily threatened in Kentucky. Once in the city of Saint Louis, the railroads leading to it from the east should be at once destroyed by our cavalry as far as practicable; also the road to Cairo. We should fortify opposite, on the Illinois side. The city once ours the State is ours, and the armies of the enemy on her soil and in Kansas would supply us with arms for her people, who would gather to our standard from the west and north.

Flour, salt, and a little bacon in our wagons, and beef cattle driven with us, should be our commissariat. Grain-bags, to contain two days’ rations of corn, to be carried on our troopers’ saddles, and money our paymaster’s department, and sufficient ammunition our ordnance department.

Being between Ironton and Rolla,if we are immediately threatened on either hand we can strike with our whole force to the right or to the left, as might seem most advisable, taking the two armies in detail. If we were repulsed from Saint Louis, or if we found it not advisable or practicable to attempt it, we could attack the enemy in the field towards Rolla and Sedalia, passing up the river, and gathering together our friends in that section of country to re-enforce us.

This is as much, general, as I can now write, as I desire to send off couriers early in the morning to Generals McCulloch and Pike and Colonel Hébert; but I hope to see you before the 1st of April, when I will confer fully with you upon the subject.

Now, with this plan in view, I do not think it advisable to disturb the enemy or alarm him any more than is necessary until we are ready to march. But if in the meantime, with the force at your disposal, you think it perfectly practicable to strike him a blow at Rolla secure his arms and check his intention of advancing for a while, it is well to do so. Having done this, pause where you are, and call in recruits from that section of country and north, and watch closely the enemy to the northwest, and maneuver your column over the country between Rolla and Springfield until I am in readiness with my column to join you at or near Potosi. Pike can aid you in this, but he should not go too far, as he would leave Western Arkansas, the Indian Territory, and the counties west of you exposed too much to the half-savage enemy in Kansas.

If I could enter more fully into this subject and set forth the advantages which it presents to my mind, I think, general, that I would have your hearty co-operation in the campaign in Missouri. I am truly devoted to the interest of the whole Confederacy, and look to the whole field of operations from the Potomac to the plains of New Mexico for my study, and pray God to guide me in the true paths to victory and my country’s independence.

I sincerely hope that if you attempt this move you may add new laurels to the wreath already encircling your brow, and that Missouri may again boast of having struck another gallant blow for her liberty and the vindication of her rights.

I send you copies of letters I had sent to Generals McCulloch and Pike.* I send them in the morning orders to move, as I have already stated, and to hurry the troops on to you. I have taken it for granted that you can supply these re-enforcements from the country around you by purchases. I have been informed by Colonels Snead and Taylor, as well as by other reliable gentlemen, that the counties {p.752} around you are rich in everything in the way of provisions needed by an army. Let me know as soon as possible what you will require. I have a depot at Jacksonport, and can, I hope, supply you with many things you may want. Please keep me advised of your movements and intentions, as well as of the movements and strength of the enemy, so far as you are able to learn them.

I have ordered a line of expressmen from Memphis to Springfield. By it regular communications may be made twice a week. Send special couriers with important matter.

Excuse the hurried style of this letter, general, and believe me, very truly and respectfully, your obedient servant,

EARL VAN DORN, Major-General.

* Not found.

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HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, MCCULLOCH’S DIV., C. S. A., Fayetteville, Ark., February 15, 1862.

General STERLING PRICE, Commanding Mo. S. G., Springfield, Mo.:

GENERAL: I have delayed answering your last communication and have detained your messenger for the reason that I rested under orders from headquarters of division not to make a movement without orders.

General Van Dorn has assumed command, and has gone to Pocahontas as his headquarters, and he has probably met you at Springfield by this time. It is by his orders that I have to await orders. I am, of course, making all efforts to place my troops in complete readiness, but I am in want of small-arms. I get more men than I can arm,and if you have any to spare I would like to have some 500 or 600, if convenient to you.

Rumors have reached me that you are falling back from Springfield. I place no reliance in the rumor, because I think that you would have advised me of the movement.

I remain, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

LOUIS HÉBERT, Colonel Third Regt. La. Vols., Comdg. Second Brigade.

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FAYETTEVILLE, ARK., February 16, 1862-8 a.m.

General BEN. MCCULLOCH, Fort Smith, Ark.:

GENERAL: I have just now sent a messenger to you with a communication from General Price, stating that he had been fighting for two days without sleep or eating, and though the enemy was between 17,000 and 20,000 strong he expected to whip them; and if Colonel Hébert’s command would reach him in time he would take everything from the enemy.

The colonel has left this morning, and ordered all of his forces out to concentrate on the Telegraph road, some 10 miles on the other side of Cross Hollow.

Respectfully,

J. A. LANDRY, Aide to Colonel Hébert, Commanding Second Brigade,

{p.753}

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FAYETTEVILLE, February 16, 1862-4 p.m.

General MCCULLOCH:

From an official dispatch just received from General Price he is now within 3 miles of the Arkansas line. He has fought the enemy for three days. He is short of rations and his men have not had sleep for two days and nights. He begs for re-enforcements, not doubting then to whip the enemy, who are 17,000 strong. Colonel Hébert left this morning. I leave with my detachment immediately for the scene of action.

CHAS. A. BRUSLÉ, Captain, Commanding Detachment.

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NEW MADRID, MO., February 20, 1862.

His Excellency C. F. JACKSON, Memphis, Tenn.:

DEAR GOVERNOR: Colonel Pheelan took down 500 of your guns to be altered, and, with 100 taken down by Major Rapley some time ago, we have 600 now in Memphis or New Orleans. If these guns are to be repaired as badly as those which were repaired for the Arkansas troops I would prefer them as they are, even without bayonets. Those of the Arkansians have nearly all burst, the cylinder has, blown out, or something else has happened, which has left them entirely useless. I hope you will state these facts to those superintending the work, as they are only making traps for our own men.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Pocahontas, February 22, 1862.

Maj. R. W. KEYWORTH:

MAJOR: I wrote you yesterday, informing you of General Van Dorn’s desire for you to remain at Jacksonport until further orders.

Please forward the supplies for General Price’s army to Buffalo City, or other nearest point to him accessible by steamer, as soon as you can, and take measures to receive return freight of forage.

If you have any certain information of General Price’s movements, please forward it as soon as practicable.

I am, major, very respectfully, yours,

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Pocahontas, February 22, 1862.

Colonel MCCARVER, Fourteenth Arkansas Regiment:

COLONEL: The general commanding desires that you will come to this point without delay and assume command of the troops in this vicinity, including those of your present command, and those arriving {p.754} here under the orders which have been already issued by him and under the call of the Governor of this State.

You will please designate a proper officer to muster into service such troops as may assemble here in obedience to the Governor’s call.

During the temporary absence of the general commanding he relies upon your vigilance, good judgment, and firmness to guard the interests of the Confederacy in this region. You will please continue to carefully watch the movements of the enemy, make the best dispositions in your power for the protection of the people and property placed under your care, and in no event will you abandon this post unless you are driven back by a superior force.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, yours,

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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JACKSON, TENN., February 23, 1862.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, Comdg. First Division, Department of the West, Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR GENERAL: I am informed by General McCown that you desired his brigade to move down at once to Island No. 10. I beg to remark it might be dangerous to divide the forces under your command before the works at that island shall have been put in a defensible condition and before we are ready to abandon Columbus in pursuance to what has already been determined on that subject; hence the necessity of hurrying the construction of the works at Island No. 10 and at New Madrid; meanwhile all the necessary preparations can be made for the rapid evacuation of Columbus at the proper time.

The next most important question is, where shall we collect the balance of the forces at Columbus, which is not to form a part of the garrison at Island No. 10. Shall this be done at Union City, Humboldt, or Jackson, or shall it be collected temporarily at that island, depending on water transportation alone as far as Memphis, to effect a junction with Ruggles’ forces, now at Corinth and Grand Junction, for ulterior operations?

I am not sufficiently well acquainted with the nature of the roads in Western Tennessee and with the means of transportation at our command to be able to answer these queries; hence I would be most happy to have your views on the subject The great point is, as I understand it, to be able to support in time the garrison at Island No. 10 if attacked only by a force equal to our own, or to be able to keep open our communications, either by water or railroad, with the States of Mississippi and Alabama, if attacked by an overwhelming force, which might endanger not only the safety of the garrison referred to, but especially of its supporting force, intended, after having been driven out of Western Tennessee, for the defense inch by inch of the two States already mentioned.

Before concluding, I must call your attention to the necessity of making the works at Island No. 10 and at New Madrid as strong as circumstances will permit and to be armed with the heaviest guns that can be spared for this purpose.

I would advise the gorges of the works at the latter place to be palisaded merely, so that our gunboats may fire into them from the river if they were taken by the enemy. Three works, with strong profiles for 500 men, about, each, may be required at that place, two on the {p.755} river and one a little in advance of the others; the crémaillère lines on the right and rear of Island No. 10 must be provided with small redans for a few siege guns. The navigation of Black Bayou must be obstructed so as to prevent the enemy’s barges from getting into Reelfoot Lake, the shores of which, between the two crémaillère lines, must be well guarded, and, if needs be, properly defended.

The island opposite Tiptonville must be examined to determine if it can be advantageously fortified. I would advise the garrison of Fort Pillow, excepting a strong guard, to be sent for the present to New Madrid or Island No. 10. All the heavy ordnance not required at these two points should be sent, when removed from Columbus, to Fort Pillow or to any other point on the river-above and not too far from Memphis-which could be held by a small garrison.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General, C. S. Army.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 47.}

HEADQUARTERS Mo. S. G., Camp on Cove Creek, Ark., February 23, 1862.

Brig. Gen. D. M. Frost is assigned to duty as the commander of the Seventh Division, in place of Brig. Gen. J. H. McBride, resigned. He will remain in command of the division until it contains twenty companies, when an election of a brigadier-general will be ordered. General Frost will also have the command of the Third Brigade of Missouri Volunteers.

By order of Maj. Gen. S. Price:

WM. H. BRAND, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

*JACKSONPORT, February 24, 1862, (Received Murfreesborough, February 27, 1862.)

Col. W. W. MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-General:

Price and McCulloch are concentrated at Cross Hollow, 12 miles from enemy’s advance, on Sugar Creek, near Missouri line. Whole force of enemy from 35,000 to 40,000; ours about 20,000. Should Pike be able to join, our forces will be about 26,000.

I leave this evening to go to the army, and will give battle; of course, if it does not take place before I arrive. I have no doubt of the result. If I succeed I shall push on.

EARL VAN DORN, Major-General.

* Copy sent to Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army.

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CIRCULAR.]

HDQRS. TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Jacksonport, Ark., February 24, 1862.

In consequence of the recent movements of the enemy it is recommended that the troops called out by the proclamation of the Governor of the State of Arkansas should rendezvous as follows:

Those organized in the counties south of Arkansas River and east {p.756} of the Fulton and Little Rock Road, to repair to Little Rock; those from the counties north of Arkansas River to repair to Little Rock, Jacksonport, and Pocahontas, as circumstances may indicate to be best; while all who are within reach of the army in the field should rally to its standard. Companies should move to the rendezvous as soon as organized, either singly or in battalions, each company being provided as soon as possible with two baggage wagons and provisions for at least ten days. The senior officer of the Confederate service on duty at the rendezvous or an officer designated by him will superintend the mustering into service and the organizing of the troops. Every man should come well supplied with arms, and with ammunition, if possible; and the utmost energy is expected from all in this great emergency.

The enemy has invaded your State. His army is powerful, disciplined, flushed with success, and he comes with hatred in his heart. He seeks to subjugate your soil, to desolate your homes, and to wrest from you and degrade all you hold dearest in life.

You must arm, organize, and rush to meet him. All who claim manhood should now attack this insolent invader or forever renounce the respect of men and the love of women.

EARL VAN DORN, Major-General.

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HEADQUARTERS Mo. S. G., Camp on Cove Creek, Ark., February 25, 1862.

His Excellency C. F. JACKSON, Governor of Missouri:

SIR: I have the honor to lay before you an account of the circumstances surrounding my command within the last two weeks, compelling me to evacuate Springfield and retreat beyond the State line into the territory of Arkansas, the intelligence of which has no doubt reached you.

About the latter part of December I left my camp on Sac River, Saint Clair County, fell back, and took up my quarters at Springfield, for the purpose of being within reach of supplies, protecting that portion of our State from both Home Guard depredations and Federal invasion, as well as to secure a most valuable point for military movement. At Springfield I received from Grand Glaze considerable supplies of clothing, camp and garrison equipage, and having built huts, our soldiers were as comfortable as circumstances would permit. I am pleased to say few complaints were either made or heard. Missouri having been admitted as an equal member of the Confederate States, and having my command much augmented by recruits, I was enabled to raise and equip about 4,000 men for the Confederate service. A brigade of these, consisting of two regiments of infantry, one regiment of cavalry, and two light batteries of artillery, have been tendered the Confederate Government.

About the latter part of January my scouts reported that the enemy were concentrating in force at Rolla, and shortly thereafter they occupied Lebanon. Believing that this movement could be for no other purpose than to attack me, and knowing that my command was inadequate for such successful resistance as the interest of my army and the cause demanded, I appealed to the commanders of the Confederate {p.757} troops in Arkansas to come to my assistance. This, from correspondence, I was led confidently to expect, and, relying upon it, I held my position to the very last moment, and, as the sequel proved, almost too long, for on Wednesday, the 12th February, my pickets were driven in, and reported the enemy advancing upon me in force. No resource was now left me except retreat, without hazarding all with greatly unequal numbers upon the result of one engagement. This I deemed it unwise to do. I commenced retreating at once. I reached Cassville with loss unworthy of mention in any respect. Here the enemy in my rear commenced a series of attacks running through four days. Retreating and fighting all the way to the Cross Hollow, in this State, I am rejoiced to say my command, under the most exhausting fatigue all that time, with but little rest for either man or horse and no sleep, sustained themselves and came through, repulsing the enemy upon every occasion with great determination and gallantry. My loss does not exceed 4 to 6 killed and some 15 or 18 wounded. That of the enemy we know to be ten times as great.

Col. Henry Little, commanding the First Brigade, with Cols. B. A. Rives and J. Q. Burbridge of the infantry, and Col. E. Gates of the cavalry, covered this retreat from beyond Cassville and acted as the rear guard. The colonel commanding deserves the highest praise for unceasing watchfulness and the good management of his entire command. I heartily commend him to your attention. All these officers merit and should receive the thanks of both Government and people. To all the officers and men of my army I am under obligations. No men or officers were ever more ready and prompt to meet and repel an enemy.

Governor, we are confident of the future.

STERLING PRICE, Major-General, Commanding Mo. S. G.

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JACKSON, February 26, 1862.

General POLK:

New Madrid all important. In my opinion must be watched and held at all costs. All troops at Fort Pillow but mere guard should be transferred there with utmost celerity. If satisfied of the movements of the enemy on New Madrid, place should be re-enforced at once to all possible extent from Columbus. Regiment at Trenton could be sent there as well as some gunboats.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

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HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Columbus, Ky., February 26, 1862.

Col. E. W. GANTT, Commanding at New Madrid:

Your notes of the 24th and 25th received. I have ordered Colonel Walker’s regiment up to your support from Fort Pillow; also a good part of the regiment of Colonel Baker from the same place.

I send you the ammunition and caps you ask for. I will send additional ammunition on the boats that are to follow for your heavy guns. I will also see to giving you such other support from the gunboats as may be practicable. Your position is a strong one, which you have {p.758} well studied, and I have no doubt of the vigor and efficiency of your defense. Keep me informed.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK, Major-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Columbus, Ky., February 26, 1862.

Flag-Officer ROLLINS:

I have reason to believe that the enemy is preparing an attack on New Madrid. I desire you would stop three of the gunboats at that place for the purpose of supporting the land force in the contemplated attack.

General McCown will be in command so soon as his force can reach there.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK, Major-General, Commanding.

P. S.-I desire one of the gunboats to cruise up and down the river to keep the way open, and to that end have addressed a note to Commodore Whittle.

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HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Columbus, Ky., February 26, 1862.

Colonel KENNEDY:

Your note by the Admiral received. I have caused the Simonds to be dispatched by telegraph from this place to come forward as rapidly as possible to you with the guns. I will send you some guns also from this place, together with an ample supply of ammunition. You must rush up the work night and day, and write me full particulars of your progress by every opportunity. I will have the guns manned as rapidly as you can get them up and as we can send the artillerists to you. Again I repeat you must push the work,but do not fail to do it in an orderly and effective manner.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK, Major-General, Commanding.

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NEW MADRID, MO., February 26, 1862-11.30 a.m.

Maj. Gen. EARL VAN DORN, Pocahontas, Ark.:

GENERAL: I send you a communication from General Polk. A column of 20,000 is reported as marching on this post from Commerce, and we will expect them by Friday. I will, after showing a little fight, cross the plank road and get my men together at Clarkton.

I myself will go over to see you unless the enemy pushes a column through Bloomfield and I have to fight them there. I design responding to your call to rendezvous at Pocahontas, and will let my people {p.759} know it as soon as the Legislature of Missouri adjourns. The Legislature is to meet here on Monday if we are not driven away before then. The greater portion of my district is in your division, and I will report to you as soon as I cross the plank road.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, [Brigadier-General.]

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HEADQUARTERS, New Madrid, Mo., February 27, 1862.

Major-General POLK, Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR SIR: My scouts, just in half hour by sun this evening, report the enemy advancing from Benton. They have ten pieces of artillery, one-half dozen 6-pounder guns, two mortars, and two 12-pounder guns. Enemy still coming in to Benton. They have 1,000 cavalry.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. W. GANTT, Colonel, Commanding Post.

If my scouts are not unnecessarily excited, their advance is beyond question. I have great confidence in the men sent.

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HEADQUARTERS, New Madrid, Mo., February 27, 1862.

Brigadier-General POLK, Columbus:

DEAR GENERAL: At the date of this note the enemy are posted as follows: At Benton, five Indiana regiments, four pieces of artillery, and two companies of cavalry; at Commerce, 12,000 troops, with artillery and transportation. I am further informed that 5,000 more will be landed at Commerce to-day. Those at Benton await the arrival of the troops at Commerce, when they are to march against this place. Such is to-day their determination. Events transpiring may change their programme. We are safe here beyond a doubt. While Island No. 10 holds back their gunboats this place is secure. Our troops are in fine spirits and will make a splendid defense. Walker’s and Baker’s regiments here. Also General McCown, with a portion of his division. General Thompson, with 100 men, left to-day for Sikeston. You shall be promptly advised of things here.

Your obedient servant,

E. W. GANTT, Colonel, Commanding.

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ISLAND 10, February 27, 1862-9 o’clock.

General LEONIDAS POLK, Commanding, Columbus, Ky.:

GENERAL: I have guns, but no gunners. The men of my division on detail (ordnance, &c.) please send down, as I need them. I need commanders. Colonel Gantt, now in command at New Madrid, is a good commander. Col. Marsh [L. M.] Walker, a graduate of West {p.760} Point, is a good soldier, but has not rank, Capt. S. P. Bankhead is also a reliable man and a well-instructed soldier.

I make these suggestions for the information of yourself and Genera] Beauregard. I must have reliable men to command and with rank. Colonels do not like to be under their equal in rank.

Respectfully submitted.

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General.

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ISLAND No 10, February 27, 1862-12 o’clock.

General LEONIDAS POLK, Commanding:

GENERAL: My attention having been drawn to New Madrid, I had not carefully examined matters here. I find that little or nothing had been done by Captain Gray. Colonel Kennedy has pushed matters, however, and has five guns mounted in the upper battery, on the east shore, and seven on the lower, on the same shore. He (Colonel Kennedy) says he will get five more up to-morrow. Nothing was done on the island until yesterday. I have ordered the siege battery there. Upon examination I believe that the upper battery is not equal to what is expected of it. Every hour I can get is of great importance. I fear I will have to defend this place with the bayonet unless I can get time. If the gunboats pass, New Madrid is gone, unless the gunboats of Commodore Hollins can defeat them. Ten guns lost holding Columbus a day or two ago, so more would be well expended.

Yours, sincerely,

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General.

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HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Columbus, Ky., February 28, 1862.

Brigadier-General MCCOWN, Commanding, New Madrid:

GENERAL: On your return from New Madrid on the evening of the 26th I informed you, as you will remember, that I had received instructions from General Beauregard that New Madrid must be held at all events, and that in pursuance of those instructions I had ordered Colonel Marks’ brigade to proceed to New Madrid, which order he received. I informed you at the same time that I had ordered Colonel Neely’s brigade to proceed to the same place. I informed you also that I would send you artillerists from this post to man the guns being placed in position at Island No. 10 as rapidly as they could be spared; that the post for the present had been put under the orders of Colonel Kennedy, Louisiana Volunteers, under whose command you might place so much of a supporting infantry force as the existing emergency might require. I informed you also that all the force from Fort Pillow, consisting of Walker’s and Baker’s regiments, excepting a strong guard to take care of the post, had been ordered to New Madrid, and that such other troops of the new levies as could be spared would be sent to your command; also that the entire force at New Madrid and Island No. 10 had been placed under your command by direction of General Beauregard, whose instructions in regard to the importance of holding New Madrid I strongly impressed upon you. I likewise informed you that {p.761} a portion of Commodore Hollins’ fleet would be placed at your disposal, to be employed at whatever point you might think best. Being, as you are, perfectly familiar with all the localities and their approaches and in possession of the views and instructions of the commanding general, I feel it would be injudicious to hamper your actions by insisting on details. You are therefore at liberty to consult your own judgment in disposing of the respective force under your orders.

I think it proper nevertheless to say that you should by all means place a sufficient amount of your force of all arms so as to make sure of New Madrid.

I will send you down a battery of siege guns, with a company to man it, to be used in the defense of New Madrid. It will go to-day, with the necessary ammunition. I will also send you this evening several other companies of artillerists for Island No. 10.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK, Major-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Columbus, Ky., February 28, 1862.

Brigadier-General MCCOWN, Commanding, New Madrid:

GENERAL: I wrote you at large to-day in a dispatch sent you by Captain Cummings, in command of General Beauregard’s signal company, in which dispatch I gave you my views and instructions. This you will have received before this reaches you. You will ere this receive also a full supply of ammunition of all sorts. I send you to-night more guns; these are those from the fort, the best we have, and I hope you will get them up speedily. I send you to-night also a large lot of spades and shovels. I would turn out full details from all your regiments, and work as many as you have tools for all night, and day and night, until the work is finished. By pushing matters you can accomplish this. Again I repeat, work your regiments day and night until the armament is complete.

Your artillery companies go down to-night. I should like to have the gunboats come up so as to cover the retreat of our transports, provided you have no immediate prospect of an attack. If they could come up to-night the work would be finished to-morrow. I shall get through with the dismounting the fort to-morrow. All the ammunition and stores will be removed, and I hope also the guns. I am glad to hear from Captain Barrow that you have twelve guns mounted on the Tennessee shore. He informs me also that you will have five other guns mounted before morning. These, with the four siege guns which [hear are in position on the island, will give you twenty-two; a very respectable force. I think, too, you will not be disturbed until you get the others on the island and the floating battery in place.

Keep me constantly advised.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK, Major-General, Commanding.

P. S.-I shall send to you Brigadier-General Stewart, and will endeavor to have other brigadiers appointed for you. I acknowledge the receipt of yours on that subject, also those by Captain Barrow.

{p.762}

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ISLAND No. 10, February 28, 1862.

[Major-General POLK:]

GENERAL: Will you at the proper time order the companies of Colonel Clark’s regiment to report here for duty. From all the information I can get between 20,000 and 30,000 men are at Benton and Commerce and will advance upon New Madrid. I have five regiments at New Madrid. The work thrown up there is for 2,000 men. I am pushing forward another work. To hold the place I have to depend much upon the assistance of the gunboats. I wish much that General Beauregard would pay me a short visit. This place must be held fast or that falls; that must also be held or this falls. I shall act with all the energy I have.

Please send this to General Beauregard.

Yours, sincerely,

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General.

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ISLAND No. 10, February 28, 1862.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, Commanding:

GENERAL: I received yours of this date. It was upon reflection and consultation with the commodore and Colonel Gantt that I placed the troops under my command as I have. I so disposed of them for the following reasons:

1st. The work constructed at New Madrid can only contain two regiments. The work that I am having constructed near the bayou is about the same capacity; both are near the bank of the river and can be flanked by gunboats, the plain being level. All extra troops only mask the lire of the gunboats. So strongly am I impressed with this view of the case that I shall only leave four regiments there unless differently instructed.

2d. Should this place fall or should the enemy’s gunboats pass this point, New Madrid could not be held six hours unless Commodore Hollins could defeat them.

3d. I can re-enforce New Madrid promptly from this place.

Commodore Hollins has five gunboats here and at New Madrid.

Now as to the condition of this place, only one gun was mounted when Colonel Kennedy arrived here. We now have five in the upper battery, seven lower down, and three between the two. The siege battery is on the island. I shall move it to New Madrid as soon as I can get two guns on the point of the island. I send you information that leads me to suppose that they intend to shell the field works out. The enemy is in force at Benton and I believe will advance.

I could not leave our small intrenchments and fight without a much larger force, nor can I stop the gunboats with certainty without time to prepare. The guns, ammunition, &c., have been brought down without any person knowing what was on each boat.

The Prince sank just above New Madrid about three hours since. The flat with Captain Stewart’s battery sank; all except ammunition saved.

The boat that brought up the laborers from Fort Pillow brought no tools. I have but few tools to work with.

If the river rises much more the battery (upper) will be under water; but one magazine here, that one with water in it, built below the river level.

{p.763}

My position is critical. If it is possible General Beauregard should come and see how matters stand here.

Yours, &c.,

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, New Madrid, Mo., February 28, 1862-8 p.m.

[Major-General POLK:]

DEAR SIR: My reports from Sikeston here have been every two hours. The entire force of the enemy now at Benton is estimated at 20,000. Some seem to have been sent through from Kentucky, so my spies inform me. Their largest gun, a siege mortar, requires twenty-six horses; the others are either 12 or 6 pounder guns.

When I wrote to-day at 10 o’clock I informed you Thompson had been cut off. At the date of this writing it seems that he left Sikeston at 7 a.m. The enemy came in at 8 a.m. His force was 65 men and a few of those little brass concerns. My picket just in informs me that the force in Thompson’s rear is only 100, and that he had possession of Jones’ Pass; also that he heard the general’s little guns just before leaving. If so, he has cut them off instead of they him.

I have just written up to General McCown to suggest some changes in our mode of defense, which I will write to you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. W. GANTT, Colonel, Commanding Post.

Have I written to you that General Pope commands the expedition?

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HEADQUARTERS MCCULLOCH’S DIVISION, March 1, 1862.

General VAN DORN:

SIR: I have ordered the command to be ready to march as soon as you arrive, with six days’ cooked rations, and will notify General Price to be ready also. We await your arrival anxiously. We now have force enough to whip the enemy.

Your obedient servant,

BEN. MCCULLOCH, Brigadier-General.

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Effective total of McCulloch’s division, at Strickler’s, March 2, 1862.

Hébert’s (infantry) brigade4,637
Greer’s (cavalry) brigade.3,747
Total8,384

Artillery (Hart’s, Gaines’, Good’s, and Provence’s batteries), 18 guns.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Boston Mountains, March 3, 1862.

Brig. Gen. ALBERT PIKE:

GENERAL: I am instructed by Major-General Van Dorn to inform you that he will move from here to-morrow morning with the combined {p.764} forces of Generals Price and McCulloch in the direction of Fayetteville. He wishes you, therefore, to press on with your whole force along the Cane Hill road, so as to fall in rear of our army.

You will please, during your march, keep out your scouts, especially toward your left. Your troops will march light and be ready for immediate action. Your baggage train will follow your column slowly, making marches of not more than 5 or 6 miles per day. Should you have passed Evansville before this dispatch reaches you, please change direction at once and get into the Cane Hill road. It is expected that you will make such efforts as will insure your being in position, and send two couriers per day to keep the general commanding informed of your position and progress.

I am, general, very respectfully, yours,

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Boston Mountains, Ark., March 3, 1862.

Brig. Gen. ALBERT PIKE, Commanding Indian Brigade:

GENERAL: This morning I sent you instructions concerning the movement of your brigade.

The general commanding desires that you will hasten up with all possible dispatch and in person direct the march of your command, including Stand Watie’s, McIntosh’s, and Drew’s regiments.

The route indicated this morning in the order to you and to those colonels is such that they may not reach their position by the time desired. I am therefore directed to modify those orders, so that your command will be near Elm Springs (marching by the shortest route) day after to-morrow afternoon.

By order of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn:

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Boston Mountains, March 3, 1862.

Colonels DREW, MCINTOSH, and STAND WATIE:

COLONELS: Major-General Van Dorn, commanding the Confederate forces in this vicinity, directs me to inform you that you will move along the road from Evansville to Fayetteville, so as to be within 5 or 6 miles of Fayetteville to-morrow evening and in rear of our army, which will move from here in the morning.

You will during your march keep out scouts toward your left especially, and you will report at once to Brigadier-General McIntosh, C. S. Army, your progress and your position. You will march light, ready for immediate action, and you will leave your heavy baggage to follow you slowly.

You will, if possible, procure corn on the road or have it hauled to your halting place (after you) to-morrow night.

Send a special courier at once to report to General Van Dorn at General {p.765} Price’s headquarters your receipt of this order and your present position.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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NEW MADRID, MO., March 3, 1862.

His Excellency C. F. JACKSON, Governor of Missouri:

GOVERNOR: You will find inclosed an act which we have passed this day. I hope it will suit your convenience to meet at Caruthersville, according to this programme (adjourned to some other point), when it may be safe to transact business.

The enemy are in plain sight of these headquarters, and therefore I have no time to write now.

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General.

[Inclosure.]

NEW MADRID, MO., March 3, 1862.

Whereas the forces of Abraham Lincoln are making such demonstrations this day that it is deemed unsafe and inexpedient for the Legislature of Missouri to assemble and transact business in this town agreeably to adjournment at Carrsville November 7, 1861:

Therefore we, officers, privates, and citizens of the First Military District, Missouri State Guard, assuming the responsibility (and pledging ourselves to support with our lives those who conform with this act), do hereby declare the General Assembly of the State of Missouri is adjourned to meet at Caruthersville, Pemiscot County, on Thursday, March 6, 1862.

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General.

To this was added about sixty signatures.

A. G. S., Clerk.

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MADRID BEND, March 4, 1862.

General LEONIDAS POLK:

GENERAL: Colonel Richmond can give you all the news and my views. Two companies of cavalry arrived to-day. I can now make no use of them on the Missouri shore. A level plain, with perpendicular banks, offers no shelter for the horses. I am virtually besieged. The enemy is encamped in force [within] 3 miles of New Madrid. My position is critical in the extreme. I fear the gunboats may pass Island 10. In that event New Madrid falls, unless the fleet of Commodore Hollins can defeat them. Time is what I most want, unless I had force to fight them in the open field. I will do all I can and trust Providence. Colonel Jordan and Colonel Richmond can give you all necessary information. You can judge what is best to do.

Yours, sincerely,

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General.

{p.766}

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NEW MADRID, MO., March 5, 1862.

General LEONIDAS POLK, Commanding:

GENERAL: Colonel Richmond left here last evening. At 12 o’clock last night the enemy drove in our pickets at the upper fort at this place. The guards at the lower fort repulsed them easily. This guard was from Colonel Scott’s regiment. Artillery was then opened upon us. Our gunboats returned the fire and soon drove them back. No attack was made by infantry upon our works.

If 30,000 or 40,000 men could be thrown promptly to Point Pleasant the force in my front could be defeated and captured. I throw out this suggestion. I admit that if their gunboats should pass Island No. 10 and defeat Commodore Hollins, that force would be cut off from Tennessee. If such an enterprise was undertaken the transports carrying the troops should rendezvous at Tiptonville. The sooner undertaken the easier performed.

I send this by Captain Lewis.

Yours, &c.,

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General.

N. B.-The Federal troops were cheering for General McClernand last night.

Two Federals were wounded and are prisoners. Number of articles were taken, blankets, &c.

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MADRID BEND, March 5, 1862-9 p.m.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK:

GENERAL: I am just from New Madrid. The pickets have been fighting all day. The enemy was in line, only out of range of our guns. One piece (6-pounder) was advanced to within 400 yards of our pickets. I directed the pickets not to notice it. I shall risk nothing in the open field with my small force.

Guns are being rapidly mounted at this place. Gun-carriages, ammunition, &c., came here in such confusion that it is difficult to find anything.

I fear that Battery No. 1 will be next to useless.

Guns of all kinds, forty-seven guns. All I fear is that the Federal gunboats may close their ports and run past. We have not a single magazine here.

I received your telegram of 3d instant. New Madrid must be in our possession. To hold this without New Madrid would require a much larger force than I have.

If New Madrid is in our possession and we can keep back the gunboats, a force could be landed near Point Pleasant and the force in my front captured.

I have not yet been able to turn my attention to Tiptonville. The island opposite that place is under water.

It is useless to deny that my condition is critical in the extreme. I shall do all in my power. My command is in fine spirits.

Yours, &c.,

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

{p.767}

The above was just brought in by Capt. R. A. Lewis from General McCown. He reports heavy cannonading at New Madrid, as he thinks, from 8 a.m. till 2 p.m.

ED. PICKETT, JR., Colonel, Commanding.

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CAMP CLARKTON, MO., March 5, 1862.

Col. JASON H. HUNTER, Camp Kitchen, Mo.:

DEAR COLONEL: I have got to this end of the road, but must go immediately to Jacksonport, and will not have the pleasure of seeing you. I desire that you should fall back to this place with your infantry, to assist in the organization down here, and also to assist to construct a work at this place for the defense of the plank road. I hope there will be no misunderstanding about the guns and the other things between Walker, Kitchen, and yourself, but that all things will go on harmoniously and brotherly. The balance of our force is at the other end of the plank road, but Ward’s, Harris’, Holmes’ and Liles’ infantry will be here to-day. There is no special news from Madrid. The enemy are there in force, but will not fight for a day or two.

Yours, &c.,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Missouri State Guard.

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CAMP CLARKTON, March 5, 1862.

General J. P. MCCOWN, Commanding New Madrid, Mo.:

DEAR SIR: I find there are none of the enemy on this side of the ridge, and the coast is entirely clear to Cape Girardeau. The force that was at Greenville some say [has gone] to Ironton, but the newspapers say it is for Pocahontas. I will start for Jacksonport in a few hours. I have placed the guns at Little River at Weaversville and I have two here, therefore the plank road is safe for the time being, and if any misfortune should happen, the refugees, if any, can find refuge here. I will start a cavalry expedition up to Cape Girardeau or Greenville on the 8th (if not too late), and will draw some of the forces away from you. My officers are confident they can spike the guns and burn {p.768} the public stores there by the 10th or 11th instant. I listen anxiously for your guns. We are building a bridge-head at this place.

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Missouri State Guard.

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JACKSON, TENN., March 5, 1862.

General MCCOWN, Madrid Bend (via Union City), Tenn.:

Construct levees of sand bags and earth around the two upper batteries and bail out the water. Do this immediately. Burn down that portion of New Madrid which affords protection to the enemy’s sharpshooters. This peremptory.

Your dispatch by Captain Lewis received.

L. POLK.

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UNION CITY, March 6, 1862.

General POLK:

The following by Captain Lewis 12 o’clock p.m. 5th:

General CHEATHAM from General MCCOWN:

The enemy is drawn up, camped from Hunter’s and the bayou to the brick house on road to old encampment, and how much farther in the woods I don’t know. I have a desperate conflict before [me].

I expect to be assaulted to-morrow or next day at New Madrid.

ED. PICKETT, JR., Colonel, Commanding.

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UNION CITY, March 6, 1862.

General POLK:

Colonel Vaughan is ready to start, but a very intelligent courier just in from Island No. 10, with General McCown’s dispatch, reports it impossible to move an army from here to the island by the land route; the lower ferry, Stone’s, is now about 300 yards wide, and water rising rapidly. The boat can carry only from 25 to 50 men, and on the other side of the lake the road is in very bad condition. Distance about 50 miles. There is no way of -*.

ED. PICKETT, JR., Colonel, Commanding.

* Incomplete

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HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, March 6, 1862-12 m.

Col. ED. PICKETT, Jr., Commanding Post, Union City:

COLONEL: The courier is just in, and I hasten to reply. General McCown is now at New Madrid. He sent a messenger to Union City yesterday with dispatches to General Beauregard and one again this {p.769} morning. The enemy are in large force back of New Madrid (in sight). Several of them have been killed and captured. They are reported to be 25,000 strong. General McCown is expecting an attack at any moment. We are endeavoring to get matters so arranged as to keep back their gunboats. We will have at this place and on the island forty-five guns in position by to-morrow morning. We have five gunboats at New Madrid. General McCown must have re-enforcements from some quarter. If we can keep the enemy’s boats back, our force can hold cut for some days at Madrid. With an additional force of 15,000 or 20,000, the general thinks he can bag the entire army or crush them. We are in excellent spirits; the boys all confident and freezing for a fight, but we must have re-enforcements.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. F. MARKS, Commanding on Main-land.

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JACKSON, TENN., March 7, 1862.

General MCCOWN, Island No. 10, or New Madrid:

Your dispatch of the 5th, by Captain Lewis, just received. Change the position of the Belmont gun if you deem it necessary. Contrive to have the bridge across the plank road destroyed at all hazards. You must rely upon General Thompson and the Missourians for this and the sort of service you wish performed by Lewis and his company. Throw out large advance pickets at night as near as possible to the enemy. If possible, build the salient in advance of your two works, so as to have it flanked by the firing from them. This you may have to do at night.

If the plank road is destroyed Sigel’s force cannot reach you.

Economize powder and shot, and tell Hollins to do the same. I have sent you 600 spades by the Hartford City, and will send others across from Union City. There was 700 guns in boxes sent from Columbus to New Madrid to Colonel Gantt. Let me know if they came to hand. Have all heavy guns of every caliber that you do not want sent down to Fort Pillow immediately.

Have levees built around Batteries No. 1 and 2, with stakes, sand bags, and earth. Have just given orders to have 1,000 negro men pressed and put to your assistance from the river. The Manassas will be with you perhaps to-morrow. I have no fears of the enemy trying to run the gauntlet with his gunboats, and we all believe you can hold the position.

L. POLK, Major-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend March 7, 1862.

General LEONIDAS POLK, Commanding:

GENERAL: Yesterday the enemy appeared at Point Pleasant. At my request Commodore Hollins sent two gunboats to remove all means of crossing from the Missouri shore. Several shots (6-pounders) were fired at the Kentucky. The gunboats soon removed the annoyance. Should I fail to hold New Madrid, it would require 10,000 men to maintain {p.770} my position in the bend, unprotected by works as it is. I consider New Madrid of great importance. I shall not relinquish it without a struggle. We have fifty guns of all sorts mounted at [island] 10 and on shore opposite, including siege guns and floating battery. The carriages for many of our best guns can’t be found. Where are they? The guns mounted are not all protected by works.

A captain in Colonel Travis’ regiment was seriously wounded yesterday.

I have not been able yet to send any force to Tiptonville except a small force of cavalry. Can’t the force in my front at New Madrid be cut to pieces or captured? All I can do is to hold what I have and risk nothing.

Yours, &c.,

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General.

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UNION CITY, March 7, 1862-10 p.m.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, Commanding, &c.:

Captain Tobin’s battery is without men or horses at all adequate. He is therefore sent by me for the purpose of having such of his men, horses, &c., as are at Humboldt or elsewhere on the road immediately forwarded here. Captain Tobin will himself represent his condition to you. I think it of the utmost importance that his battery should be placed in a condition for service or sent away from this post.

A countryman from Hickman to-day represents that there were reports there to the effect that the Federals were expected to occupy Hickman to-morrow or next day. Lieutenant Kelly (just in), however, reports that he heard no such rumors, and Lieutenant Blake (of Lillard’s scouts) has sent me no such information. Lieutenant Blake writes by Lieutenant Kelly of the express:

No troops can get from Charleston to Madrid unless they (the enemy) have repaired the road. Bertrand, some 5 or 6 miles, is as far as they can go, in consequence of high water.

The express to Island 10 was started from this post under command of Lieutenant Garrett, of Logwood’s battalion, on the morning of the 6th, and up to this time there has been no return from the island, and the cause is as yet unknown. I have taken measures to ascertain it.

I have used all the means at my command for the purpose of impressing slaves for Island 10, but have not succeeded to any considerable extent. I have now 8 here who came in to-day, and some 20 or 30 were promised Lieutenant Garrett to be forwarded.

All the cavalry at this post have been used as express scouts and pickets, some 35 in number, and all the field officers dismounted; Major Winfield being only one for duty not in command, and he has been sent on the reconnoitering party. Besides, I have not thought it prudent to weaken Lieutenant-Colonel Logwood or Lieutenant-Colonel Miller further. Slaves are scarce in the region assigned me by your order as the sphere of operations.

I believe it impracticable to send loaded wagons to Island 10. Shall I attempt to put through four days’ rations for 500, irrespective of the nun her of slaves impressed by me? The express which arrived at 5 p.m. reported heavy firing of artillery and musketry from 11 a.m. at New Madrid; very heavy from 2 to 3 p.m.; ceased at 3 p.m. for about twenty minutes, and was then resumed and continued less vigorously {p.771} until 4 o’clock, after which slow cannonading was heard till (lark and a few reports after dark.

I inclose a dispatch* received by a messenger from Island 10 at 10.40 p.m., and reports having heard cannon and musketry at New Madrid all day.

I send this by Captain Tobin.

With the highest respect, your obedient servant,

ED. PICKETT, JR., Colonel, Commanding.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, March 7, 1862-10 p.m. (Received at Union City, March 8-6 p.m.)

Major-General POLK, Commanding:

Houses burned and torn down, as occasion required. Captain Hallum, Fifth Regiment, wounded yesterday; also 3 men on the Polk and 1 scout. A lively skirmish yesterday evening.

A heavy demonstration this afternoon on New Madrid. Were driven back by Captain Bankhead’s guns and the gunboats.

The enemy has established a battery at Point Pleasant of small rifled guns. The river would be closed if New Madrid was abandoned. A large force would be required to hold Island 10 if New Madrid was in the hands of the enemy. It is necessary to hold the place until forces are thrown here to defeat the enemy. The quicker the better. I see no other course to pursue. If I had 20,000 more men such would be my course.

MCCOWN.

N. B.-Shall I look for re-enforcements? I want as commanders Trudeau, Marsh Walker, and Gantt. It is important.

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CLARKSVILLE, March 7, 1862.

To General VAN DORN:

I am requested by telegraph from General Beauregard to write you to join your forces with his on Mississippi River if possible.

ISHAM G. HARRIS, Governor of Tennessee.

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HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, March 8, 1862-10 p.m.

Major-General POLK:

GENERAL: Your telegrams of 5th and 7th noted. Every effort is being made to redeem the Battery No. 1. Ordnance was sent lane from Columbus in such confusion that I don’t know what I can spare. I shall exercise my best judgment in all matters. “Peremptory” orders to save a battery from overflow might require all my force for weeks. The enemy is erecting a battery at Point Pleasant. A gunboat went down to shell them out. I have not heard the result. I have not yet placed the salient in advance of the works at New Madrid. The position {p.772} it would occupy is raked by the gunboats. I have not force to occupy it. I shall erect it as soon as I can.

From what I learn I fear the enemy can get guns down as low as Tiptonville, on the Missouri shore. The railroad to Sikeston is being rapidly repaired-can soon be laid to New Madrid, as no grading is required. The least estimate of the force of the enemy on Madrid Plain Is 30,000, with sixty guns.

You express confidence in my holding the place. With my present force I can only hold Island 10 and the bend by holding New Madrid. How long I can hold New Madrid with my small force against such odds is a question. I believe the enemy will soon be 50,000 strong. He occupies a position from which he can’t retreat. In my humble opinion it is the place to inflict a great overthrow upon the enemy. If this falls the river is open.

I place the facts before you. I am determined to hold my position at every hazard. Shall engage in no wild risks. I see my danger. My men are confident and in good spirits. We have fifty guns, all told, mounted. Some of our best guns have no carriages.

I will dispatch as often as possible.

Yours, &c.,

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

(Copy sent to Generals Bragg and Beauregard.)

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JACKSON, TENN., March 8, 1862.

General MCCOWN, New Madrid (via Union City), Tenn.:

Use gunboats in keeping river open below New Madrid in case of necessity.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

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HDQRS. FIRST GRAND DIVISION, ARMY OF THE MISS., Humboldt, Tenn., March 9, 1862.

Brigadier-General MCCOWN:

GENERAL: I send to you the bearer, Captain Bradford, with a dispatch from General Beauregard, to which you are referred.

Yours informing me that the enemy had succeeded in placing a battery of small rifle guns at Point Pleasant has been received, as also of the skirmishing of the 5th and 6th, and of the wounding of certain men on the Polk, and so forth. I hope you may be able to silence that battery by your gunboat or drive them away, so as to keep the river open below you.

I have directed Captain Bradford to examine the ferries across the lake, so as to see what might be done in the use of them either to re-enforce you from this side or to retire your force this way in case you could not do so by the river, that is supposing, what I do not anticipate, such a move should become expedient.

A large force of negroes has been directed to go to you by way of Tiptonville, which you may use in any way you may think best. I have directed rat-tail files to be sent to you in case of emergency.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK, Major-General, Commanding.

{p.773}

P. S.-You will find an order constituting Gantt and Walker brigadier-generals by direction of General Beauregard. Their appointments will doubtless be confirmed by the War Department. You will dispose of them as you think best.

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HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, March 9, 1862-11 p.m.

General LEONIDAS POLK, Commanding:

GENERAL: I send a copy of a communication from Commodore Hollins. The enemy is erecting works at Point Pleasant. Their force is heavy. Time will wear out my command. The force in my front can be cut to pieces and captured if a strong force is promptly thrown here. If I should have to give up New Madrid it would require a stronger force than I have to hold this bank of the river.

I believe an attempt will be made to pass Island 10. My command is in good spirits.

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General.

[Inclosure.]

FLAG-SHIP MCRAE, New Madrid, March 9, 1862.

General MCCOWN, Commanding Forces:

GENERAL: The report of the commanders of the gunboats Polk and Pontchartrain convince me that unless a force can be landed either at Point Pleasant or this side of it and the enemy driven from that place the navigation from below will virtually be cut off. The gunboats can drive them from the bank while they are firing, but they fall back out of reach and advance again as soon as the gunboats leave. The enemy are said to have moved a large force to that place. I should say that unless large re-enforcements are sent to you to meet the enemy now in our front we shall either be compelled to leave this place or give up our communication in transports from Tiptonville to this place.

I would suggest planting a good heavy battery on the Tennessee side to shell them in conjunction with the river battery in the gunboats; this may obviate the difficulty until your re-enforcements arrive, and if you have a mortar, it could be used to great advantage.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. N. HOLLINS, Flag-Officer.

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MADRID BEND, March 10, 1862-noon.

General POLK:

From the best information I can obtain-notwithstanding Captain Gray’s assurance to the contrary-I am inclined to believe that the enemy may be able to occupy some point on the Missouri shore (Riddle’s Point) below Tiptonville, at least with light guns. The Federals are fortifying. All quiet. If the gunboats stop to attack No. 10 I will capture them. All I fear is their running past. Commodore Hollins gives me the most hearty co-operation.

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General.

{p.774}

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UNION CITY, March 10, 1862.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK:

Major Winfield returned; reports it impracticable to send troops across from Union City to Island 10. Judge Botwick states that troops can be landed at Mrs. Meriwether’s, below and out of sight of Point Pleasant, marched across a fine ridge road to Island 10, thence landed at New Madrid, unknown to the enemy. Reliable parties report thirty transports loaded with troops passed Paducah Thursday down the river.

All quiet at Hickman. No enemy in sight.

Small scouting parties of the enemy 5 miles southeast of Clinton yesterday.

ED. PICKETT, JR., Commanding.

–––

ISLAND 10, March 10, 1862.

General LEONIDAS POLK: Comdg. First Division, Western Department, C. S. Army:

GENERAL: Major Meriwether has informed you of the cause of my not proceeding to join you under your last order from Columbus. General McCown, Captain Harris, Colonel Jordan, and Major Meriwether all thought I should remain, and I was anxious to do all in my power to push the defenses to completion. We have now some fifty-one guns in position, including the siege battery and naval battery. The latter is now placed on the north side of the island, in a fine place to guard the north channel. The Belmont is on the end of the island, according to your orders. Each day puts us in a more efficient state for repelling the gunboats, and I believe they can hardly pass, not certainly in daytime, if our cannoneers are proportionably good to the situation of the batteries.

We have now five batteries on the main-land. One upper battery, the Redan No. 1, has six guns. The river is at an extreme high stage of water and connects with the lake, making our flanking arrangements on the right perfect. It prevents the battery being very efficient, but the guns can be fired. It was never intended to use this battery in highest stage of the river, but the men to fall back to the other batteries that completely command it. General McCown, however, thinks the locality so fine for a cross-fire, that he has ordered a detachment to use the guns as well as they can. They can retire along the crémaillère line if the enemy’s fire gets too severe for them.

Our batteries 2, 3, and 4 have eight rifled 32s, one 8-inch Columbiad, and one smooth-bore 32. These batteries, with our seven-gun battery, No. 5, will prove very effectual, no doubt. The island batteries are placed as well as they could be, and in this stage of water will be nearest to the enemy.

Sunday morning I went to Point Pleasant (the point opposite the village of Point Pleasant), and placed two of Captain Stewart’s rifled pieces on the bank to fire upon the enemy across the river.

The enemy have nearly all left New Madrid and are fortifying along the bank half a mile above and below the village of Point Pleasant, They commenced Saturday morning throwing up earthworks, and with my reconnoitering glass I could distinguish the men, with their spades and shovels and sentinels. I proceeded to Tiptonville and reported it to Captain Carter, of the gunboat, who was there. Nothing was done to {p.775} prevent the enemy going ahead until next morning, when the gunboats convoyed the steamer Mears past Point Pleasant to New Madrid, opening fire at the same time on the enemy’s batteries. At 12 o’clock in the day (Sunday) we reached there with the two light-battery guns above mentioned. Our first shot from the Parrott gun scattered the enemy from their work and they ran in various directions. We continued firing some fifteen or twenty shots with both pieces, driving every man of them away from the two earthworks they were throwing up. The distance across at this stage of water to Point Pleasant village or to the enemy’s batteries is about 1 1/2 miles. At low water boats will be obliged to run very close to their works, and if they be permitted to put up strong embankments and to hold them we shall be troubled much. The lake and swamps west of New Madrid are now only 3 1/2 to 6 miles, and if we had a force of 10,000 or 12,000 men we could, I believe, capture or destroy the whole force of the enemy before they could be re-enforced. They have a large artillery force, but the country is such that without preparation it cannot be used to great advantage.

This morning Captain Johnston, with two pieces of his siege battery (24-pounders), proceeded to the point opposite the village of Point Pleasant, 6 miles from Island 10 (by a good road), to endeavor to dislodge the enemy. I am afraid their works have progressed too far for us from this side to do much. The gunboats are all that can do them harm, except from an attack in their rear by land.

We are very short of Reed shot for our rifle 32s-only 50 rounds to each. We have but few wheelbarrows, and greatly in want of axes.

I am, general, in great haste, very respectfully,

A. B. GRAY, C. S. A., Chief Engineer island 10.

–––

JACKSON, March 10, 1862.

General LEONIDAS POLK:

If negroes ordered to McCown are not with him, please have as many collected as possible and sent him immediately.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

–––

HUMBOLDT, March 11, 1862.

Colonel PICKETT:

Send the following to McCown:

I am sending you 1,300 negroes. They will be with you in two days. I am sending also a regiment of Alabama troops of thorough-drilled artillerists from General Bragg’s command from Pensacola. I hope your gunboats may be able to clear the Missouri shore of the enemy’s batteries of light guns as successfully as their boats cleared the same shore of ours above Columbus. Captain Champneys, who is with me, says he furnished from Columbus an ample supply of spikes for all the guns at New Madrid and on the island, which I hope you may never have to use. It is satisfactory to know that you have them. I do not at all believe the enemy will attempt to run past you. On the subject of re-enforcements, I refer you to General Beauregard’s communication forwarded yesterday. With your gunboats and heavy guns in Fort Thompson we believe you may keep at bay 50,000 men. If you have any guns you do not intend to mount, let them be sent to Fort Pillow as speedily as possible.

Your dispatch of the 10th just received. Don’t believe the enemy can establish a battery at Riddle’s Point that can harm you.

L. POLK, Major-General Commanding.

{p.776}

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RICHMOND, VA., March 11, 1862.

Gov. H. M. RECTOR, Little Rock, Ark.:

Send orders in my name to Brig. Gen. Albert Rust to take the field at once, assuming command of any Arkansas troops ready for service, and press on to re-enforce General Van Dorn.*

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

* General Runt so ordered in Special Orders, No. 58, A. and I. G. 0., of March 13, 1862.

–––

Actual strength present of McCulloch’s division, March 11, 1862.

Command.Officers.Men.Aggregate.Remarks on brigade report.
First (Greer’s) BrigadeBoth men and horses in dreadful condition.
3d Texas Cavalry520About seven companies of this brigade are missing and supposed to be with the train.
9th Texas Cavalry175
11th Texas Cavalry252Two of the commands, Stone’s regiment and Brooks’ battalion, are with the trains.
Total947
Second (Churchill’s) Brigade:
Churchill’s regiment15279297
Embry’s regiment14155169
Hébert’s regiment11260271
Ellis regiment24282306
McNair’s regiment352352
McRae’s regiment10168173
Mitchell’s regiment10189199
Rector’s regimentMissing.
Whitfield’s battalion9111120
Hart’s battery258553 guns, 3 caissons, no ammunition.
Total981,8491,947
Grand total2,894

–––

HUMBOLDT, March 12, 1862.

General BEAUREGARD, Jackson:

A messenger just in from General McCown states the enemy have moved down from New Madrid to neighborhood of Point Pleasant. All quiet at our forts. Our gunboats keeping the enemy from establishing works on the river. Estimated force 15,000, with seventy pieces of light artillery. Fifty-two heavy guns mounted at Island 10 and Madrid Bend.

My heavy baggage will all be sent off to-morrow. Five days’ rations distributed to the command, 100 rounds of ammunition to the infantry, 200 to the artillery. All will be in hand day after to-morrow morning. Generals Clark and Cheatham placed each in command of First and Second Divisions, composed of two brigades each, each brigade having a battery attached. Orders given for concentrating at Grand Junction same amount of ammunition as now distributed for a reserve. Will give accurate information as to ammunition and supplies of the force on the river in a day or two.

L. POLK.

{p.777}

–––

MADRID BEND, March 12, 1862.

Col. THOMAS JORDAN, Adjutant-General, Jackson, Tenn.:

COLONEL: I received yours of March 10. As soon as I can determine the guns required here I shall forward the remainder to Fort Pillow. As soon as a gunboat opens fire upon the enemy they disappear, but return as soon as the boat leaves. They are fortifying Point Pleasant. I have placed two 24-pounder siege guns and a company of cavalry opposite that point.

The river is now falling. I am making every effort to save battery No. 1. I have not constructed any works in front of my works at New Madrid as yet. The reasons that have influenced me in not advancing my works are that a gunboat in the mouth of the bayou and one below the work covers all the ground-cross-fire in front of the work. The salient proposed to be erected in advance of the two works would interfere with this fire. Also, the position the work would occupy is also under the fire of the boats. Another reason, it would require more troops to occupy it. I now have five regiments at the two works in New Madrid. I must not be too weak on this side of the river. I keep transports there all the time. If they assault the works, I believe they will be repulsed with loss with the co-operation of Commodore Hollins. Here I desire to say that Commodore Hollins, as well as all his command, have given me the most hearty support in everything. I feel confident of defeating the enemy’s gunboats if they stop to fight; if they run past, I shall endeavor to pass them in a crippled state to Commodore Hollins.

The enemy are still receiving re-enforcements, and will be able to bring 24-pounders from Sikeston.

Assure the general that I shall do all in my power to hold the enemy in check, but shall risk nothing on rash enterprises.

Yours, sincerely,

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

–––

JACKSON, TENN., March 12, 1862.

Flag-Officer HOLLINS, New Madrid (via Union City), Tenn.:

General Lovell wishes services of Manassas ram at mouth of river. Can you not send it without prejudice to our defenses?

Thanks for efficient [aid] before New Madrid.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Van Buren, March 12, 1862.

Col. B. W. STONE, Commanding, Lee’s Creek:

COLONEL: The general commanding desires you to send all of your force, except your regiment, and a section of artillery to join the army at its encampment on the Frog Bayou road, about 7 miles from this town.

He desires you to keep pickets on all avenues leading in this direction, and also to keep scouting parties constantly out in the direction {p.778} of the enemy at such distance as will insure a good knowledge of his movements and timely warning of his approach.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, March 13, 1862-9.10 a.m.

GENERAL: Brigadier-General McCown left this place for New Madrid at 12 m. last night. This morning at daylight the fight commenced in earnest. A courier has just arrived by land from opposite Madrid who confirms that the enemy are attacking our works with infantry and artillery. The firing is very rapid and distinct, and is plainly heard from this point. There has been two distinct attacks, lasting about an hour each, with half hour cessation intervening. A third attack is now being made, as the roar of artillery plainly indicates. Of course I may be mistaken as to the amount of infantry engaged, but the ball has opened and General McCown will give them a splendid fight

I have the honor to be, general, most respectfully,

H. S. BRADFORD, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

MADRID BEND, March 13, 1862-4 p.m.

Col. THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: Commodore Hollins says that he cannot dispense with the Manassas. Let General Lovell know it. Batteries were planted last night and opened at daylight against the lower fort, Dr. W. S. Bell, medical division, both legs shot off. One man killed and one wounded when I left, as far as I know.

I think the object is to cut regular approaches.

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General.

–––

HUMBOLDT, March 13, 1862.

General MCCOWN, Madrid Bend:

Russell’s brigade, composed of Russell’s, Vaughan’s, and Freeman’s regiments, will move at once, via Memphis, to Tiptonville, to your support. I am instructed to say that these are all the re-enforcements he can afford to send you, and trust they may prove, under the direction of your skill and judgment, adequate to your wants. I sent you First Alabama Regiment two days ago; they are Bragg’s best artillerists. I send you the Gordon Grant tug-boat, to act as scout boat from Tiptonville or New Madrid down the river. Captain Champneys informs me he sent five 32-pounder carriages from Memphis up to you. He has ordered other supplies, such as you directed. He goes this evening back to Memphis to take them immediately up if they have not been sent. I send you a first-rate man for post commissary at Madrid Bend, who, together with Meriwether, should keep you well supplied. Tidmarsh I think the best man there is in the ordnance department; give him charge of all the heavy guns. Allison will look after the {p.779} office and the small-arms. After Champneys has done what you want you can send him to me. Dyer will take care of the quartermaster’s department. Ask Hollins to furnish you with a convoy for Russell’s brigade up to Tiptonville past enemy’s batteries.

L. POLK.

Colonel Pickett will send this off immediately.

–––

MADRID BEND, March 13, 1862-11.30 p.m.

General POLK:

GENERAL: I this moment arrived from New Madrid. The enemy re-enforced and rapidly pushing their advance against our works. They have 8-inch and 24-pounders. Our gunboats are not sufficiently protected for such heavy metal. Upon consultation with Commodore Hollins and General Stewart I gave the order to evacuate the place. My boat (Mohawk) was hit in going to Fort Thompson. The enemy’s batteries are not below Tiptonville. As soon as New Madrid is evacuated the commodore, Rollins, will drop down to Tiptonville and keep the river open below. As soon as I have my forces disposed to prevent the enemy crossing from New Madrid I will try and send part of my re-enforcements back. I have already organized the citizens into a police force. A large body of troops arrived to-day, supposed to be commanded by Sigel.

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General.

–––

JACKSON, [March] 13, 1862.

General LEONIDAS POLK:

Send immediately one of smaller brigades to Major-General McCown, without field battery, with supply ammunition. Inform him no more troops can be sent.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

–––

JACKSON, March 13, 1862.

General LEONIDAS POLK:

Suspend movements of troops to support McCown. Hold entire command in readiness to march at instant notice. Enemy ... in ... landing at McWilliams’ Landing, near Savannah.*

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

* Portion omitted illegible.

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MADRID BEND, March 14, 1862-8 a.m.

[General LEONIDAS POLK:]

GENERAL: From the best information I can obtain I am satisfied that the enemy is building the railroad from Sikeston to New Madrid.

Everything has been quiet to-day.

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General

{p.780}

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JACKSONPORT, March 14, 1862-10 p.m. (Received Clarksville, March 17, 1862.)

General VAN DORN:

I have just received dispatch from Colonel McCarver, stating that he had received reliable information that the enemy, between 6,000 and 7,000, left Greenville, Mo., to attack Pocahontas. They have two batteries of artillery and two regiments of cavalry. Should Colonel McCarver fall back, will dispute every foot of this river from this place.

W. L. CABELL.

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RICHMOND, March 14, 1862.

Gov. H. M. RECTOR, Little Rock, Ark.:

The Secretary of War requests you will send the following to General Van Dorn, viz:

Cols. T. J. Churchill and Albert Rust have both been appointed brigadier-generals and ordered to report to General Van Dorn. They take rank in the order they are herein named, i.e., Churchill senior. Their appointments and orders sent by mail to-day.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and inspector-General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., March 14, 1862.

Brig. Gen. ALBERT PIKE, Comdg. Dept. of Indian Territory, Fort Gibson, Ind. [P.:

SIR: The money appropriated in December last by Congress for the Indian service and sent through you to the superintendent was accompanied by tabular statements and a letter of instruction from the Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs as to the time and manner of its disbursement, &c. As set forth in those documents, none of this money was to be paid out by him until the ratification on the part of the several tribes concerned in the treaties as amended by Congress except that appropriated to purchase uniforms, &c., for the Principal Chief of the Creeks and to meet certain current and contingent expenses of the superintendency and agencies and a sufficiency of both of the first items under the treaties made with the Reserve and Comanche Indians to compensate Charles B. Johnson, contractor, for finding them.

Two letters, bearing upon the points here suggested from the superintendent to the Acting Commissioner of Indian Affair, have been submitted to me for consideration. Inclosed you will find copies of the same,* to which it is proper your attention should be directed, and in relation to which you will please report to this Department.

Truly and respectfully,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

* Not found.

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MADRID BEND, March 14, 1862.

General LEONIDAS POLK:

The First Alabama Regiment is here, with mumps and measles. New Madrid was abandoned last night, the execution of which was not satisfactory {p.781} to me from a want of discipline of the troops. The guns left were rendered useless to the enemy. I am enforcing discipline with a strong hand. I am sending down all the boats I can spare. Everything was tumbled down here in such confusion that it required time to find what is here. Orders not through me to persons has increased the confusion. I hope soon to get matters in some order. I find officers acting under other authority than mine. Dr. Bell died last night.

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General.

–––

HUMBOLDT, March 15, 1862.

Brig-General MCCOWN, New Madrid Bend, care Colonel Pickett:

Congratulate you on having retired your troops safely from New Madrid, as announced in yours of the 14th.

You say, “I find officers acting under other authority than mine,” and orders “not through me to persons has increased the confusion.” In your reply you will please state to me who these officers and what these orders are. I am not aware of the existence of the one or the other. All officers at the post commanded by you will report to you for orders immediately.

I have heard the gunboats have attacked you and hope you have made successful resistance.

Hope you have received dispatch from General Beauregard, ordering retiring all infantry to Fort Pillow except what was necessary to support the guns-say three regiments, to be left under General L. M. Walker. Same dispatch goes by the hands of special messenger.

Colonel Pickett will send this immediately.

L. POLK, Major-General.

–––

[JACKSON, TENN.,] March 15, 1862.

General MCCOWN, New Madrid, care Colonel Pickett, Union City:

I came here to advise with General Beauregard as to what you should do in view of the evacuation of New Madrid.

We have agreed on the course which he has sent you through his adjutant-general. I have to add that if Bankhead’s battery has been left I have another to give him as soon as he shall arrive.

L. POLK, Major-General.

–––

JACKSON, TENN., March 15, 1862.

Colonel PICKETT:

Please dispatch by express the following to General McCown:

GENERAL: The general commanding fully approves the projected evacuation of your position of New Madrid, and trusts that it has already been safely accomplished; if determined on, that step determines an immediate reduction of your force to the number necessary to the efficient service of the batteries at Island No. 10 and Madrid Bend, with an infantry support and reserve of three regiments, under the command of Brigadier-General Walker, to whom you will assign the command and honor of defending that Thermopylae of the Mississippi Valley.

{p.782}

You will also leave a light battery of six guns. It is suggested that one of the infantry regiments shall be stationed on Island No. 10; the other on the main-land.

Two of the light guns also to be with the troops on the island. General Trudeau will remain with General Walker in charge of the batteries as chief of artillerists, and from his past distinguished services and skill the general confidently expects the guns will be served with all possible efficiency and honor to the country.

The remainder of your command you will withdraw to Fort Pillow with [all] possible celerity by water from Tiptonville, where ample transportation will be sent you. Should an unfortunate casualty, however, leave you unprovided with sufficient transports for all your troops at once, you will send as many as practicable to Fort Pillow, with orders that the transports shall return for the remainder with least possible delay, leaving sixty days’ provisions for the garrison, and an ample supply of ammunition for a prolonged, desperate defense, including about 300 rounds of small-arms ammunition for each infantry soldier. You will reserve the remainder of your supplies if practicable; otherwise destroy what cannot be removed in the most effectual way practicable. Transports at all times will be left at Tiptonville for the removal of the garrison just prescribed should General Walker, or officer in command, at any subsequent time determine further defense of this position fruitless, or without possible beneficial issue. Should this final evacuation become plainly proper and necessary, before the troops retire, all the guns mast be bursted or thrown into the river, if practicable; if not, they must be spiked. Should it be deemed of service, you are authorized to leave with General Walker one company of cavalry; the other companies, including the squadron of Logwood’s battalion, will be sent to Fort Pillow.

A copy of this letter will be left with General Walker. Captain Harris will be sent to Fort - forthwith, and if you deem the services of the other engineers not required, you will detach them also.

THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

HUMBOLDT, March (15?), 1862.

General MCCOWN, Madrid Bend:

You will send all the transports you have at the island that you do not actually need down below to Tiptonville. You will also direct Allison, ordnance officer, to ship in one of these boats down to Memphis all saddlery, harness, cartridge-boxes, cap-boxes, and other ordnance stores that you do not actually need. You will also send all the extra light field guns and the extra field-gun carriages, balls, and other ammunition, all extra quartermaster stores, such as blacksmiths’ and carpenters’ tools, and in short everything not necessary for the defense of your position. You will also organize from among the citizens of Madrid Bend a party of scouts, to scout up and down below Tiptonville on the river and to arrest all suspicious persons.

L. POLK, Major-General, Commanding.

–––

JACKSON, March 15, 1862.

General MCCOWN, care Colonel Pickett:

Send down immediately to Fort Pillow all the negro force not required by you, with all the extra tools, and also Captain Harris, of Engineers.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

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JACKSONPORT, March 15, 1862.

General VAN DORN:

The enemy under General Steele is advancing on Pocahontas with a force variously estimated from 5,000 to 12,000. I shall send all the {p.783} troops I have here to re-enforce Colonel McCarver. I have called on the people on this river to rally to this place. The steamers are now all up Should the enemy take Pocahontas I shall clear the river of boats of every kind and make a stand at every point. The high water has retarded the enemy’s march. I wrote to Colonel McCarver to get General Jeff. Thompson to unite with him if possible. I have had all the stores brought away from Pocahontas and will protect them. General Rust telegraphed me to send all the Arkansas troops that were armed to Clarksville. I could not do it. I have but four companies here, and Locke’s regiment, who were taken with the measles at the rate of thirty a day. The streams are all so high that his regiment would be of no service up there. I shall keep them here. Will telegraph again soon.

W. L. CABELL.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Van Buren, Ark., March 15, 1862.

Colonel GREER, Commanding Cavalry Brigade, McCulloch’s Division:

COLONEL: The general commanding requests me to direct you to relieve Colonel Stone’s regiment at Oliver’s Store, on Lee’s Creek, at the foot of Boston Mountains, with that regiment under your command which is at present in the best condition as regards number of men, condition of horses, &c.

You will cause Major Crump’s and Major Brooks’ battalions to remove at once to the camp of the army on Frog Bayou.

You will please to keep the pickets on all avenues leading in this direction, and also keep scouting parties constantly out in the direction of the enemy at such distance as will insure a good knowledge of his movements and timely warning of his approach.

The officer whom you may select for this post should distinctly understand that he will be held responsible for the holding of his position, where he will have at command a section of artillery in addition to his own regiment; and it will be his duty to send out the pickets and scouts as above directed.

By order of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn:

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 74.}

HEADQUARTERS MO. S. GUARD, Camp near Van Buren, Ark., March 15, 1862.

I. All telegraph wires beyond Lee’s Creek will be taken down at once, and the telegraph wires from Van Buren to Clarksville will be completed as soon as possible.

II. This army will be encamped on the Frog Bayou road to Van Buren. All wagon trains belonging to it will report at the encampment as soon as possible. Ammunition for the command will be sent to the encampment as soon as possible, under charge of commissioned officers. The quartermaster department will at once have sufficient transportation organized for hauling provisions and forage, &c., for the army.

III. General Green and Colonel Stone, with their commands, will take position on the Telegraph road to Lee’s Creek. They will permit {p.784} no stragglers from the army, but will send all such to report to their respective commanders at the camp of the army on the Frog Bayou road.

IV. Major Savery, Mo. S. G., is appointed provost-marshal of this army. He will make his station at Van Buren, and will at once proceed to organize a proper provost guard, making application to these headquarters for such details of officers and men as he may require.

Commanders of divisions and brigades will comply with the above order issued from general headquarters.

By order of Major-General Price:

WM. H. BRAND, Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

VAN BUREN, ARK., March 16, 1862.

General BEAUREGARD, Care of Gov. Isham G. Harris, Memphis:

I will unite all of my troops at Pocahontas as soon as possible. I will probably have about 20,000 men there about the 7th of April; maybe more.

Your letter did not reach me until a few days since, on my return from the battle-field at Elkhorn. It is said that the enemy in Arkansas have fallen back toward Springfield. I will communicate with you often. I will start in a day or two for Pocahontas.

EARL VAN DORN, Major-General, Commanding.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, March 16, 1862-10.30 a.m.

General LEONIDAS POLK:

GENERAL: Captain Cummings established a signal station at Battery No. 1 last night. He unfortunately used a white flag. I soon discovered it and ordered the battle-flag substituted. Captain Rucker, who commands Battery No. 1, allowed a tug with a white flag to go near his battery. The overflow prevented my communicating promptly with Captain Rucker. General Trudeau went to the boat and explained their mistake; informed the enemy that we did not wish to communicate with them. Captain Rucker told the officer that he, on the contrary, was ready for action. I regret the affair.

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General.

2 p.m.-Shelling us. No damage done. We have not replied to boats.

J. P. MCC., Brigadier-General.

–––

MADRID BEND, March 16, 1862-9 p.m. (Received March 17.)

Major-General POLK:

The mortar boats have been shelling us all day. They opened some {p.785} guns. No person hurt. I have just returned from Tiptonville, and will endeavor to carry out your orders without friend or foe knowing it.

J. P. MCCOWN, Brigadier-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, March 16, 1862.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK:

GENERAL: I received your dispatch with Colonel Jordan’s letter. I will, if possible, execute your instructions. My experience in that line makes me tremble for the result. The gunboats are now off the point dropping down.

Respectfully, yours, &c.,

J. P. MCCOWN, (Copy to General Beauregard.) Brigadier-General.

–––

MARCH 17, 1862. (Received 7 p.m.)

Colonel PICKETT:

Over 600 shot and shell thrown at us yesterday. No person hurt. They will soon open for to-day.

MCCOWN.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, March 17, 1862-6 p.m.

Colonel PICKETT:

Three gunboats lashed together dropped down to range of Battery No. 1. Opened heavy fire upon it-mortar boats [3] and other gunboats at long range. The battery has returned the fire splendidly. Lieutenant Clark and 2 men killed; 10 wounded. Captain Rucker, Colonel Steedman, General Trudeau have behaved gallantly, as well as all the men. Don’t know what damage done them. Yet firing.

J. P. MCCOWN, Major-General, Commanding.

–––

MADRID BEND, March 17, 1862.

Col. THOMAS JORDAN:

DEAR COLONEL: Nearly ever since my arrival here, over two weeks, I have had the enemy in my front and flank.

I am satisfied that the force at New Madrid is not less than 30,000 men, or maybe thirty regiments, with artillery and cavalry.

General Sherman (“Cump”), I believe, commands the force with the fleet. Over 600 shot and shell were thrown at us yesterday. They will soon have heavy guns in New Madrid. They are building a railroad to that place from Sikeston. The gunboats of Commodore Hollins have done all they could. I abandoned New Madrid because it involved a constant loss of life to hold it. It was of no use, with Point {p.786} Pleasant in their hands, except to make a landing for offensive action. I could not do that with my force. Excuse haste.

Yours, sincerely,

J. P. MCCOWN.

Loss at New Madrid: Dr. Bell, Lieutenant Robinson, artillery, killed; Captain Hallum wounded, neck (dead, I hear), and 8 men.

–––

JACKSON, March 17, 1862.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK:

What does McCown mean by his doubts? Would it not be well to leave to his judgment when to execute the movement decided upon? Have you given orders to provision Fort Pillow for two or three months for 5,000 men?

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

–––

JACKSON, TENN., March 17, 1862.

General POLK:

I have sent the following to General McCown:

In face of exigencies you must exercise your own judgment as to reduction of force hitherto directed, but cannot understand why you should tremble for result. What obstacles intervene to withdrawal as instructed?

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

–––

HUMBOLDT, March 17, 1862.

General MCCOWN, Madrid Bend:

Your dispatch of 16th, in which you say you tremble for the result of attempting to execute General Beauregard’s orders for retiring of certain troops from Madrid Bend, is received. On consulting with the general it is agreed that it shall be left to your judgment as to when to execute the movement. I have heard from Hickman that the firing commenced this morning at 11 o’clock and had nearly ceased at 2 p.m. Do not think you have much to apprehend from the mortars. The affair of the white flag was a blunder, but I would not mind it.

Congratulate you on your appointment as major-general.

L. POLK.

–––

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Van Buren, March 17, 1862.

General COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. Army:

GENERAL: I have the honor to request that the President will be pleased to confer the rank of colonel and lieutenant-colonel in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States upon each of the following-named officers: Capt. W. R. Bradfute, colonel; Capt. W. N. R. Beall, colonel; Capt. Philip Stockton, colonel; Lieut. L. L. Lomax, lieutenant-colonel; {p.787} Lieut. M. M. Kimmel, lieutenant-colonel; Lieut. F. C. Armstrong, lieutenant-colonel; Lieut. Ed. Dillon, lieutenant-colonel; Lieut. Charles Phifer, lieutenant-colonel.

I need not remind you that all of these gentlemen have been for many years in the military profession. But I desire most earnestly to impress upon you the necessity for my having out here experienced and educated officers of rank sufficient to enable me to use their information and attainments to good effect.

In the recent operations against the enemy on Sugar Creek I found the want of military knowledge and discipline among the higher officers to be so great as to countervail their gallantry and the fine courage of their troops. I have no hesitation in saying that could I have substituted some of the officers above named (who exerted themselves most nobly to insure the success of our arms on the bloody field of Elkhorn) for some of the highest commanders, my orders would have been promptly and intelligently carried out and the enemy’s army put to utter rout.

These gentlemen have been most faithfully serving our cause since they left the Army of the old United States, but they are in false positions, without a degree of rank commensurate with their value and services, and it is utterly impossible to endeavor to use their experience to the best advantage unless this is remedied.

I cannot convey to you a correct idea of the crudeness of the material with which I have to deal in organizing an army out here. There is an absolute want of any degree of sound military information, and even an ignorance of the value of such information. Nowhere in the Confederacy is it more important that educated officers should be placed in high positions than in the district I have the honor to command.

The greatest need I have is for good brigadiers, and I therefore hope you will urge immediate action upon the recommendation 1 made by telegraph for promotions to this grade. I inclose a copy of those nominations, and am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EARL VAN DORN, Major-General.

–––

VAN BUREN, ARK., March 17, 1862.

General A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON, C. S. A.:

I am at Van Buren with the army, preparing to march to Pocahontas. Will get off by the 22d, and will reach Pocahontas by the 7th or 8th of April with 15,000 men. I will operate to assist the army on the Mississippi. It is reported that the army of the enemy have left Arkansas for Springfield. I will know positively to-morrow or next day. The country in this vicinity will no longer support an army.

Have any troops been ordered to report to me other than those called for by me from the States of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas?

EARL VAN DORN, Major-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Van Buren. Ark., March 17, 1862.

Maj. W. R. BRADFUTE, C. S. A.:

MAJOR: The general commanding desires you to proceed at once to the advanced post at Lee’s Creek and assume command of the forces {p.788} there until the field officers belonging to that station can rejoin it Please use every effort to procure accurate intelligence of the position and movements of the enemy and to communicate promptly with this office respecting them. Colonel Greer will furnish you with an escort and the quartermaster with transportation and anything else you require for the proper execution of these orders.

I am, major, very respectfully, yours,

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

Organization of the First Division, Army of the West, Maj. Gen. Sterling Price commanding, March 17, 1862.*

  • First Brigade.
    Col. HENRY LITTLE.
    • 17th Arkansas, Colonel Rector.
    • 21st Arkansas, Colonel McRae.
    • 1st Missouri.
    • 2d Missouri.
    • 3d Missouri.
    • Gates’ cavalry.
    • Wade’s battery.
  • Second Brigade.
    Col. LOUIS HÉBERT. McIntosh’s cavalry.
    • 4th Arkansas, Colonel McNair.
    • 14th Arkansas, Colonel Mitchell.
    • 16th Arkansas, Colonel Hill.
    • 3d Louisiana.
    • Whitfield’s cavalry.
    • MacDonald’s battery.
  • Third Brigade.
    Brig. Gen. A. E. STEEN.
    • Missouri Infantry.**
    • Brooks’ cavalry.
    • Clark’s battery.
  • Fourth Brigade.
    Brig. Gen. MARTIN E. GREEN.
    • Missouri Infantry.**
    • McCulloch’s cavalry.
    • Lucas’ battery.
  • Cavalry Brigade.
    Col. E. GREER.
    • Crump’s cavalry.
    • Greer’s (3d Texas) cavalry.
  • Artillery Brigade.
    Brig. Gen. D. M. FROST.
    • Bledsoe’s battery, 4 guns.
    • Gaines’ battery.
    • Good’s battery, 6 guns.
    • Gorham’s battery, 4 guns, iron.
    • Guibor’s battery, 6 guns.
    • Hart’s battery, 4 guns.
    • Kelly’s battery, 5 guns, iron.
    • Kneisby’s battery, 6 guns, iron.
    • Landis’ battery, 4 howitzers.
    • Provence’s battery, 6 guns.
    • Teel’s battery, 4 guns.
    • Champion’s cavalry.

* As announced in Special Orders, No. 24, of this date, from headquarters Trans-Mississippi District.

** To be organized by General Price.

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POCAHONTAS, ARK., March 17, 1862.

Maj. Gen. EARL VAN DORN, C. S. A., in Camp:

GENERAL: I would be pleased to receive from you orders or instructions in regard to the organization of volunteers to the Confederate service from my brigade of the Mo. S. G. We are now all in your division, and have now about 1,000 enlisted, embracing infantry, cavalry, and artillery. Although I have no legal command yet, these all recognize me as their leader, and the majority of them are in active service, although many of the companies are not full and have had no election. {p.789} of officers. I have been allowing each of my old officers a fair opportunity to raise a company for himself, and therefore have quite a number of squads, which are doing effective service without any extra expense for officers, with the distinct understanding that they shall be consolidated to elect officers when I see proper. If there is to be any formal turning over to the Confederacy of these troops, I am anxious to know when and how.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Mo. S. G.

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JACKSON, TENN., March 18, 1862.

Major-General POLK:

The following dispatch has been sent General McCown:

The general approves your dispositions for defense of Madrid Bend and Island 10, but wishes you to resume the command there as a major-general’s command. It is said [some] of your transports were left at Madrid Bend; if so, how many? They must never fall in enemy’s hands. Some of them might be sunk to obstruct channel near Missouri shore.

THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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JACKSON, March 18, 1862.

General MCCOWN, Commanding Island 10:

If driven from your post, guns will be spiked; also a shot driven in each; load and wedge shell, fuze down, so guns will burst. Even if Federal gunboats pass your batteries, transports cannot so long as batteries are held and bravely worked, nor can enemy’s army cross river. But few could be crossed by gunboats. These can be easily repulsed by resolute attacks. Post must be held if possible. Few men to do it.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

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UNION CITY, March 18, 1862-5.40 p.m.

Major-General POLK:

Captain Elliott, of Thirty-first Tennessee Volunteers, left Tiptonville at 8.30 a.m. General McCown, with eight regiments, left Tiptonville last night on eight transports; three transports there loading with artillery and ammunition, and are to leave to-night.

Last night the enemy planted a battery opposite Tiptonville. Our gunboats silenced it this morning. Blake reports, 5 p.m., from a very good source, that Northern cavalry will occupy Hickman to-morrow.

One gun bursted yesterday on a Yankee gunboat; killed 6 wounded 12.

ED. PICKETT, JR., Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Van Buren, Ark., March 18, 1862.

General A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON:*

SIR: I have the pleasure to inform you that the entire army I {p.790} marched against the enemy some days since is now in camp a few miles from this place, and that I shall march in a few days for Pocahontas, to make a junction with whatever force that may be assembled at that place. It is my intention then to fall upon the force of the enemy in the vicinity of New Madrid or Cape Girardeau and attempt to relieve General Beauregard, and, if practicable, I shall march on Saint Louis, and thus withdraw the forces now threatening this part of the State of Arkansas. The army cannot be subsisted here any longer, neither do I think that the enemy can make any serious demonstration from here until later in the spring.

I send several thousand cavalry off in a few days via Forsyth on White River, to burn up the depots of the enemy at Springfield, and to destroy his immense trains which go to and fro nearly unguarded. They will then join me at Pocahontas. I shall order Pike to operate in the Indian country west of this, to cut off trains, annoy the enemy in his marches, and to prevent him as far as possible from supplying his troops from Missouri and Kansas; he cannot supply them here.

I have debated this movement in my own mind and think that it is the best I can make. I attempted first to beat the enemy at Elkhorn, but a series of accidents, entirely unforeseen and not under my control and a badly-disciplined army, defeated my intentions. The death of McCulloch and McIntosh and the capture of Hébert left me without an officer to command the right wing (which was thrown into utter confusion), and the strong position of the enemy the second day left me no alternative but to retire from the contest. A heavy blow was struck them, however, and they are somewhat paralyzed. I shall march to another field before they recover, and before their re-enforcements arrive, which they are daily expecting. If I give battle to the troops near New Madrid, I relieve Beauregard. If I find this not advisable or practicable, I shall march boldly and rapidly toward Saint Louis, between Ironton and the enemy’s grand depot at Rolla. I think I shall accomplish something in that direction. I shall at all events task my humble abilities to their utmost to achieve some success for our cause, and I earnestly hope that I may be successful.

I shall not be able to make my report of the battle of Elkhorn for some time, on account of the difficulty I have of getting subordinate reports. Our loss was not as heavy, however, as I had thought and as was reported to me, not being more than 800 or 1,000 killed and wounded and between 200 and 300 prisoners. The enemy’s loss was about 800 killed and 1,000 or 1,200 wounded and about 300 prisoners. We also took two batteries of artillery, one of which was destroyed by fire (burnt up). The enemy’s position was a strong one, but we drove him from it and slept on our arms on the field of battle. The second day we found him at daylight in a new and stronger position, to the rear of his first, about 2 miles off. From all the circumstances which surrounded me I determined to withdraw. I therefore made a demonstration in front to cover the movement and put the army on the road, Huntsville, toward the east, and retired with a heavy heart, but with a determination to recover as soon as possible and fight again. I was not defeated, but only failed in my intentions. I am yet sanguine of success, and will not cease to repeat my blows whenever the opportunity is offered.

Very respectfully, sir, I am, your obedient servant,

EARL VAN DORN, Major-General.

* Similar letter of same date to Secretary of War.

{p.791}

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MARCH 19, 1862.

Col. ED. PICKETT, Jr.:

Commenced shelling the various batteries about 2 o’clock. The enemy are 10 miles below Riddle’s Point, on Missouri shore. A battery below Point Pleasant. Our gunboats have gone below. Communication cut off to Tiptonville from below. The enemy’s gunboats keep out of range. My force is small to defend such an extended line on the lower bend; it shall be done if possible. Our gun Belmont burst to-day; nobody hurt; it was on the island. General Trudeau seems to be a favorite with the artillerymen. It would in that case be unfortunate for him to leave. He has concluded to remain till I can hear from Jackson. His objection to remaining is that he is not in the Confederate Army. If he is to go I would like to have the aid of an experienced artillerist.

L. M. WALKER.

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RICHMOND, VA., [March] 19, 1862.

General EARL VAN DORN:

All the troops called by the Department from Arkansas and Texas and those called by Hébert from the coast are ordered to you. None other.

R. E. LEE, General.

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JACKSON, TENN., March 19, 1862.

Maj. Gen. EARL VAN DORN:

Too late for movement on New Madrid, which is in possession of enemy, but if at any time you can join your forces with mine it will be best to do so.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Van Buren, March 19, 1862.

Col. T. J. CHURCHILL, Commanding Cavalry Brigade:

COLONEL: The general commanding desires that you will proceed with your brigade and Gates’ battalion of cavalry as rapidly as possible to Forsyth, on White River. You will march without tents and with only sufficient wagons to carry the rations of your men. You will leave your wagons at Forsyth, march upon Springfield by a forced march, and endeavor to capture and destroy the stores of the enemy at that place.

Should you not be able to accomplish the seizure of Springfield, you will nevertheless endeavor to destroy the trains of the enemy north or south of that point.

After accomplishing all that you can against the enemy in that vicinity you will rejoin your wagons and proceed by the quickest and best route to Pocahontas.

The quartermaster and subsistence department will furnish such funds as you may require of them for purchase of your supplies of forage, subsistence, stores, &c., and such other supplies.

{p.792}

While you are preparing your command for this expedition you will take post at or near Horse Head. Send your baggage to Jacksonport, to join you at Pocahontas, sending a proper guard with it. It is expected that you will be ready to march on this expedition by the 23d instant.

You will please take every pains to insure absolute secrecy as to the object and destination of your command.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, yours,

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS MISSOURI STATE GUARD, Camp, Van Buren, Ark., March 19, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your valued communication of the 5th ultimo. It would have met with earlier attention but that circumstances surrounding me since its reception, ere this well known to you, have forced the delay.

In accordance with your request I herewith give the names of officers in the State Guard competent to command brigades; they are named in order of their merit, as estimated by me:

1. Col. Henry Little, commanding brigade, reported.

2. Brig. Gen. Martin E. Green, commanding Second Division.

3. Brig. Gen. A. E. Steen, commanding Fifth Division.

4. Brig. Gen. M. M. Parsons, commanding Sixth Division.

5. Brig. Gen. D. M. Frost, commanding Seventh Division.

Brig. Gen. William Y. Slack and Edwin W. Price I prefer not to classify. The first, because severely wounded in the engagement of the 7th and 8th instant; the second, because now a prisoner of war, having been captured some weeks since when on his return to the army from North Missouri with recruits. Besides, he is my son. Both are officers of marked gallantry and energy. I commend to your consideration, as chief of artillery in this division, Brig. Gen. M. Lewis Clark.

The larger part of the State Guard, I think, will enlist in the Confederate service, and to the promotion of this object I shall direct every practicable energy. My men, numbers of them, would have entered that service before, but were determined first to know who was to command them. From a telegram from a friend of the 6th I learn that my nomination as a major-general in the Confederate service was that day confirmed by the senate. I have no official knowledge of the fact, About 5,000 of my command have been sworn into the Confederate service, and I now feel assured that the bulk of the remainder will follow their example when they know my appointment has been made.

With such additions to my force as I am led to believe will shortly be made, although not officially advised of them, I do not question my ability to penetrate aggressively the heart of Missouri.

My report of the battle of the 6th, 7th, and 8th instant will be made up at the earliest moment and submitted to Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn, through whom the Government will receive all needful information.

I have the honor, sir, to remain, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

STERLING PRICE, Major-General, Commanding Mo. S. G.

{p.793}

–––

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 81.}

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISS. DIST., Dept. No. 2, Van Buren, Ark., March 19, 1862.

...

VI. The First Division of the Army of the West, under command of Maj. Gen. Sterling Price, Confederate Army, will be ready to march on the 25th instant.

The commanders of brigades will take active measures to place their commands in efficient order. They will at once make requisition for necessary supplies of ordnance and subsistence for fifteen days, for transportation and for other quartermaster stores.

The First Brigade will move on the 25th instant, the Artillery Brigade will move on the 26th instant, the Second Brigade will move on the 27th instant, the Third and Fourth Brigades will move on the 28th instant.

...

VIII. All troops now attached to the army who were called out for the emergency will be relieved from further duty with it at once and repair to their homes, where it is desired they will immediately organize into companies for the Confederate service, and report to Jacksonport, Ark., for further orders.

...

By order of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn:

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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JACKSON, TENN., March 20, 1862.

General WALKER, Madrid Bend:

All of the transports you have above New Madrid not absolutely necessary to you, which are cut off, you will sink on the flats or bars in the neighborhood of the island, so as to obstruct the channel. If not cut off, dispose of them to best advantage.

L. POLK.

–––

JACKSON, March 20, 1862.

General J. P. MCCOWN:

You will, if practicable, send a regiment, two pieces of field artillery, and some cavalry down the Tennessee side of the river as far as the enemy have sent troops on the Missouri side, and take a position in his front wherever formed, to prevent his making reconnaissance on this side of the river. The gunboats must co-operate with you. I again repeat my conviction that it is of the highest importance to hold Island 10 and Madrid Bend to the last extremity. It is the key of the Mississippi Valley.

L. POLK.

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JACKSON, March 20, 1862.

General J. P. MCCOWN, Island 10:

I have just heard that the enemy are attempting to out a canal from the Mississippi River into Reelfoot Lake above the island. It is proper {p.794} you should know this. If they go into the lake, and you manage the matter with your usual energy, they may be caught in their own trap.

L. POLK, Major-General, Commanding First Grand Division.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, March 20, [1862]-5.15 p.m.

Col. ED. PICKETT, Jr.:

Firing not so brisk to-day. Has ceased. I am almost entirely satisfied the enemy has received infantry re-enforcements from above. Our gunboats are of no service to us; they are 6 miles below Tiptonville, with the transports and wharf-boats. The provisions for this garrison are with them, but there are some to be obtained in this bend. I would like to have some more ammunition for rifled cannon. No means of communicating with our gunboats by land or water. The enemy are moving down continually below Point Pleasant. I expect to hear of them at Gayoso next.

L. M. WALKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

P. S.-I suppose these telegrams go through from you. I would like you to ascertain, if possible, if one of the enemy’s gunboats sank below Hickman. It is so reported. She left here crippled by Rucker’s battery. Said battery is much in water and river rising. The relief wade waist deep to get to it.

Yours, &c.,

WALKER.

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HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, March 21, 1862-6 a.m.

Col. ED. PICKETT, Jr.:

No firing last night. Gunboats in same position this morning. I want the general to understand that, our gunboats having taken position down the river not accessible to me, this bend is entirely cut off, and that I will defend it until the general orders otherwise. The general will have to open the way. He must not expect any of the command to be saved.

L. M. WALKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Give me anything from Hickman that you can get. I hear they are landing troops 6 miles above this on Kentucky side.

–––

JACKSON, March 21, 1862.

General MCCOWN:

Even should enemy effect crossing (scarcely probable), you can still defend position of batteries for many days with proper detached field works in their rear.

The country looks to you for a determined defense of your position. Meanwhile Fort Pillow will be made ready. Glean the country for provisions. Husband ammunition.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

{p.795}

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MADRID BEND, March 21, 1862.

Col. THOMAS JORDAN, Jackson, Tenn.:

COLONEL: I arrived here this morning. Found all going on well. General Walker’s arrangements are satisfactory-as good as can be made with his force. I have left General Walker in immediate command. The enemy’s forces on the other side are much scattered. If a force was sent to their rear, via Greenville, Ark., [it] would relieve the pressure on this command, and, if strong enough, capture the forces south of Saint John’s Bayou. Read my last dispatch.

J. P. MCCOWN, Major-General.

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JACKSON, TENN., [March] 21, 1862.

General MCCOWN:

Send the negroes from your post to Fort Pillow by the shortest route and with the greatest dispatch. Furnish them with three days’ rations.

L. POLK, Major-General.

–––

Abstract from return of the troops at Madrid Bend, March 21, 1862.

Command.Present for duty.Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.
Officers.Men.
1st Alabama Regiment31487683751
1st Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi Regiment33382536772
40th Regiment C. S. volunteers24447668745
46th Regiment Tennessee volunteers33341531665
55th Regiment Tennessee volunteers25302402467
Corps heavy artillery32298405455
Grand total1782,2073,2253,855

NOTE.-Return gives no commander, and signed by E. T. Freeman, acting assistant adjutant-general. Cavalry companies scattered and no reports received.

–––

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Van Buren, Ark., March 21, 1862.

Brig. Gen. ALBERT PIKE:

GENERAL: I am instructed by General Van Dorn to acknowledge the receipt of your report of the operations of your command in the battle of Elkhorn, and to express his satisfaction at learning that you have arrived safely with your troops in the Indian Territory. He has directed the supplies for you at Fort Smith to be sent to you at North Fork, and has ordered the chief commissary to transfer to you, for the benefit of your command, the flour contract made by him with parties in Texas.

Woodruff’s battery has been ordered to report to you at this place, and I send you authority to add to your command, if you need them, two of the regiments now en route from Texas to this army.

The general commanding has decided to march with this army against the enemy now invading the northeastern part of the State. Upon you, {p.796} therefore, will devolve the necessity of impeding his advance into this region. It is not expected that you will give battle to a large force, but by felling trees, burning bridges, removing supplies of forage and subsistence, attacking his trains, stampeding his animals, cutting off his detachments, and other similar means, you will be able materially to harass his army and protect this region of country. You must endeavor by every means to maintain yourself in the Territory independent of this army. In case only of absolute necessity you may move southward. If the enemy threatens to march through the Indian Territory or descend the Arkansas River you may call on troops from Southwestern Arkansas and Texas to rally to your aid. You may reward your Indian troops by giving them such stores as you may think proper when they make captures from the enemy, but you will please endeavor to restrain them from committing any barbarities upon the wounded, prisoners, or dead who may fall into their hands. You may purchase your supplies of subsistence from wherever you can most advantageously do so. You will draw your ammunition from Little Rock or from New Orleans via Red River. Please communicate with the general commanding when practicable.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Van Buren, Ark., March 21, 1862.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD:

I march my First Brigade toward Jacksonport, Ark., to-morrow. All the troops here will march in a few days to the same point. I will probably have on White River by the 10th or 12th of April 20,000 men or more and about seventy pieces of artillery. It was my intention to attack the forces near New Madrid and Point Pleasant from the north, by Greenville. What do you now advise? There is an army of about 20,000 men of the enemy’s north of this, in Arkansas, but they cannot be subsisted long, nor do I think they can do much harm in the west. We cannot subsist here. I think it is more important to save the Mississippi River.

Answer me at once, please. I start for Little Rock the day after tomorrow.

[EARL VAN DORN.]

–––

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 9.}

HDQRS. TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Van Buren, Ark., March 21, 1862.

...

II. All persons connected with the military service of the Confederate States in this district are forbidden to publish, or to cause or permit to be published, any statements respecting operations or movements of troops, whether past or proposed. All telegraphic operators are cautioned against transmitting dispatches respecting the military movements and events of the district which do not come from authorized sources and are not sent as official communications. And all editors of newspapers are earnestly and respectfully requested to exercise careful {p.797} scrutiny over their publications, that nothing may be published which can convey aid or comfort to our enemies, or suggest to them the position, condition, or designs of our armies.

III. The burning of mills, workshops, barracks, store-houses, stables, or any other buildings in regions of country which it may become necessary for our troops to retire from temporarily is forbidden.

The attention of all commanders is called to the orders prohibiting the troops from depredating in any manner upon the property of the citizens in whose vicinity they march or encamp. Any officer or soldier who may injure or take fencing, stock, poultry, forage, or any other property, without proper authority and right, will be at once taken in charge by the provost-marshal and dealt with according to his offense. Quartermasters and commissaries will be careful to pay fair prices or to give exact and proper receipts for forage and other supplies which it may become necessary to procure for the use of the army, and the proper disbursing officer will pay the money on these acknowledgments when presented for payment with as little delay and inconvenience to the holder as possible.

IV. The general commanding finds it necessary to remind the troops of the Articles of War respecting safeguards, which provides that any officer or soldier who disregards and violates a safeguard given by the proper authority for the protection of persons or property shall be tried by a court-martial, and if convicted shall suffer death.

V. Commanding officers will have read to the troops of their command the Rules and Articles of War at least once a month.

By order of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn:

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

JACKSON, March 22, 1862.

General MCCOWN:

Van Dorn proposes to attack enemy in reverse at New Madrid. Be of good cheer and hold out.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

–––

JACKSON, March 22, 1862.

General MCCOWN, Madrid Bend:

You must be aware that you cannot at this moment be re-enforced. Your command forms the garrison of that key to Mississippi Valley. Country expects you to defend that post of honor to the last or until we can relieve you by a victory here, then to attack in force your adversary. Meanwhile Pillow is being put in fighting order for another stand if need be. Send names of our boats above New Madrid. Use them if necessary to obstruct channels in front of Island 10.

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General, Commanding.

–––

JACKSON, TENN., March 22, 1862.

General WALKER, Madrid Bend:

Hereafter make all reports direct to these headquarters.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

{p.798}

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JACKSON, March 22, 1862.

General WALKER, Madrid Bend, Care Colonel Pickett, Union City, Tenn.:

It is reported enemy is attempting to float boats into the lake on your flank. Look out and meet the attempt. Use your field guns.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Van Buren, March 22, 1862.

Maj. Gen. STERLING PRICE:

GENERAL: I leave this evening on the steamboat Lelia for Little Rock and White River, for the purpose of organizing the new levies of troops now assembling there and to prepare for the reception of your command.

Special Orders, No. 28, makes provision for the march of your brigade from this point. Please direct your march, via Clarksville, Dover, and Springfield (Conway County), toward Batesville, on White River. Expressmen will meet you on this road with instructions which will control you in the further march of your column. The troops of the advance post in Boston Mountains, on Lee’s Creek, should not, of course, be relieved until the last moment, and when relieved should march with Greer’s cavalry as the rear guard of the army. It is of the greatest importance that the troops of your command should reach White River at the earliest possible date.

Please assume command this evening, and control matters in this vicinity preparatory to your march. Please also leave scouts when you march to watch the enemy and to report to you any movement they may make. If any important movement is made, please advise me of it by express to Jacksonport and by telegraph dispatch to Des Arc.

I have directed the staff officers here and at Fort Smith to take active, energetic measures for the removal of all public property to places of safety. I hope this will be accomplished by the time that the last brigade of your division is ordered to march.

I understand that several cavalry regiments are now on the march from Texas to join this army. I have directed General Pike to assume command of two of them. The others I have directed to join the army via Little Rock, with the exception of all who may be within 50 miles of this place; they will join Greer’s brigade at Ozark.

I hope, general, you will have a prosperous march, and that you will soon recover from your wounds.

Very respectfully and sincerely, general, I am, your friend and obedient servant,

[D. H. MAURY,] Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 1.}

HDQRS. FIRST DIV. ARMY OF THE WEST, Camp Ben. McCulloch, Ark., March 22, 1862.

I. The undersigned assumes command of the First Division of the Army of the West, by order of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn, commanding the district.

{p.799}

II. The commanders of the brigades constituting this division will make immediate report to these headquarters of the strength and condition of their respective commands.

III. The following officers are announced as staff officers at division headquarters:

Thos. L. Snead, acting assistant adjutant-general.

Maj. John Reid, commissary of subsistence.

Maj. James Harding, acting quartermaster.

Dr. William N. Snodgrass, acting medical director.

Henry M. Clark, acting medical inspector.

Robt. C. Woods, aide-de-camp.

Clay Taylor, aide-de-camp.

STERLING PRICE, Major-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, March 23, 1862.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD:

GENERAL: I hope Van Dorn will act promptly. I am not desponding yet. I know my position. One gunboat has sunk on a bar just beyond range. They are either trying to raise her or removing the guns. Fire-rafts cannot be placed, as our batteries are under fire. When we reply it is slowly, waiting till they are where we want them.

Have sent to Pillow for 200 rifle shot.

J. P. MCCOWN, Major-General, Commanding.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, March 23, 1862-6 p.m.

General BEAUREGARD, Commanding Army of the Mississippi:

GENERAL: My effort to ascertain the condition of the enemy above has resulted as follows, which I believe to great extent reliable, viz: Transports, 13; mortars, 12; gunboats, 7; tugs, 5; 12 additional gunboats looked for; 5,000 infantry on transports; 120 men on each gunboat; 7 empty coal-barges. On the morning of the 22d instant 10,000 infantry landed at Hickman. One of their gunboats towed up beyond Hickman badly disabled. No danger I think on the side of Reelfoot Lake. The river and water in lake have been rising for several days and still rising. Reported that the rivers above are rising.

No change in the conduct of their gunboats to-day. Shelling at intervals.

L. M. WALKER, Brigadier-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, March 23, 1862.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Jackson, Tenn.:

GENERAL: Firing has almost ceased this evening. Federal troops are moving down the river from New Madrid. Gunboats still go up to {p.800} Tiptonville in the night. A good deal of sickness in the command. Steamers here are the Grampus, Mohawk, Kanawha Valley, and Champion, small boat Red Rover with floating battery, Ohio Belle, Simonds, Yazoo, De Soto, Mears, and Admiral. The small boats used as watch-boats, &c.; the large ones as hospitals.

J. P. MCCOWN, Major-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, March 23, 1862.

Col. THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: I first came here on the 25th ultimo, returned to Columbus on the night of the 26th, and was back on the 27th. These dates are from memory. My papers are with the fleet below Tiptonville.

On the 1st of March the enemy appeared on Madrid plain and drove in our scouts. On the 2d March a skirmish occurred within 1 mile of New Madrid. New Madrid was evacuated on the night of the 14th instant. The gunboats appeared above us on the 15th and have been in range of us ever since.

The boats attacked Battery No. 1 on the 17th. We have been under their fire ever since.

I left Island 10 at 10 o’clock at night after the repulse of the gunboats on the 17th. I arrived at the fleet on my return from Fort Pillow on the evening of the 20th, landed below Riddle’s Point, on Tennessee shore, and made my way here on the 21st.

On my first arrival here five guns were mounted in Battery No. 1 and seven in Battery No. 5 on main shore. No guns were mounted on the island. When I left for Fort Pillow four guns were mounted on the main shore, protected by parapet of earth, and nineteen guns on the island, also protected [by] parapets of earth. Batteries No. 1 and 5 were alone finished (earthworks). A redoubt is being about finished to protect the batteries on main shore.

I send inclosed a report of Captain Gray, engineer. On my arrival at Island 10, Colonel Kennedy reported to me less than 300 negroes, and tools not sufficient to work them.

The redoubt was laid off and under construction when I left for Pillow. The batteries were nearly complete.

Respectfully submitted.

J. P. MCCOWN, Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

ENGINEER OFFICE, ISLAND 10, March 24, 1862.

Memorandum of batteries at Island No. 10, Madrid Bead, with guns mounted.

Batteries.Number of guns.Caliber.
ON THE MAIN-LAND.
No. 1, the Redan Battery3 naval carriages3 8-inch columbiads.
No. 13 barbette3 smooth-bore 32s.
No. 24 high barbette carriages3 rifle 32s, 1 smooth-bore 32.
No. 33 high barbette carriages3 rifle 32s.
No. 44 high barbette carriages3 rifle 32s, 1 8-inch columbiad.
No. 57 barbette carriages (2 high, 5 medium)1 rifle 32, 3 8-inch columbiads, 3 smooth-bore 32s.
Total24 guns {p.801}
ON THE ISLAND.
No. 1, Belmont Battery6 medium barbette2 8-inch, 4 smooth-bore 32s.
No. 24 3 barbette, 1 center-pintle3 smooth-bore 32s, 1 rifle 24.
No. 352 rifle 24s, 1 8-inch, 2 smooth-bore 32s.
No. 42 siege carriages2 8-inch howitzers.
No. 52 siege carriages2 8-inch howitzers.
Total19 guns.

NOTE.-The Belmont heavy rifle 32, while being fired at the enemy on the 21st instant, burst at the third fire, injuring no one. An 8-inch columbiad was at once mounted in its place.

In the Redan Battery, No. 1, but three guns were used against the attack of the enemy’s fleet and during the bombardment of Island No. 10. This battery, commanded by Captain Bucker, has six guns. The three smooth-bore 32s were not fired only the three 8-inch columbiads. The three latter guns in the redan and one other similar in Battery No. 5 have been mounted and ready for action for some two months past. The four 8-inch columbiads are guns that I brought down from the naval floating battery and mounted them immediately. Thirty-five guns have been mounted on platforms and in batteries since the 1st of March by the Engineer Corps, including the sappers and miners. The naval floating battery was placed by us in position on the north side of the island and now mounts nine guns, making in all fifty-two guns in position at the present time.

I am, very respectfully,

A. B. GRAY, Captain, C. S. Army, Chief Engineer Island 10.

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[MARCH 23, 1862.-For communications from Generals Johnston and Beauregard to General Van Dorn, see Series I, Vol. X.]

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MEMPHIS, TENN., March 24, 1862.

Maj. Gen. EARL VAN DORN, C. S. A., in Camp:

GENERAL: I have come to this place to find where my stores and munitions have been scattered to. The evacuation of Madrid has confused everything, and although I still hold the plank road and have 1,000 men near by, yet my stores are scattered from Memphis to Pocahontas. I have command of Crowley Ridge, and to-morrow will send a steamboat to Hornersville, to ply upon the Saint Francis and Little River, so that I can at any time sustain or remove my men at your orders.

This will be carried to you by Lieut. Col. Drake McDowell (who has been one of my aides), who can give you a more detailed statement of affairs.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding Mo. S. G. {p.802}

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 1.}

HEADQUARTERS MISSOURI STATE GUARD, March 24, 1862.

I. The troops of the Second Brigade, Missouri Volunteers, having, bee transferred to the Confederate Army, that brigade ceases to exist, and those officers of the Missouri State Guard who were assigned to duty with it will report at once for orders to the commanding officers of their respective divisions.

...

By order of Major-General Price:

JAMES M. LOUGHBOROUGH, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, March 25, 1862.

Maj. Gen. STERLING PRICE:

GENERAL: The general commanding directs that the troops of your command heretofore ordered to Jacksonport will direct their march on Des Arc. The road diverges to Des Arc at Springfield. It will be necessary for timely instruction to be given to the quartermaster to change the points of deposit of supplies along the route from that point to Des Arc.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Little Rock, March 25, 1862.

Brig. Gen. ALBERT RUST:

GENERAL: I am instructed by Major-General Van Dorn, commanding this district, to say that he desires you to assume command of the troops in the region of country about the Lower Arkansas from Clarksville to the mouth of the river, and about White River from Des Arc to its mouth.

You will proceed at once to organizing regiments from the companies organized. The companies now at Little Rock will be sent to Devall’s Bluff, under the command of Col. James P. Major, where the organization will take place. The companies north of the Arkansas River, that were formerly ordered to proceed under the command of Colonel Major to Jacksonport, will proceed under his command to Des Arc, where they will be organized into regiments and battalions under your direction.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. H. MAURY.

The companies organized under the call of Governor Rector for the Confederate service, and heretofore directed to proceed to Jacksonport, under the control and supervision of Col. James P. Major, are hereby directed to change their march to Des Arc, on White River.

Colonel Major will make the necessary arrangements to carry out these instructions.

The companies now at Little Rock will proceed at once to Devall’s Bluff, where they will go into camp, be armed, and await orders. Colonel Major will superintend and control this movement also, and will take the necessary measures for the prompt execution of these orders and for the proper care of the men.

{p.803}

General Rust, after assuming command, as heretofore directed, will cause all the Arkansas troops who may report to him to be organized into regiments after their arrival on White River.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Little Rock, March 25, 1862.

Col. HENRY LITTLE, Commanding First Brigade. First Division:

COLONEL: Instead of marching upon Jacksonport, as heretofore ordered, you will please proceed with your command to Des Arc.

The roads diverge at Springfield, and you will send your agents ahead to have supplies provided at points in the road between Springfield and Des Arc instead of Springfield and Jacksonport or Batesville.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, yours,

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Little Rock, March 25, 1862.

Maj. W. L. CABELL, Chief Quartermaster:

It is now decided to make Des Arc, in place of Jacksonport, the point of rendezvous and of deposit of supplies.

Keep the present force at Pocahontas, with supplies for thirty days. Direct the force there to make as much display of strength as possible. Have every thing so arranged that in the event of its being necessary they can certainly fall back on Jacksonport without being Cut off. Have thirty days’ supplies for the troops now at Jacksonport, and let the balance of every sort of supplies be collected at Des Arc.

By order of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn:

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Corinth, Miss., March 26, 1862.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, Commanding First Grand Division, Army of the Mississippi:

GENERAL: You will order Brig. Gen. W. W. Mackall to repair forthwith to Madrid Bend, to relieve Maj. Gen. J. P. McCown of the command of that post and of all the troops there collected, as well as at Island No. 10.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General, Commanding.

{p.804}

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 445.}

HDQRS. 1ST GR’D DIV., ARMY OF THE MISS., Corinth, Miss., March 26, 1862.

Brig. Gen. W. W. Mackall is hereby ordered to proceed to Madrid Bend forthwith, and relieve Maj. Gen. J. P. McCown of the command of all the Confederate forces there and at Island No. 10.

Maj. Gen. J. P. McCown is ordered to report at these headquarters as soon as he is relieved by Brig. Gen. W. W. Mackall. He is instructed to communicate in writing to Brig. Gen. W. W. Mackall his plan of defense of Madrid Bend and Island 10, together with the orders and instructions he has received in relation thereto and all such information as may be important to Brig. Gen. W. W. Mackall as his successor to the command.

By order of Major-General Polk:

GEORGE WILLIAMSON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT. Jacksonport, March 28, 1862.

Brig. Gen. T. J. CHURCHILL:

GENERAL: The general commanding directs me to inform you that it is of the very greatest importance you should reach Des Arc, on White River, at the earliest possible day, and you will therefore press forward to that point with all your available force by the best and quickest route.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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JACKSONPORT, March 29, 1862.

General A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON:

Your order received.* Will be executed as promptly as possible. I go this evening to see General Beauregard at his request and to prepare army on the march to Des Arc.

EARL VAN DORN.

* Of March 23. See Series I, Vol. X, Part II, p. 354.

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MADRID BEND, March 29, 1862-12 o’clock.

Col. THOMAS JORDAN, Corinth, Miss.:

It is said that the enemy are cuffing away from the foot of Island 8 to Saint John’s Bayou (said to be progressing rapidly) for their boats. Bombardment slowly continues. One of our gunboats came up to Tipton last night. Fired at seventeen times.

J. P. MCCOWN, Major-General, Commanding.

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TEN MILES BELOW TIPTONVILLE. ON MISSISSIPPI RIVER, March 31, 1862.

Col. THOMAS JORDAN, Adjutant-General:

I reached here at 10 a.m. to-day. The river rising. I am forced to await transportation of Commodore Hollins.

{p.805}

Please say to General Beauregard I have seen the gunboats. They are worthless for offense or defense. The guns are fine. Get them placed at Fort Pillow-the officers and crew of the boats to man them, if possible. Secure the guns at all events.

I would not give the price of the wood which the boats burn for their present service.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. MACKALL, Brigadier-General.

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FORT PILLOW, April 1, 1862.

Col. THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: I have the honor to inform the general, in reply to your communication of the 21st March-*

1st. That the artificial defenses of the position of Island No. 10 and Madrid Bend, when I first reached there, consisted of two batteries on the main-land, now designated as No. 1 and No. 5, about 1 1/2 miles apart, in which were mounted, to the best of my recollection, two 8-inch columbiads and four smooth-bore 32-pounders. Soon after my arrival seven other guns were mounted in the same batteries by the company of sappers and miners who were sent with me from Columbus, Ky., making in all thirteen guns. A few more guns could have been mounted in these batteries, but I thought it best to give them sufficient distance to admit of the construction of traverses and to avoid placing too many guns in any one battery.

The platforms of the upper battery, No. 1, are from 3 to 9 inches below high-water mark.

In addition to these batteries a crémaillère line had been located and partially constructed from Battery No. 1 to a bayou leading into Reelfoot Lake and a heavy abatis felled in front of it. This line, when completed, was designed to guard against the approach of the enemy by land from Hickman and other points up the river, which could be done at ordinary stages of the river but not daring the prevalence of high water. The ground upon which this line was located is subject to overflow and is now under water.

2d. The means for constructing works, I was informed by Captain Gray, of the Engineers, at Madrid Bend, when I arrived there, were quite insignificant, consisting of only a few laborers and about 20 spades and shovels.

3d. At the time of my departure for Fort Pillow thirty-nine guns, consisting of the Belmont and twelve other rifled guns (mostly 32-pounders), ten 8-inch columbiads, and sixteen smooth-bore 32-pounders, were mounted in eight different batteries, including the two (No. 1 and No. 5) above mentioned. Five of these batteries are on the main-land and three upon Island No. 10. Two other 3-gun batteries on the mainland were nearly ready to receive their guns.

In addition to the erection of these and other batteries, two of which were intended to be on the island in positions selected by Captain Gray and myself, it was contemplated to construct two redoubts, one on the main-land and the other on the island, of sufficient capacity for three regiments. These redoubts were located and the construction {p.806} of the one on the main-land commenced a day or two before I left the bend.

I requested Captain Gray, however, to change the location of the one on the island to a position I thought rather preferable to the one we had marked off which he said he would do.

4th. No works had been erected or guns planted at or near Tiptonville. I made a hasty examination, in company with Captain Gray, of the proposed location of the crémaillère line from Tiptonville to the lake, and gave him my views in regard to it, and to the best position for a battery at Tiptonville in the event the construction of such works should be determined on.

It was Captain Gray’s intention to complete the crémaillère line from Battery No. 1 to the bayou as soon as the fall in the river would admit of it.

5th. The capacity of the batteries, in the condition in which I left them, though not complete, I judged, from the three days’ firing I witnessed of the enemy’s gun and mortar boats, was sufficient, with the aid of the floating battery of nine guns, to successfully resist their attacks and prevent them from passing down the river.

I do not know what progress has been made in the completion of the batteries and the construction of other works or what is their present defensive capacity.

A more detailed report will be furnished the general if he desires it.

I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. B. HARRIS, Captain, Engineers.

* Not found.

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OSCEOLA, ARK., April 1, 1862.

OFFICER COMMANDING C. S. ARMY, Island No. 10:

GENERAL: I have reached this point en route for my command to carry out your request to attack the enemy in the rear at New Madrid, but I have heard that my men have destroyed the plank road and left for Pocahontas. I will nevertheless proceed on my journey until I am satisfied the report is true, and if it is, I will myself follow them; if not, I will carry out your wishes. Your orders sent to Newton Ross, Osceola, will be forwarded to me.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Mo. S. G.

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OSCEOLA, ARK., April 1, 1862.

Brigadier-General VILLEPIGUE, C. S. A., Fort Pillow:

GENERAL: I learn upon my arrival at this place that my men destroyed the plank road on Sunday last and have left for Pocahontas, Ark. I will nevertheless continue my intention of going to Hornersville, and if the report I hear is true I will see that the road is effectually destroyed, and then take my steamboat (the Conway) and proceed to join my command. You will please, therefore, let the commandant at No. 10 know that I cannot make the demonstration requested and promised.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Mo. S. G.

{p.807}

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OSCEOLA, ARK., April 1, 1862.

Brigadier-General VILLEPIGUE, C. S. A., Commanding Fort Pillow:

GENERAL: Please allow me to suggest that it would be expedient to station a signal officer at this place, who will be able to bring in steamboats when necessary. This is the only point where information can reach the Mississippi River direct from Crowley Ridge, and as it will probably soon be a place of considerable military moment, it may be necessary to communicate through this channel, which is several days quicker than any other. Canoe-men will have to be employed, who cannot stop a steamboat, but they can, if necessary, go all the way to the fort, and it will expedite matters to arrange a private signal which boats will understand and observe.

Yours, respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Mo. 8. G.

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HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, April 1, 1862.

Col. THOMAS JORDAN, Adjutant-General, Army of the Mississippi, Corinth:

COLONEL: 1st. I reached this place yesterday morning. An hour after my arrival General Trudeau announced his intention of leaving and left.

2d. Finding Major-General McCown preparing to leave, I asked him to remain another day. He assented, but during the afternoon again proposed to go, and finding that his company was engaging both his time and mine, I consented.

3d. Brigadier-General Gantt handed me his resignation immediately after my arrival.

4th. Brigadier-General Walker is absent sick.

5th. I sent for Colonel Steedman. He is absent in the country sick.

6th. The return of the troops handed me gives present for duty 3,475 rank and file. The following memoranda I got from Major-General McCown, and find I cannot take the “present for duty” as a measure of the force:

MEMORANDA.

Colonel Brown’s Fifty-fifth Tennessee Regiment-but few arms. Those in the regiment different kinds, but pretty good. The colonel says fifty are wanted.

Eleventh Arkansas, Colonel Smith-all sorts of arms. Every variety country guns.

Forty-sixth Tennessee Regiment, Colonel Clark-only two companies armed (400 for duty, 160 armed).

Fourth Arkansas Battalion, Major McKay commanding-badly armed.

Two companies cavalry, Wheeler and Hudson.

7th. The ordnance officer states that there are on an average 125 rounds for each gun.

8th. The commissary’s return has not yet been received. There are no provisions on the island. It is supplied from the Tennessee shore. I have ordered there enough for twenty days.

9th. How far examination will confirm the returns of troops and munitions remains to be seen.

10th. Yesterday the enemy fired half-hour shells during the day and ten in rapid succession at night. General McCown estimates the force across the river at 30,000.

{p.808}

11th. I could get the steamers down the river, but one accident would give a transport to the enemy and ruin me. I will sacrifice the property.

12th. I venture no remarks about my prospects. I give things as they presented themselves on yesterday.

13th. Please send me a cipher, unless satisfied of the safety of the northern line.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. MACKALL, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Corinth, Miss., April 2, 1862.

Brig. Gen. W. W. MACKALL, Commanding at Madrid Bend, Tenn.:

GENERAL: The bearer, Capt. B. J. Butler, is authorized to visit Madrid Bend, to offer you his services for the purpose of endeavoring to save the boats now cut off at Madrid Bend by the enemy’s batteries below that point. You will send down in said boats all the guns, carriages, chassis, material, corn, &c., you may not require in the defense of your position. It is preferable to run the risk of losing those objects in an endeavor to save them than to leave them where they are, to fall into the hands of the enemy and to be destroyed by the torch.

A few days ago I gave Captain Fleming a letter to you to the same purport as the above, not being then aware that General Polk had already authorized Captain Butler to examine into the matter for the purpose indicated above; hence he has priority of claim, and Captain Fleming can assist him in the above undertaking should he be willing to serve under the directions of Captain Butler.

I remain, dear general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General, Second in Command.

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HORNERSVILLE, MO., April 3, 1862-4 p.m.

COMMANDING OFFICER ISLAND No. 10:

GENERAL: I reached this place this morning, and find that my men have started for Pocahontas, under the order of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn. They first attempted to destroy the plank road, but how effectually it was done I cannot accurately learn. The enemy are now attempting to repair it, and the time of completion will depend upon the manner of destruction. Therefore I can be relied on for no demonstration in the enemy’s rear until I let you know again.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Mo. S. G.

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HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, April 3, 1862.

Col. THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General:

Since my letter of April 1 (not numbered) I have been engaged in an effort to find out what was at my command. Reports of this morning {p.809} give me 2,273 infantry, rank and file. Deduct the necessary guards for batteries, and it would be difficult for me to assemble 1,000 in less than three or four hours, the circuit from Battery No. 1 to Tiptonville (supposing my right and rear to be safe) being 25 miles. Under this state of things I see but little prospect of their landing in such a small force that I may hope to strike the decisive blow suggested to Major-General McCown.

Yesterday about 1 o’clock a.m. the guns in Battery No. 1 were spiked. It was under water and watched by two sentinels, the guard being placed on a breast-height running from the battery to the lake. There was no contest. If not a surprise, the enemy spiked the guns and left before the guard could get in. I have required Colonel Steedman, to whose regiment the battery was intrusted, to investigate the affair. He has probably the best regiment under my command. I hope to be able to bore out the vents to-night.

To-day the mortar firing of the enemy has been brisk; so much so, that the floating battery had to loose her moorings.

I learned from Commodore Hollins and Major-General McCown that this battery continues to be under the orders of the commodore, or I would have removed her fine armament to the shore. Any one shell falling on it will sink or blow it up.

Could the new gunboats, if worth anything, take its armament, or, still better, bring with them a fine armament from the gunboats of the Navy, there is yet a possibility of getting command of this river, now for all practicable purposes closed to us.

Ammunition for guns and small-arms will not exceed half the amount you ordered. I have twenty days’ provisions on the island, but no ingenuity of man has been able to discover what remains; but I do not doubt the supply will suffice.

The enemy’s transports are collected in large numbers above the Bend this evening, and something may be attempted.

Please say this to the general: My guns may give him time below. When the enemy cross the game is practically up. It takes an army to defend the ground. One good regiment would be better than the force which I have. It never had any discipline. It is disheartened-apathetic. So report my best officers. I cannot rely on sentinels or guards Tell him I do not say this to save myself from future censure or to worry him. I only want him to understand that if the enemy land this will be a beleaguered place, which will not hold out ten hours in my opinion.

We have no guns heavier than 8-inch columbiads. We can reach neither gunboats nor transports.

I ask for neither re-enforcements nor aid of any other kind. I know that each place is thought by the local commander of supreme importance. Having placed my condition fully before the general, I am satisfied he will judge of the value and his capacity to support the place best from his stand-point.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. MACKALL, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

P. S.-Major-General McCown left copies of seven or eight letters and telegrams from Generals Beauregard and Polk, but neither order nor letter books nor copies of his instructions to this command. I inclose a report of Captain Sheliha, staff engineer.

{p.810}

–––

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS, Madrid Bend, April 3, 1862.

Maj. H. B. DAVIDSON, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: Having, in compliance with orders received, examined the batteries erected for the defense of Island No. 10, I have the honor to report:

Number of battery.Guns mounted.8-inch columbiads.8-inch howitzers.32s, rifled.32s, smooth.24s, rifled.24s, smooth.Carriages.Remarks.
A-BATTERIES ON TENNESSEE SHORE.
16333 naval,3 barbetteParapet much injured by shots. Guns nearly submerged, 4 spiked, 2 unspiked, 1 traverse circle wanting.
2431Weller barbetteParapet well constructed, In good condition.
333 doSand-bag revetment.
4413Barbette
57313 do
 
611 doRecently erected.
711 do
811 do
922 do
1011Siege.
1122 do
1222 do
Total34941074
B.-BATTERIES ON ISLAND No. 10.
1624Columbiad1 traverse circle missing.
24313 columbiads, 1 barbette.Carriages work badly, workmen at work.
351223 columbiads, 2 barbette.
422BarbetteTo be mounted to-day.
Total173392
Grand total51124131624

Battery No. 1, which, under command of Captain Rucker, did such excellent service during the engagement on the 17th instant, will only be fully serviceable again after the water will have fallen. Its guns, spiked by the enemy, are being unspiked. The rat-tail files have been removed out of two of the vents.

Three powder magazines on the Tennessee shore afford ample room fur the ammunition on hand. They require strengthening on the top: {p.811} neither is a sufficient arrangement made for preventing the moisture in the ground from leaking through the walls.

Service magazines near to the batteries are entirely missing, neither is the ordnance department provided with a laboratory or a suitable place for the protection of ordnance stores.

Island No. 10 has no magazine at all. The undersigned found five kegs of powder protected by tarpaulins. The order for the immediate construction of a magazine has been given at once.

The place has no bomb-proof and the men are entirely unprotected against the shells of the enemy. They imagine themselves safe in some small rooms that have been built in the traverses of Batteries B, Nos. 2 and 3, and which originally were intended for service magazines.

The ordnance department is well supplied with solid round shot, grape, and canister, but there is not the fifth part of ammunition on hand that would be required by the columbiads and rifled pieces during an engagement lasting over two days. Powder for cartridges and the charges of shells, shell and fuse plugs and Reed balls are very much wanted.

The right flank of the position is partially protected by a line en crémaillère extending from the Mississippi River to Black Bayou. It is 1,200 yards long, not finished yet, and at the present moment submerged. The high stage of the water and Reelfoot Lake form, therefore, the only protection to the right for the present moment; a protection that will be weakened considerably by the falling of the water.

The water batteries on the main shore and the island will be able to beat the enemy’s boats back by daylight. Whether they will be able or not to prevent them from passing by during a dark and boisterous night the future alone can disclose.

The left flank has some protection by the batteries from Nos. 6 to 12, but mainly by the strong current of the Mississippi River.

The road from this point to Tiptonville is practicable, but to any point on the shore below Tiptonville entirely impassable, on account of the high water.

A glimpse at the map being sufficient to give a correct idea of the batteries, their ranges, &c., the undersigned has the honor to give here his views with reference to what he considers the only chance for holding the position against an attack by land either from the direction of Hickman and Union City, which may be expected as soon as the water will have fallen enough to render approaches from that side practicable, or against an enemy that have landed from the Missouri shore.

This morning’s report shows the strength of the command to be, infantry, 2,273 men, of whom about 400 [are] without arms; heavy artillery, fifty-one guns, 1,166 men; light artillery, Captain Stewart’s battery; cavalry, two companies; sappers and miners, one company; seven transports, of which two are used as hospitals; one floating battery, containing eight 8-inch columbiads and one 32-pounder, rifled.

The enemy’s force, according to rue best information received, consists of seven gunboats, four mortar boats, five transports, two tugs, nine batteries, erected between New Madrid and Andy Riddle’s, containing about twenty-five guns, varying in caliber from 32s to rifled 12s, and from 20,000 to 25,000 men, encamped along the river in rear of these batteries.

The whole line from Battery No. 1 around the peninsula to Tiptonville is 24 miles long, 13 of which afford good landings to the enemy; besides a line 4 miles long has to be guarded to the right.

The floating battery placed just below the island could render the {p.812} greatest service if it was not liable to be sunk by the first bomb shell striking it fairly. The five gunboats lying below Tiptonville can, although carrying very fine guns, render no assistance whatever.

The troops of this command, with the exception of a very small portion, are lacking some of the most essential qualities of a soldier-vigilance and self-reliance. Discipline and system seem to be unknown among them.

It is self-evident that a line 20 miles long cannot be guarded efficiently by a force not greater than the command occupying this position at present.

Should the enemy make a feint at one point and effect a landing at another, long hours would elapse before a small column could be formed and led against the advancing enemy.

But the only chance for saving this much-important position seems to be to attack the enemy and repulse them as soon as landed.

Although advocating this course by all means (even with the small force at present here), success seems to be beyond reach, if-

1. Strong re-enforcements of well-disciplined troops should not arrive in time; and

2. The navigation of the river once more opened was not to be kept open by efficient gunboats that would watch the enemy and enable thus the commander of this post to keep his forces concentrated near his right flank, from where the greater danger may be expected.

I have the honor to be, sir, yours, very respectfully,

SHELIHA, Captain and Staff Engineer.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Des Arc, Ark., April 6, 1862.

Maj. W. L. CABELL, Quartermaster:

MAJOR: General Van Dorn directs that you send at once by the fastest boat all the corn you can possibly raise, as there is not one bushel here, and the First Brigade will be here to-day or to-morrow. The general is surprised to find no corn here, as he had given instructions two or three times to have a supply at this place. Also send Captain McGivern to this place as soon as he can leave Jacksonport.

I am, very respectfully,

WM. N. R. BEALL, Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 41.}

HDQRS. TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Des Arc, Ark., April 7, 1862.

I. The First Brigade of General Price’s division will embark for Memphis to-morrow morning. On arriving in Memphis Colonel Little, commanding the brigade, will establish his camp in the vicinity of that city, and await further orders from General Sterling Price. He will refer to Major Haskell, inspector-general of this district, for any information concerning a place of encampment and supplies for his brigade which may be necessary.

II. Capt. F. Thyssens, aide-de-camp, will proceed at once to Helena, Ark., and will make a reconnaissance of Crowley’s Ridge as far as {p.813} within 8 or 10 miles of the town, in order to select a proper site for batteries to defend the approach to it. He will observe and report how great a force will be necessary to hold the ridge against an enemy approaching the town and any other matters relating to the defensible nature of the position. After completing the reconnaissance he will repair to Memphis and await the arrival of the general commanding.

By order of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn:

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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DES ARC, April 8, 1862.

General COOPER:

A portion of the Missouri troops desire to continue in the service as Missouri State Guards for ninety days longer, under their own officers. Shall their services be accepted? They are good troops, but I doubt the propriety of retaining them in Confederate service as State troops, and would not advise it.

Please answer as soon as convenient, as the troops are now embarking for Memphis.

EARL VAN DORN, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Des Arc, April 8, 1862.

Col. J. J. CLARKSON:

COLONEL: After organizing and fitting out your command as authorized by Special Orders, No. 27, March 20, it is desired that you will make your way as quickly as possible to the route between Leavenworth or Independence and Santa Fé, or other points in New Mexico, and use your utmost efforts to interrupt and capture the supply trains of the enemy in that department, to out off their mails, and annoy them by every other means in your power. When practicable you will bring any stores or property you may capture into the Confederate States limits; otherwise you will destroy them.

By order of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn:

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 27.}

HDQRS., ADJT. GEN.’S OFFICE, MO., Des Arc, Ark., April 8, 1862.

The resignation of Sterling Price, major-general of the Missouri State Guard, has been received and is hereby accepted, to take effect from this date. The Commander-in-Chief takes this occasion to express his sincere regret to the Missouri State Guard at the loss of so gallant, experienced, and distinguished an officer from their councils, and to encourage them in such a performance of their duties in the future as will keep bright the fame they have so nobly won under his leadership.

By order of the Governor:

WARWICK HOUGH, Adjutant-General of Missouri.

{p.814}

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 79.}

HDQRS. MISSOURI STATE GUARD, Des Arc, Ark., April 8, 1862.

Soldiers of the State Guard:

I command you no longer. I have this day resigned the commission which your patient endurance, your devoted patriotism, and your dauntless bravery have made so honorable. I have done this that I may the better serve you, our State, and our country-that I may the sooner lead you back to the fertile prairies, the rich woodlands, and majestic streams of our beloved Missouri-that I may the more certainly restore you to your once happy homes and to the loved ones there.

Five thousand of those who have fought side by side with us under the Grizzly Bears of Missouri have followed me into the Confederate camp. They appeal to you, as I do, by all the tender memories of the past, not to leave us now, but to go with us wherever the path of duty may lead, till we shall have conquered a peace and won our independence by brilliant deeds upon new fields of battle.

Soldiers of the State Guard! Veterans of six pitched battles and nearly twenty skirmishes! Conquerors in them all! Your country, with its “ruined hearths and shrines,” calls upon you to rally once more in her defense, and rescue her forever from the terrible thraldom which threatens her. I know that she will not call in vain. The insolent and barbarous hordes which have dared to invade our soil and to desecrate our homes have just met with a signal overthrow beyond the Mississippi. Now is the time to end this unhappy war. If every man will but do his duty, his own roof will shelter him in peace from the storms of the coming winter.

Let not history record that the men who bore with patience the privations of Cowskin Prairie, who endured uncomplainingly the burning heat of a Missouri summer, and the frosts and snows of a Missouri winter; that the men who met the enemy at Carthage, at Oak Hills, at Fort Scott, at Lexington, and in numberless lesser battle-fields in Missouri, and met them but to conquer them; that the men who fought so bravely and so well at Elkhorn; that the unpaid soldierly of Missouri were, after so many victories and after so much suffering, unequal to the great task of achieving the independence of their magnificent State.

Soldiers! I go but to mark a pathway to our homes. Follow me!

STERLING PRICE.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 26.}

HDQRS. ADJT. GEN.’s OFFICE, MO. S. G., Des Arc, Ark., April 8, 1862.

I. Brig. Gen. M. M. Parsons is hereby specially detailed to the command of all the Missouri State Guard now in the field, and will immediately organize them into companies, battalions, and regiments, according to law.

II. The army corps to be thus organized will consist exclusively of infantry and artillery.

III. The general commanding will report as soon as practicable the entire force in the Missouri State Guard now remaining, rank and file.

By order of the Governor:

WARWICK HOUGH, Adjutant-General of Missouri.

{p.815}

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 44.}

HDQRS. TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Des Arc, Ark., April 8, 1862.

Brig. Gen. Albert Rust is assigned to the command of the brigade which will consist of the regiments and battalions of Arkansas troops recently organized at Devall’s Bluff and of such others as may hereafter be added to them.

By order of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn:

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 1.}

HEADQUARTERS Mo. S. G., Des Arc, Ark., April 9, 1862.

I. By order of the Governor of the State of Missouri, bearing date April 8, 1862, I have this day assumed the command of the Missouri State Guard.

II. The above-mentioned troops will be immediately organized into companies, battalions, and regiments, according to the laws of the State of Missouri.

III. Lieutenant-Colonel Shields is hereby detailed as inspector, to muster and report the troops to these headquarters.

IV. Generals of divisions will report immediately the entire force of their respective commands.

V. Division quartermasters, or, in their absence, regimental quartermasters, will immediately report all horses, mules, wagons, tents, camp equipage, and other property in their respective commands and belonging to the State of Missouri. They will also especially report all State property which has been transferred to the armies of the Confederate States.

VI. Division ordnance officers will forthwith report all arms, ammunition, and artillery now belonging to the State of Missouri, and also all arms, ammunition, and artillery which may have been transferred to the Confederate Army.

VII. Generals of division will cause the pay rolls of their respective commands to be made out and certified to without delay, as the funds for their payment are daily expected.

VIII. Col. Joseph Kelly will, until further orders, assume command of the Sixth Division of Mo. S. G.

By order of M. M. Parsons, brigadier-general, commanding Mo. S. G.:

AUSTIN M. STANDISH, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Des Arc, Ark., April 9, 1862.

Maj. A. M. HASKELL, Inspector-General:

Make every effort to get some of the captured arms for my command or any arms you can get; also all the ammunition you can. Send to General Beauregard in my name. Keep him informed of all arrivals of troops from here. Inquire if it will be necessary for me to send over any wagons and teams and how many. Send more steamboats. I am moving too slowly. Show this to Adams. Impress the quartermaster at Memphis with the importance of preparing forage for me.

EARL VAN DORN, Major-General.

{p.816}

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Des Arc, Ark., April 9, 1862.

Maj. Gen. D. M. FROST, Commanding:

GENERAL: If the infantry brigades can arrive here any sooner by passing yours, please inform them of the general’s wish for them to do so. It is of the very greatest importance that the troops should reach their destination at an early day.

By order of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn:

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 46.}

HDQRS. TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Des Arc, Ark., April 10, 1862.

...

III. In consequence of the Governor of Missouri having assumed the control of the Missouri State Guard and its organization, it is hereby relieved from further duty with this army, and will report for orders to His Excellency.

By order of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn:

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 48.}

HDQRS. TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DISTRICT, Des Arc, Ark., April 11, 1862.

The major-general commanding this district has ascertained, in an interview with Governor Jackson, of Missouri, that it was not His Excellency’s intention, by his order of the 8th, to assume control over the troops of the Missouri State Guard, now in this army. Therefore, paragraph III of Special Orders, No. 46, is hereby revoked.

...

By order of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn:

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Library Reference Information

Type of Material: Book (Book, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Corporate Name: United States. War Dept.
Main Title: The War of the Rebellion:
a compilation of the official records of the
Union and Confederate armies.
Prepared under the direction of the Secretary of War
by Robert N. Scott.
Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1880-1900.
Published/Created: Washington : Government Pub. Off., 1880-1901 (70 v. in 128).
Description: 70 v. in 128. 24 cm.
Subjects: United States. Army--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources.
Confederate States of America. Army--History--Sources.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories.
LC Classification: E464 .U6