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ur orders conflict. Guided by these instructions from General Johnston, Beauregard directed the evacuation of Columbus, and the establishment of a new line resting on New Madrid, Island No.10, and Humboldt. Polk issued the preliminary orders February 25th, for the evacuation, which was completed on March 2d. General Beauregard selected Brigadier-General J. P. McCown, an old army-officer, for the command of Island No.10, forty miles below Columbus, whither he removed his division February 27th. A. P. Stewart's brigade was also sent to New Madrid. Some 7,500 troops were assembled at these points. The remainder of the forces marched by land, under General Cheatham, to Union City. The quarters and buildings were committed to the flames; and at 3 P. Ir., March 2d, General Polk followed the retiring column from the abandoned stronghold. Polk says in his report: The enemy's cavalry — the first of his forces to arrive after the evacuation-reached Columbus in the afternoo
Cleburne's regiment to Decatur. On February 24th General Johnston telegraphed President Davis: My movement has been delayed by a storm on the 22th, washing away pike and railroad-bridge at this place. Floyd, 2,500 strong, will march for Chattanooga to-morrow, to defend. This army will move on the 26th, by Decatur, for the valley of the Mississippi. Is in good condition and increasing in numbers. When his arrangements at Murfreesboro were complete, he wrote to Mr. Benjamin, February 27th, that he was about to move to the defense of the Mississippi Valley, crossing the (Tennessee) River near Decatur, in order to enable him to cooperate or unite with General Beauregard. Next day he moved. This was before Halleck's orders for the movement up the Tennessee, and ten days before it began, and General Johnston was already three days on his march before Columbus was evacuated. On the 26th of February General Beauregard asked for a brigade to assist in the defense of New Ma