previous next
[246] for the efficiency of his command; carefully explaining that no suitable subdivision of the troops had yet been made, or could be practicable, without their assistance. His request, however, remained unheeded, or, rather, after much controversy, was only partly complied with at the last hour, and not according to his desires, nor in the manner promised. We shall again refer to this subject as we proceed with the present chapter.

Meanwhile, General Polk was making preparations for the evacuation of Columbus, which began on the 25th of February. The next day he requested General Beauregard to join him there, but this the latter was unable to do, being yet too unwell to undertake the journey. He continued, however, to send directions to General Polk, as the necessity arose respecting certain main points of the evacuation, and particularly as to the occupation of New Madrid. So imminent was the danger of an attack upon that place, that he had telegraphed General Johnston for a brigade to be sent there, as soon as possible, by railroad; a request which, it seems, could not be complied with. On the 28th, his Adjutant-General was sent to Columbus, to suggest the establishment of a telegraphic line between Humboldt or Union City and Island No.10, by means of which that now important position—the left of his new defensive line—should be brought into immediate communication with his headquarters. Colonel Jordan was also commissioned to advise General Polk in person as to the evacuation then in process of execution, which he did. He then returned without delay to Jackson.

The evacuation of Columbus was completed on the 2d of March, owing, in no small degree, to a lack of watchfulness and daring on the part of the enemy. So cautious in their reconnoitring had the Federal gunboats been, that the fact that Columbus was unoccupied was only discovered by them on the 4th, and then by mere accident. While slowly advancing down the river, they were much surprised at the sight of a United States' flag flying over the place. It had been hoisted there on the afternoon of the 3d, by a troop of Federal cavalry, who, attracted by a cloud of smoke rising from the quarters and storehouses, and prudently creeping up to the works, had thus discovered the real state of the case. These buildings had been set on fire by injudicious orders, the day before the appearance of the reconnoitring party. In the hurry of final departure, some ordnance and a quantity of ordnance

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
L. Polk (3)
Thomas Jordan (1)
A. S. Johnston (1)
J. R. Jackson (1)
A. N. T. Beauregard (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
March 2nd (1)
February 25th (1)
28th (1)
4th (1)
3rd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: