stores, torpedoes, and anchors—the latter much needed for river obstructions at New Orleans—were left behind and fell into the hands of the enemy.
At Island No.10
and the batteries in the Bend
, the difficulty of placing the guns in position from the spot where they had been landed was such that for at least two days neither of those defences could have successfully resisted the passage—if attempted —of any of the Federal
Had Commodore Foote
then displayed the boldness which he afterwards showed at the same place, and which so characterized Admirals Farragut
, and Captain Brown
, of the Arkansas
, he might have passed without much resistance and captured New Orleans from the rear.
Instead of this, he merely left a gunboat and two mortar-boats to protect Columbus
from the river, and, with the remainder, quietly returned to Cairo
A part of the heavy armament and ammunition from Columbus
was sent to the unfinished batteries on the upper end of Island No.10
, a naturally good and defensible position in New Madrid Bend, and to those on the main Tennessee
The small garrison under Colonel Gantt
, at New Madrid, a little town on the Missouri
bank of the river, about sixty miles below Columbus
, and ten, more or less, from Island No.10
, was reinforced by General McCown
, with part of the garrison of Columbus
, and was hastily fortified with field-works.
, with about seven thousand men, was placed in command of all the defenses at Madrid Bend, intended to be held only long enough to permit the completion of the stronger and more important works designed for Fort Pillow
, to which the remainder of the heavy armament and ammunition from Columbus
had already been sent.
This position (Fort Pillow
), about fifty-nine miles above Memphis
, which, as yet, was but partly fortified, General Beauregard
had determined to strengthen and hold, with a garrison not to exceed four thousand men, as the left of his new defensive line, already referred to, covering Memphis
, and the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.
What was left of General Polk
's forces (about seven thousand men) was then assembled, mainly upon Humboldt
, at the intersection of the Memphis
and Ohio Railroads—a point having central relation and railroad communication