batteries, along the river bank, connected together by rifle-pits; and so accurate was the fire of the sharpshooters there stationed that the gunners on the Confederate gunboats could no longer keep their posts.
This compelled the fleet to retire, and the transports to stop at Tiptonville
, some eight miles farther down the river.
must have considered himself in a critical condition from the very outset, for on the 6th General Beauregard
received from him the following telegram:
This somewhat alarmed General Beauregard
, although he could not well believe that the forces under General Pope
amounted to more than twenty or twenty-five thousand men; and he had good reason to know that General Sigel
was then operating in southwestern Missouri
, against Van Dorn
It was clear to him, however, that he could not place much reliance in a subordinate commander who was thus timorous under responsibility, and who apparently gave way to nervous apprehension as to the strength of his adversary.
This was another and still stronger proof of the absolute need of trustworthy commanders in General Beauregard
's military district.
Acting under that impression, he, on the same day, telegraphed General Cooper
On the 9th came another despatch from General McCown
, dated the day previous.
In it he said that he had not yet placed the salient ordered by General Beauregard
, in advance of the works, as the position it was to occupy would be raked by our gunboats, and that he had no force to place there; that he would erect it as soon as possible.
[This, however, he never did.] In the same telegram, which was a long one, he also said:
The least estimate of the force of the enemy on Madrid plain is thirty