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[553] 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 field 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 despatch as often as practicable.

Yours, etc.,


Jackson, Tenn., March 9th, 1832, Humboldt, March 9th, 1862.
To General Beauregard:
I send you the following despatch received from General McCown.

Houses burned and torn down as necessity required. Captain Hallum, 5th Tennessee regiment, wounded yesterday; also three men on the Polk (steamer), and one scout. A lively skirmish yesterday. During a heavy demonstration this afternoon, on New Madrid, they were driven back by Captain Bankhead's guns and the gunboats. The enemy have 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 No.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 twenty thousand more men, such would be my course.

P. S. Shall I look for reinforcements? I want commanders Trudeau, March, Walker, and Gantt. It is important.

Headquarters army of the Mississippi, Jackson, Tenn., March 9th, 1862.
General,—I send you herewith enclosed a slip from the N. Y. Herald, to show. you that the enemy's gunboats are not invulnerable to our heavy guns, so that I have strong hopes now you will be able to keep them out of Madrid Bend. I think they themselves have lost all confidence in them. They will hardly attack you on the water before their mortar-boats are ready. This is a very uncertain mode of firing against small works at long ranges. Small traverses in every direction there and at New Madrid will guard your garrisons against any bad effects, the main forces being kept, as much as practicable, away from their ranges, but still within supporting distance.

Without the enemy's gunboats, I consider New Madrid impregnable in daylight, having our gunboats to sweep the ground in front and around them. At night you must guard against surprises by strong advance guards and pickets, and piles of wood, to which you can set fire on the approach of the enemy, to assist the fire of the fort and gunboats. If you can get tar-barrels and light-balls, do so by all means. I have just ordered Captain Adams to send you some from Memphis.

Should the enemy endeavor to command the river below you with their light

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