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[556] front as nearly impregnable as your means will permit, and looking carefully to timely provision for the caving in of the river shore, so as to avoid, if possible, either loss of guns, or a substantial diminution, at any time, of our powers of defence on that line or front.

Erect substantial traverses in abundance. The General is particularly anxious that this shall be done.

You may dispense with any abatis on the Missouri shore at present.

The lunette, at a salient work at New Madrid, may also be relinquished, as the gunboats appear able to cover the front effectively, and to keep off the enemy.

A special messenger will be sent to Memphis to procure the tools you call for, and additional laborers will be sent you, if practicable.

Our forces are being concentrated rapidly to meet the enemy landing from the Tennessee River, nearly opposite Savannah; and we hope to throw there a force competent to beat them decisively. If so, then a relief force will be thrown into New Madrid with the utmost celerity, and the enemy may find himself in our toils. Meantime, the General confidently relies on your sagacity, industry, and energy to render the position of Island No.10, and the mainland, impregnable to any means of attack the enemy may be able to wield against us.

Show this communication to General McCown.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

Thomas Jordan, A. Adj.-Genl.

Headquarters army of the Mississippi, Jackson, Tenn., March 15th, 1862.
Brig.-Genl. John P. McCown, Comdg. Madrid Bend:
General,—The general commanding fully approves the projected evacuation of your position of New Madrid, and trusts that it has already been safely accomplished, if determined upon.

That step determines an immediate reduction of your force to the artillery necessary to the efficient service of the batteries at Island No.10 and Madrid Bend, with an infantry support and reserve of three regiments, under the command of Brigadier-General Walker, to whom you will assign the command and honor of defending that Thermopylae of the Mississippi Valley. You will also leave a light battery of six guns. It is suggested that one of the infantry regiments shall be stationed on Island No.10, the other two on the mainland; two of the light guns, also, to be with the troops on the island.

General Trudeau will remain with General Walker in charge of the batteries, as Chief of Artillery; and, from his past distinguished services and skill, the General confidently expects the guns will be served with all possible efficiency and honor to the country.

The remainder of your command you will withdraw to Fort Pillow, with all possible celerity, by water, from Tiptonville, where ample transportation will be sent you. Should an unforeseen casualty, however, leave you unprovided with sufficient transports for all your troops at once, you will send as many as practicable to Fort Pillow, with orders that the transports shall return for the remainder


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