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[560]

If driven from your post, guns will be spiked; also a shot driven in each, or load and wedge in shell, fuse down, so that gun will burst.

Even if Federal gunboats pass your batteries, transports cannot, so long as batteries are held and bravely worked. Nor can enemy's army cross river; but few would be crossed by gunboats; those can be easily repulsed by resolute attack. Post must be held, if possible for men to do it.


The General approves your dispositions for defence of Madrid Bend and Island No.10, but wishes you to resume the command there. It is said some of your transports were left at Madrid Bend; if so, how many? They must never fall in enemy's hands. Some of them might be sunk to obstruct channel near Missouri shore.


May not enemy really mean to operate on Purdy and Bethel. We must draw him into an engagement before he can bring up more of his forces. Must get accurate hourly information of his movements. Three regiments from Madrid Bend will be with you in season, if transportation meets them at Bethel. Keep sharp lookout on Bethel and Purdy.


Too late for movement on New Madrid, which is in possession of enemy; but if, at any time, you can join your forces with mine, it will be best to do so.


Steamer Prince, six miles below Tiptonville, March 20th, 1 P. M.
Col. T. Jordan:
Colonel,—I could not get to Tipton by the route I tried this morning. I shall try the swamp in the morning. I shall try to open communication by laud; have not heard from General Walker to-day. I shall also try to put boats at the ford or fords on the lake. I fear the result. Put Fort Pillow to fighting order and reinforce me if you can.


Even if enemy effect crossing—scarcely probable—you can still defend position of batteries for many days with proper detached field-works in their rear. The country looks to you for a determined defence of your position. Meanwhile,


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