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How long can I hold New Madrid with my small force against such odds, is a question.
I believe the enemy will soon be fifty thousand strong. . . . 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 spirit.
This communication aroused the greatest apprehension in General Beauregard's mind, as it confirmed his belief in General Mc-Cown's exaggerated fears of the dangers threatening his position.
Clearly, Napoleon's axiom—Confidence is half the battle—was not known to the commander at Madrid Bend. General Beauregard began to think it would be necessary to send a steadier officer to relieve him. Having but recently arrived in that military district, however, the direct command of which he had assumed only four days previously,
See order to that effect, as given in Chapter XVII. p. 249. and being, as yet, unacquainted with the subordinate commanders serving there, General Beauregard, who
her point farther down, telegraphed General Villepigue as follows:
Corinth, April 20th, 1862. Brigadier-General J. B. Villepigue, Comdg. works at Fort Pillow:
Release Captain D. B. Harris, and instruct him to repair to Vicksburg, where he will find orders in post-office.
By command of General Beauregard. Thomas Jordan, A. Adj.-Gen.
These orders ran thus:
Headquarters army of the Mississippi, Corinth, Miss., April 21st, 1862. Captain D. B. Harris, Chief-Engineer, Vicksburg, Miss.:
Captain,—Understanding that there are no points sufficiently high on the river, between Memphis and Vicksburg, which could be fortified for the defence of the Mississippi, I have concluded to construct some defensive works on the bluffs at or about Vicksburg, for which purpose you will make a careful reconnoissance of that locality.
From what I am told, I should think the bluffs immediately above that city, not far from where a small stream empties into the river, would be a proper