OCTOBER 18, 1861. - Reconnaissance down the Mississippi River.
Numbers 1. - Brigadier General U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.
Numbers 2. - Commander H. Walke, U. S. Navy.
Numbers 1. Report of Brigadier General U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI,
Cairo, October 18, 1861.
CAPTAIN: By a secret agent sent by me to Columbus and New Madrid I have confirmation of the report that Hardee, with about 5,000 men, has joined Buckner. The same agent reports that Jeff. Thompson went north to join his force with Lowe's, and attack Ironton. At Columbus a new casemate battery has been erected, a new 84-pounder rifled gun brought to the upper end of the city, and a chain brought up to throw across the river to obstruct navigation. In view of these facts I ordered a reconnaissance with gun-boat to-day. Inclosed I send you report of the commander [No. 2.].
Whilst at New Madrid the same agent learned from General Watkins and others that the steamers Arago and Lake City are regularly in the employ of the South. Passengers, packages, and everything wanted South are sent aboard by Saint Louis agents, received without the authority of the provost-marshal or collector, shipped to Price's Landing, and there meet agents to conduct them to their destination. I would recommend that all boats other than those owned or chartered by Government be prohibited from navigating below Saint Louis. Let those be authorized to carry all legal freights, mails, passengers, &c., and Government receive the benefit.
In my report of last evening I expressed the desire to be allowed to visit Saint Louis and Springfield on business connected with this command. I now withdraw the request. The journey could not be performed, leaving any time for the transaction of business, under four days. I do not deem it prudent to be absent for this length of time.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
Captain CHAUNCEY McKEEVER,
Asst. Adjt. General, Western Dept., Saint Louis, Mo.
Numbers 2. Report of Commander H. Walke, U. S. Navy,
U. S. GUNBOAT TYLER,
Cairo, Ill., October 18, 1861.
GENERAL: Agreeably to your verbal instructions of this morning, I proceeded down the Mississippi to reconnoiter. When near the Iron Bank I threw a shell over the opposite point, rounded to, threw one shell each in Beckwith's and Hunter's corn fields. Could not discover