General Hardee, to join him in Kentucky. I have ordered them back to take charge of these guns and do the best we can with them. I hope they will get back by to-morrow night. I have sent a dispatch to General Thompson, wherever he may be in Missouri, to co-operate with me by marching upon the flank and rear of the enemy, and I have requested him to send my dispatch on to you at Columbus, as containing what I wish you to know. I write this to you via Memphis, so as to have two chances to reach you speedily. I have dispatched to every militia and volunteer officer throughout the counties and appeal to the people to rally to my support at once and from all quarters. It is only a question of time. If all to whom I have appealed come in due time we can beat the enemy, but if I am left alone with my little handful we can only die at our post, as we will do, but we cannot successfully resist such a disparity of force, at least ten to one, and with artillery.
Don't think I exaggerate or write under undue excitement. I and the little force I have here [which I repeatedly warned both General Hardee and General Johnston was wholly inadequate for either attack or defense], are resolved to die here alone, if no one comes to help us. To this I pledge myself, for I will never, while alive, retreat. My mind has long since been made up to that; but I do feel the deepest concern that, if we are permitted to fall here, the invasion of our State will be complete before any other help can come, and our homes and families will be overwhelmed with ruin. Those who for want of timely aid shall permit us thus to be sacrificed will reap a full harvest of self-reproach at least, if not of disgrace. I have ordered up all the boats in the river to take off supplies, sick, &c., but doubt whether they can get here in sufficient number or in time. You know best what to do.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully,
Major General POLK, at his Headquarters.
NOVEMBER 7, 1861.-Engagement at Belmont, Mo., and demonstration from Paducah upon Columbus, Ky.
No. 1.-Brigadier General U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, commanding District of
Southeast Missouri, and including operations against
Thompson's forces, with orders, &c.
No. 2.-Surg. J. H. Brinton, U. S. Army, Medical Director.
No. 3.-Commander Henry Walke, U. S. Navy.
No. 4.-Brigadier General John A. McClernand, U. S. Army, commanding
No. 5.-Colonel Napoleon B. Buford, Twenty-seventh Illinois Infantry.
No. 6.-Colonel Philip B. Fouke, Thirtieth Illinois Infantry.
No. 7.-Colonel John A. Logan, Thirty-first Illinois Infantry.
No. 8.-Captain Ezra Taylor, Battery B, First Illinois Light
No. 9.-Colonel Henry Dougherty, Twenty-second Illinois Infantry,
commanding Second Brigade.
No. 10.-Captain John E. Detrich, Twenty-second Illinois Infantry.
No. 11.-Colonel Jacob G. Lauman, Seventh Iowa Infantry.
No. 12.-Captain Benjamin Crabb, Seventh Iowa Infantry.
No. 13.-Brigadier General Charles F. Smith, U. S. Army, commanding at Paducah,
Ky., of demonstration upon Columbus, Ky.
*Of engagement at Belmont when not otherwise indicated.