War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0304 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

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him, any reasonable cause, and to which he attributes in great degree the military improprieties and disorders by which the return march of your command is said to have been characterized. He instructs me to add that it is his intention to ask for a legal investigation to see how far your conduct can be justified.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOS. J. NEWSHAM,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 14. Reports of Major General Leonidas Polk, C. S. Army, commanding at Columbus, Ky., with congratulatory messages and orders, correspondence, and the thanks of the Confederate Congress.

COLUMBUS, November 8, 1861.

General JOHNSTON:

I telegraphed you last night as to the battle fought yesterday and gave the principal events. As no acknowledgment has been received, fear it was not received. I have caused another to be sent. Enemy intended to attack from both sides, but from some causes failed. They have a flag here to-day to bury their dead, and admit they were badly whipped. I will send official report so soon as returns are in. Enemy at Milburn last night 7,000 strong.

L. POLK,

Major-General.

COLUMBUS, KY., November 8, 1861.

His Excellency President DAVIS:

Battle of Belmont, opposite Columbus. Fight began at 11, and lasted till 5 o'clock. General Pillow, with Tappan's, Wright's, Pickett's and Russell's regiments, numbering 2,500 men, attacked by 8,000 under Grant, McClernand, and Buford. Till 1 o'clock alternations of successes and reverses; then re-enforced successively by Walker's, Carroll's, and Marks' regiments, under Cheatham, Pillow ordered flank movement, which was made, supported by Smith's and Blythe's regiments, under the immediate command of General Polk. The enemy fled, and were pursued to gunboats. A complete rout-roads filled with dead, wounded, guns, ammunition, knapsacks-seven miles to transport; and gunboats attacked by sharpshooters. Cables cut. Precipitate embarkation. Watson's battery, under Beltzhoover, immortalized; captured and retaken. Our loss heavy; less than enemy's. Have 90 prisoners. Enemy's loss 400 or 500. General Grant reported killed. We recaptured most of our men taken.

L. POLK,

BOWLING GREEN, November 8, 1861.

General COOPER:

The following dispatch I have just received from General Polk:

COLUMBUS, November 7, 1861.

The enemy came down on the other side of the river at 8.30 to-day, 7,500 strong, landed under cover of gunboats, and attacked Colonel Tappan's camp. I sent over three