I have waived my resignation,* as Davis seems very much opposed to it, and shall endeavor to do my duty.
I remain, very truly, your friend,
[General A. S. JOHNSTON.]
P. S. - Could you not, in a private way, let me know of the strength of your force, and as far as it is safe let me hear some idea of your plans. It might be of material consequence to the success of my own operations. Any suggestions you may have to make I shall be pleased to receive. I have, under the authority of the Secretary of the Navy, bought the steamer Eastport, and [am] now having her converted into a gunboat on the Tennessee River; the work will be done above the bridge. I am also contracting for another boat on the Cumberland, to be converted into aa gunboat at Nashville.
I shall have the whole of Hollin's fleet here in a day or two, and when the land force shall be in position I shall be governed by circumstances.
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT,
Columbus, Ky., November 10, 1861.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the army under my command in the battle of the 7th:
From information received from several sources I had reason to believe it was the intention of the enemy to attack my position at this place at an early day provision to meet which was made accordingly. Between 2 and 3 o'clock on the morning of the 7th a courier arrived at my headquarters informing me of the movement of a strong force designed to attack General Thompson's position at Bloomfield and New Madrid. When, therefore, I was informed shortly after daybreak, through a member of my staff, that the enemy had made his appearance in the river with gunboats and transports, and was landing a considerable force on the Missouri shore, 5 or 6 miles, from Belmont, I became satisfied, it was his intention to make the attack general. I dispatched immediately messengers to the general officers of division to inform them of my impressions and the position of affairs, with instructions to make such disposition of their commands as the emergency required.
The same information was conveyed to Colonel Tappan, who was in command of the force at Belmont. To General Pillow, whose division was nearest the point immediately threatened, I gave orders in person to move immediately to the relief of Colonel Tappan with four of his regiments. For this service he detailed Colonel Russell's, Colonel Wright's, Colonel Pickett's, and Colonel Freeman's regiments of Tennessee volunteers. These, with Colonel Tappan's Thirteenth Arkansas, Captain Beltzhoover's Watson Battery, and a squadron of Lieutenant-Colonel Miller's battalion of cavalry, composing the force on the other side, were deemed sufficient to resist the column reported to have landed. Having an adequate number of steamers at the landing, this order was promptly executed.
My attention was then directed to the proper distribution of the forces for receiving an attack on the Columbus side of the river. Having
*Tendered November 6, 1861. See Chapter XII, Vol. IV, of this series.