War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0357 Chapter X. ENGAGEMENT AT BELMONT, MO., ETC.

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kept us posted every few minutes. I lost 12 men killed, 45 wounded, and 25 missing.

The bearing and conduct of my officers and men, with scarcely an exception, is worthy of commendation. Although they were under a heavy fire for several hours they bore themselves gallantly, executing every order with coolness and without confusion. I would state that cavalry pickets were posted every night by my orders on the only two roads leading to the encampment, at a distance of from 2 1/2 to 4 miles.

The night preceding the attack the pickets were out a their stations as usual and came in after light, after which time the enemy landed their boats. It was not necessary to keep out cavalry pickets during the day, from the flack that a view of the river and opposite country is so extensive from Columbus that I could have been more readily advised of the approach of the enemy from headquarters than by our pickets; as in this case we had sufficient notice of their approach from yourself.

I have to report the capture of 130 guns, which ave been turned over to the proper department.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. C. TAPPAN,

Colonel Thirteenth Regiment Arkansas Volunteers.

Major-General L. POLK,

Commanding.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT,

Columbus, Ky., February 22, 1862.

Colonel TAPPAN,

Thirteenth Arkansas Regiment:

DEAR SIR: Will you please in writing reply to the inquiries I made of you in our conversation yesterday? The points I desire to have replied to especially are:

1st. As to the time you got into line of battle on the morning of the 7th November.

2nd. How long after that was it that the general line of all the troops engaged was formed?

3rd. How long after the formation of this general line before the battle began?

4th. Did you receive orders to make more than one charge during the time your regiment was under the command of General Pillow?

5th. Was that charge made because you were out of ammunition?

6th. Did your regiment in that charge reach the position occupied by the enemy? If not, how far short did it halt?

7th. Were you out of ammunition during the day; and what is your opinion of the judiciousness of the line of battle chosen?

Your answers to the above questions, with any other statements you may think it proper to make, so as to give a correct history of the events of that battle, will serve the cause of truth and oblige,

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS,

Columbus, Ky., February 27, 1862.

DEAR SIR: Your favor has been received. In reply I would state that my regiment was placed in line of battle on the morning of November