War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0642 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T.

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fully intending to co-operate cordially in my operations and to carry out his part of the programme. The same night he received a peremptory order from Governor Jackson to repair forthwith to New Madrid to assist General Pillow in his operations against General Fremont. As the general felt compelled to obey, and being too weak without his assistance to make the attack, I have been compelled to defer making an advance until I get re-enforcements from below or General Pillow joins me. I have had no information from that officer for several days. I feel anxious to know what is going on at New Madrid, and what are his plans. I have ordered the occupation of Fredericktown, 40 miles in advance of this place, with 600 Missourians, under Colonel Lowe, and 250 mounted Arkansans, the whole under command of Colonel Borland. I have directed this officer to seize all the lead at mine a la Matte, to send it to this place for transportation to Pitman's Ferry. I have also directed the same officer to send out a party of mounted men, and at all hazards to cut the communication between Ironton and Saint Louis. I shall leave to-day for Pitman's Ferry, via Pocahontas, to look after the troops and supplies in that direction. I am much embarrassed for want of transportation for my command. I hope you are affording Colonel Cross every facility in obtaining the 50 teams I sent him for. As I do not wish to send more letters absolutely necessary by my courier, I will thank you to send this letter or a copy of it to General S. Cooper, adjutant-general.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




New Madrid, August 11, 1861.

[General POLK:]

GENERAL: I write on board the steamer Kennett, returning to Madrid, under your orders received last night. I had embarked my whole force and had started down all my boats but three before the dispatch was received. Upon its reception I dropped down to Point Pleasant, and sent down the Mohawk to overtake and order back all my transports; three of my boats were overhauled and are now [on] the return with me; the others were far ahead and may not return before to-morrow.

My object in going to Point Pleasant was to inform myself thoroughly of the condition of that road, and to take my departure as early as possible upon the visit indicated in your dispatch. The road has 6 miles of trestle bridge. The sills are rotten, the plank broken and full of holes, and so rotten that it is impossible to move my trains of wagons and artillery over it. This information I obtained from Colonel Walker, who commands a regiment of Missouri troops, and lay out at the west end of that road three months of the summer. I am satisfied that I cannot pass over that road, and I am also satisfied I can pass Cape Girardeau on mu right, and unite my force with Hardee and Thompson by a fine road, affording plenty of well water and of forage for my animals.

Your dispatch directs me to abandon this place as a base and unite with Hardee. That I will do, and avoid the enemy in force on my right. In this I understand myself as complying with your instructions. I want my transports, of which you speak, and my subsistence to come forward to this place. The positions of Pocahontas and Gutman's [Pitman's?] Ferry are too far south for me to reach them with the transportation of