War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0644 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T.

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go down to that route or you will come up to mine. We can hear the guns at New Madrid.

Yours, respectfully,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Pitman's Ferry, August 12, 1861.

Major-General POLK,

Commanding Department Numbers 2, Memphis, Tenn.:

GENERAL: I received your dispatch to-day of the 8th while on my way to this place. I immediately sent an express back to Greenville, informing the commanding officer of the change of programme, enjoined renewed vigilance, but expressed a determination to hold on to what we had until drive back. This evening I was rejoiced to get your dispatch of the 9th, in which you inform me that you have directed General Pillow to abandon New Madrid and to march out and join me. Our united forces offer hopes of accomplishing results of which you may be proud. I shall send forward the remainder of my force with all possible haste. I need the wagons which I am happy to hear that Colonel Cross is bringing forward. I cannot count on more than 4,000 effective men. Do urge the President to send some arms for the new levies in Arkansas. We need reserves here to fall back upon the case of disaster, and particularly to supply the casualties incident to war. I have not yet received any of my supplies. I inclose copy of my letter sent to you yesterday by express to New Madrid, but which you may not receive. My advance, you will perceive, is 90 miles in advance of this place.

With high respect, your obedient servant,




New Madrid, August 12, 1861.

[General POLK:]

GENERAL: My forces are organized for the advance, and I am only detained for want of transportation. Thompson, under my orders, has crossed the country, and to-day reached Sikeston, and I have ordered up to his position and support Colonel Walker's regiment and Missouri cavalry, and probably a portion of my own cavalry will go up to-morrow. Colonel McCown is placed in command of one of my brigades, and I cannot let him go back. You remember that the want of a competent brigade commander was one of my troubles in accepting the service upon which I am now ordered, and was explained to you as a serious embarrassment; and the matter was settled by the appointment or order to place McCown in the command of one brigade. This is an order that you must not insist upon; it will break up my organization and cripple me so that I could not go forward at all.

If Bowen's regiment is not armed it will do me no good, as I am unable to arm it. You ought to give me the strength necessary to make my movement a brilliant success. A vigorous blow now will relieve Missouri and add greatly to the prestige of Southern arms already established.