from the Missouri shore. In case you should not be able to check his descent of the river and he should pass you, you will then have an open way to Union City, where, by sending a messenger forward and ordering up transportation, you can take the cars and proceed either to my support at Forts Pillow and Randolph, or you may fall back on memphis for its defense. if on the other hand you remain where you are to await him there and a reverse should befall you, you will have o base to fall back upon, and you will [be] deprived of the ability to aid me either rat the forts below or at Memphis.
My opinion therefore is, I retreat, that you cross the river forthwith and make Union City your base.
It has just occurred to me that you might also use the large wharf boat as a transport, having it towed, and it will hold at least 1,000 men. My opinion is that the men, ammunition, and arms should be transported first.
In case the enemy should (which I bey no means anticipate) have disappeared in the morning, my counsel is nevertheless the same. And I hope you will in that care certainly send Colonel McCown's brigade to occupy and fortify the island and the shore on the Tennessee side as I have indicated. Captain Gary is sent with this dispatch ad is charged with the selection d supervision of the point to be occupied. You should send an express to General Clark, and let me hear form you as promptly and as often as possible.
C. S. STEAMER MOHAWK,
New Madrid Bend, August 15, 1861.
The following are the views of Captain Gray of his examination of Island Numbers 10 Bend, made August 14, 1861:
That it is a strong position naturally for erecting works to defend the passage of the Mississippi River: that a series of earthworks would be necessary, and all the martial required would be convenient and made available without delay; that there should be a bastion earthwork upon the mainland, and upon Island Numbers 10 a redoubt inclosed to hold 1,000 men; that at point say three-quarters of a mile above the mainland work, and on the same side of the river, a redan earthwork should be thrown up immediately, and a couple of 12-ponders or two 32-pounders, if at hand, place din position; also a battery of horse artillery, with a regiment or troop (part horse and part infantry) encamped at he redan pieces in defending the landing or to be moved along the bank of the river, as ought be required. The redan can be throw up of earth and the guns mounted en barbette in a very little while. This battery would effectually prevent the landing of troops and artillery of the, enemy, should they attempt to take possession of the neck of land for the purpose of cutting of communication with new madrid by water, and also the communication by road to Union City.
An accurate survey should be at once mad of Island Numbers 10 and the mainland on the left bank on Tennessee side, for the purpose of erecting the earthwork referred to.
With these three batteries a most powerful, concentrated, raking as well as plunging fire could be kept up upon boats of any character coming down the river, and at a distance from each battery from