are temporarily attached to the First Division, as the Third Brigade, and will be commanded by Colonel W. E. Travis.
By command of Major-General Polk:
E. D. BLAKE,
Captain, C. S. Army, Actg. Asst. Adjt. General
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT,
October 24, 1861.
General JOHNSTON, Bowling Green, Ky.:
GENERAL: I have sent to McCulloch two Parrott guns and two smoothbore iron guns. They were asked for and forwarded through Broadwell, the Missouri agent. I have also sent two Parrott guns to Zollicoffer, to be added to a battery of one brass and three iron 6-pounders which were in the Cumberland Gap in charge of Churchills' regiment. The order to send them was accompanied with an order to send caissons also and harness for the whole battery, and to send the whole by the hands of a special agent. I think it right to say, as some of these guns have been sent also to General Buckner, that we had on of them to burst yesterday while firing, wounding slightly 1 or 2 men and so fracturing the arm of another as to make it necessary to have it amputated. I believe they were exploded by the free use of rifle powder instead of cannon. The charges put up were in powder of that description. The tests were made in Memphis and the guns seemed to stand well. I send your letters from Thompson; he seems to have had some successes, but he is reported, since these letters left him, to have had a reverse, in which he lost 800 men as prisoners and several pieces of cannon This last intelligence was given us by the flag of truce sent me yesterday in answer to one from me some days before, proposing an exchange of prisoners. The flag was borne by Buford (N. B.), whom you recollect as my classmate at West Point from Kentucky. He is colonel of the Twenty-seventh Illinois Regiment. He was very cordial, and talked freely of the war in general. They released all they had left, having released others before receiving my proposal, and I returned him those in my camp. I do not credit the story in regard to Thompson, as I have been informed since hearing it he was advised of the approach of the force which was said to have defeated him.
I am afraid you will to change your place of rendezvous established at Benton. It proves too wet, and I have directed Colonel C. H. Williams to make an examination of the country on the railroad farther south, say in the neighborhood of Jackson, for a better place. You shall know of his report. We are occasionally getting an accession of powder to our stores.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
COLUMBUS, KY., October 25, 1861.
General A. S. JOHNSTON, Bowling Green, Ky.:
GENERAL: You will see by the inclosed the state of things with Thompson.* My reply to him is, I have no regiments to send to him for the purpose he proposes. I have my hands full with what is immediately before me and around me. My advice to him, sent forward to-
*See report Numbers 16, operations October 12-25, about Ironton, &c., p. 225.