its instructions commenced my return with my command to Bowling Green on the morning of the 26th, having detached the cavalry company to Russellville, with the proper orders.
Owing to the weather and the condition of the roads the progress of the progress of the command is necessarily slow. I hope, however, to reach Bowling Green to-morrow evening.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,
Brigadier General, Commanding 1st Ky. Brigadier, 2nd Div., Central Column.
COLUMBUS, November 28, 1861.
The following are extracts from dispatches I have received to-day-the first from General Frost, at Saint Louis, the second from friend in Paducah:
The enemy intend to make an attack on Columbus in twenty days, with a force of from 75,000 to 100,000 men. If you can repulse them, it will have a better effect than a defeat on the Potomac. There has been shipped from Saint Louis to Cairo a large amount of cannon and ammunition. In Saint Louis there [are] eight mortar boats and eight gunboats.
They say when they do move on Columbus they expect to surround you and starve you into submission. I heard a responsible gentleman, who is perfectly acquainted with affairs in Paducah and Cairo, say that it is the calculation publicly expressed among the officers at Cairo.
These extracts shadow forth correctly their plans. Every effort should be made to prepare a strong force to meet him on my right and rear. No time should be lost.
GID. J. PILLOW,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF MISSISSIPPI,
Ordnance Office, Jackson, Miss., November 13, 1861.
Major General LEONIDAS POLK:
DEAR GENERAL: I have just returned from Vicksburg, where I was ordered to inspect our fortifications and report their condition, and also to recommend the construction of such other works as are necessary for the defense of that point against the threatened descent of our enemy by the river to New Orleans.
I was compelled to report that I think it impossible to defend Vicksburg by any works we can construct on the left bank of the river unaided by fortifications on the Louisiana side. I have therefore written to Governor Moore (by authority of Governor Pettus), indicating the points necessary to be fortified on the right bank.
Unless fortifications are erected on the Arkansas side opposite those on the Tennessee shore, the Yankee armada can descend by Memphis. Batteries on the banks will hardly be able, even with a heavy converging fire from both banks, to arrest the passage of steamers and floating iron-clad batteries without the assistance of booms or other obstructions in the channel to hold them in check and under fire for a considerable length of time.