War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0829 Chapter XVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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work before it. I inclose a return* just furnished by the adjutant-general, so far as this post is concerned. I have only three regiments-Mississippi sixty-days' men-that might be looked to for support. These are at Union City, under the command of Brigadier-General Alcorn, armed with every description of fire-arms.

I within the last fortnight, under a call from General Johnston, felt obliged to send him between 4,000 and 5,000 men, which I could not well spare. I have called upon the Governors of the States below us for aid. The aid has not been furnished as the necessities of my position demand it. We shall, however, make the best defense our circumstances will allow.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT,

Columbus, Ky., January 12, 1862.

General A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON,

Commanding Western Department, Bowling Green, Ky.:

GENERAL: I think it proper to say to you that the preparations of the enemy which have been so long on foot for an attack on this place seem now to have been completed, and I am advised of his purpose to make that attack in the next three or four days.

Of the character of his preparations for an attack by water you will judge by the report of his force contained in the accompanying slip, which I am advised is reliable. I am also advised that he has concentrated a large force at and around Cairo for a land attack. This force is made up chiefly of that which has been occupied with General Price in Missouri, and which, since he has fallen back on Arkansas, they feel at liberty to withdraw. This land force is estimated at 40,000.

My information is that they intend to move on New Madrid with one column, on Union City, via Felician, with another, and on this place with a third; landing his troops in Puntney's Bend, on this side the river. This information I believe is reliable.

As to the force at my disposal I have kept you constantly advised. I have not failed to use every exertion practicable to have it strengthened by calls upon the Governors of the States below us and upon the General Government.

I regret to say that these calls have not been responded to as I desired or as the necessities of my position demanded; especially as it became necessary to detach a portion of my force to aid you in your recent emergency. As things now stand I have two regiments of infantry and two companies of artillery posted in a well-constructed closed work at New Madrid, mounting twelve guns. They are Arkansas troops.

Thompson's men have been disbanded and not yet re-enlisted. At Camp Beauregard I have about 1,000 cavalry; at Union City three regiments of sixty-days' men, under General Alcorn.

My own force at this place, you will see, amounts to about 12,800 men ready for duty. You will see we require support. If you could give it, it would be timely and acceptable.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK,

Major-General, Commanding.

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*Not found.

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