The river has now commenced falling, and often falls from 5 to 6 feet in twenty-four hours. If it runs down rapidly, as I hope it will from the cold weather, we will not be attacked this rise; before another rise I will have the works safe. This position can be made stronger than Columbus now by water if we had more heavy artillery; the great advantage it has is in the narrowness of the stream and the necessity of the boats approaching our works by straight and narrow channel for 1 1/2 miles. No more than three boats could possibly bring their guns to act upon our position at once. This makes the field of fire required for the guns so very narrow, that it admits of the construction of very narrow embrasures, which we are now constructing. We ought to have two more heavy guns; the works are ready for them, and if the enemy gives me time I will order two 42-pounder guns from Clarksville, with the approval of General Johnston.
I refer to my letter to General Floyd for fuller information.
GID. J. PILLOW,
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS FORT DONELSON,
February 10, 1862.
I am apprehensive, from the large accumulations of the enemy's forces in the neighborhood of Fort Henry, that he will attempt to cross the country south of my position and cut my communication by river, thus depriving me of supplies from above. The country south of me is exceedingly broken and rugged, so much so as to be nearly impracticable for a march, but they may possibly make it passable. His difficulty will be in procuring supplies for his forces, which is one almost, if not altogether, insurmountable. I think that is my safety.
The conflict yesterday between our cavalry and that of the enemy resulted in 3 of ours wounded and 20 taken prisoners by being thrown from their horses and in 3 of the enemy killed and 6 mortally wounded. Three of their gunboats have gone up Tennessee River above the bridge. The steamer Eastport, which we were converting into a gunboat, was burned and sunk, as was the steamer Sam. Or, by our friends, to keep them from falling into the hands of the enemy. They have destroyed the high trestle work on the west bank of Tennessee River, but have not damaged the bridge.
I am pushing the work on my river batteries day and night; also on my field works and defensive line in the rear. In a week's time, if I am allowed that much, I will try very to make my batteries bomb-proof. I am now raising the parapets and strengthening them. I got my heavy rifle gun, 32-pounder, and my 10-inch columbiad in position to-day, and tried them and the other guns in battery. The trial was most satisfactory. I need two additional heavy huns very much, and if I am not engaged by the enemy in three or four days I shall apply for the 42-pounders at Clarksville.
It is certain that if I cannot hold this place, the two 42-pounders at Clarksville will not arrest his movement by Clarksville. Upon one thing you may rest assured, viz, that I will never surrender the position, and with God's help I mean to maintain it.
I send up the Hillman for a boat load of flour and meat. Let her bring a full load. You will please give orders accordingly to the com-