scuttled and turned adrift, with all her guns aboard. She was captured and run aground in shoal water by our forces at New Madrid.
Our success is complete and overwhelming. Our troops, as I expected, behaved gloriously. I will in my full report endeavor to do full justice to all.
Brigadier-General Paine, Stanley, and Hamilton crossed the river and conducted their divisions with untiring activity and skill. I am especially indebted to them.
General Paine, fortunate in having the advance, exhibited unusual vigor and courage, and had the satisfaction to receive the surrender of the enemy.
Of Colonel Bissell, Engineer Regiment, I can hardly say too much. Full of resource, untiring and determined, he labored night and day, and completed work which will be a monument of enterprise and skill.
We have crossed this great river with a large army, the banks of which were lined with batteries of the enemy to oppose our passage; have perused and captured all his forces and material of war, and have not lost a man nor met with an accident.
JNO. POPE, Major-General.
Preface to report of Brigadier General John Pope of operations which resulted in the capture of New Madrid.*
At this time the rebel armies in the West occupied a line of fortified positions from Bowling Green to Columbus, Ky. This line was broken by General Grant at Forts Henry and Donelson by the 16th of February, 1862. His operations compelled the evacuation of columbus, on the east bank of the Mississippi River, which place, though strongly fortified, was turned by the advance of Grant Up the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. This result had been for some time foreseen by the rebel generals, and General Beauregard, who had been assigned to command, selected Island Numbers 10, 60 miles below Columbus, as the strong place where the possession of the Mississippi River was first to be contested. The place was strongly fortified, mounted with 150 pieces of heavy artillery, and garrisoned by about 9,000 men. I do not mean that the island itself contained this garrison and these guns, but that they were disposed in the system of defenses for the island, on and around it, on both banks of the Mississippi River.
New Madrid was manifestly the weak point of this system, and against that place our first operations were to be directed.
I was recalled to Saint Louis from Central Missouri on the 14th of February, 1862, and on the 18th General Halleck pointed out tome the situation at New Madrid and Island Numbers 10, and directed me to organize and command a force for their reduction.
On the 19th I left Saint Louis for Cairo, Ill, which was then believed to be threatened from Columbus, with orders to assume command at that place is case any movement against it was made by the enemy, but as soon as apprehension of such a movement was at an end to proceed with my operations against New Madrid.
On the 21st of February, finding that the fear of an advance upon Cairo was groundless, I left that place on a steamboat, with a guard of
*This was the preface to copy of the report submitted by General People to the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War.