round shot from their heavy guns. Colonel Plummer marched with all speed, and after some cannonading from gunboats which he found there he succeeded in making a lodgment, constructing his batteries and rifle pits, and occupying them in sufficient force to maintain them against any open assault. After repeated and persistent cannonading from the gunboats the enemy found it impossible to dislodge him, and he maintained obstinately his position and the blockade of the river to transports during the whole of our operations. Meantime the enemy continued every day to re-enforce New Madrid from Island Numbers 10, until, on the 12th, they had 9,000 infantry, besides a considerable force of artillery and nine gunboats. The fleet was commanded by Commodore Hollins; the land forces by Generals McCown, Stewart, and Gantt.
On the 11th the siege guns were delivered to Colonel Bissell, Engineer Regiment, who had been sent to Cairo for the purpose. They were at once shipped to Sikeston; reached here at sunset on the 12th; were placed in battery during the same night within 800 yards of the enemy's main work, so as to command that and the river above it, and opened fire at daylight on the 13th, just 34 hours after they were received at Cairo. One brigade, consisting of the Tenth and Sixteenth Illinois, under Colonel Morgan, of the Tenth, was detailed to cover the construction of the battery and to work in the trenches. They were supported by Stanley's division, consisting of the Twenty-seventh and Thirty-ninth Ohio, under colonel Groesbeck, and the Forty-third and Sixty-third Ohio, under Colonel Smith. Captain Mower, First United States Infantry, with Companies A and H of his regiment, was placed in charge of the siege guns. The enemy's pickets and rand guards were driven in by Colonel Morgan from the ground selected for the battery without firing a shot, although the enemy fired several volleys of musketry. The work was prosecuted in silence and with the utmost rapidity, until at 3 a. m. two small redoubts, connected by a curtain and mounting the four heavy guns which had been sent me, were completed, together with rifle pits in front and on the flanks for two regiments of infantry.
Our batteries opened as soon as the day dawned, and were replied to in front and on the flanks by the whole of the enemy's heavy artillery on land and water. As our supply of ammunition for heavy artillery was very limited, I directed Captain Mower to fire only occasionally at the enemy's land batteries, and to concentrate all his fire upon the gunboats. Our guns were served by Captain Mower with vigor and skill, and in a few hours disabled several of the gunboats and dismounted three of the heavy guns in the enemy's main work. Shortly after our batteries opened one of the 24-pounder guns was struck in the muzzle by a round shot from the enemy's batteries and disabled. The cannonading was continued furiously all day by the gunboats and land batteries of the enemy, but without producing any impression upon us. Meantime during the whole day our trenches were being extended and advanced, as it was my purpose to push forward our heavy batteries in the course of the night to the bank of the river. While the cannonade was thus going on our right I instructed General Paine to make a demonstration against the intrenchments on our left, and supported his movement by Palmer's division. The enemy pickets and grand guards were driven into his intrenchments and the skirmishers forced their way close to the main ditch.
A furious thunder-storm began to rage about 11 o'clock that night and continued almost without intermission until morning. Just before daylight General Stanley was relieved in the trenches with his division