I regret, general, that my report is so incomplete; but necessarily so, all my notes and papers connected with my inspection having been stolen. All the statements in reference to the evacuation of New Madrid were lost with the others; but I derived from them the impression that our disastrous losses during that unfortunate night were owing principally to the want of proper system and the want of discipline among the troops.
I am, general, respectfully, yours,
E. D. BLAKE,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Acting Inspector-General, C. S. Army.
Major General LEONIDAS POLK,
Commanding First Corps, Army of the Mississippi.