War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0168 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

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from the fort to the boat. My first effort, however, was to get the guns on board. After we has succeeded in getting two of them to the river a terrible and almost unprecedented storm came up, and rendered it impossible to remove the others. The mud and water soon became so deep as to render the road to the river next to impossible. I then directed the removal of all the stores of every kind that could be placed on board.

In this we were kindly aided by assistance furnished us by the officers of the gunboats Lady Polk and Livingston. The difficulty in getting aboard the boats was very great and consumed much time, but created no confusion, everything being placed on the boats that they could carry. I then ordered the men to embark. To assure myself that all were on board I went around the rifle pits to the picket stand in front of the fort, through the fort, and to such tents and had lights in them, and returning, reported to General Stewart the fact above, and obtained permission to come on board myself.

The evacuation was conducted and accomplished in good order. With the aid of transports we could have succeeded in bringing off our tents, camp equipage, wagons, and teams; but the bringing of transports, and it already garrisoned, could not have been mistaken by the enemy. The undertaking of an evacuation in sight and hearing of overwhelming numbers, hazardous and delicate in itself, might, I feel safe in saying, have been defeated by the bringing of transports; or, if not defeated, accompanied with great destruction of life and the entire loss of our stores and other property. As it is, we have succeeded in saving our military stores, small-arms, and the clothing and baggage of the soldiers. The guns in the fort were spiked, and the carriages of most of them cut and left behind. It was utterly impossible to save them. Except them, our loss is trifling.

Our loss in killed was 2, wounded 1, and missing 13. These last are principally from the Eleventh Arkansas Regiment, who left the rifle pits during the storm, and, seeking shelter near some of the unoccupied tents, fell asleep and were left behind. We had no means of ascertaining the enemy's loss. Ambulances were seen several times to go and return from their batteries.

Too much praise cannot be awarded your brave soldiers of this command, who, worn down with fourteen days and nights of toil and watching in the face of an enemy numbering twenty to one, in the midst of a terrible storm, and though mud, rain, and cold, worked patiently and perseveringly to save our stores from the enemy, preserving the best of order and discipline, and leaving reluctantly and suddenly a place they had pledged themselves to each other and their immediate commanding officers to hold or perish in the attempt.

I am, general, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Third Brigade.

Major General JOHN P. McCOWAN, Commanding.

ATLANTA, GA., August 27, 1862.

Major-General POLK, Chattanooga, Tenn.:

DEAR SIR: For more detailed account of my course and conduct at and during the evacuation of New Madrid I beg leave to refer you to Captain Hatcher, who is now, I am told, on General Stewart's staff. He