I ought to have siege guns, but in the absence of them I shall to-morrow might line the river banks above the town with narrow rifle pits and sink four pieces of rifled and Parrott batteries of single pieces between the pits. I this way I think we can hold our own along the shores against the gunboats and absolutely close the river to transports.
I shall to-morrow occupy strong position with my command, so as to support the rifle-pit batteries. I do not know if this will succeed, but it seems the best I can do without heavy artillery. The river is so high that the hulls of the gunboats are plainly visible, and their guns look over the bank, with a sweep at least a mile and a half. Stopped no small-arms of any kind at Commerce, and shall order them to Cairo if any are there. My regiments all came armed. If the gunboats leave here I take the works.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Saint Louis, March 3, 1862.
Brigadier-General SHERMAN and
Re-enforce General Pope at once with all available force from Bird's Point, Cairo, and Puducah. There is now no danger of an attack upon either of these places. Move a force on Oak Grove, to protect Pope's flank. I am sending down everything I can collect here. Re-enforce Pope with everything you can find. There must be no failure in his movements. Attack Columbus as soon as possible. Say to Commodore Foote that time now is everything.
H. W. HALLECK,
CAMP HALLECK, ARK., March 3, 1862.
Captain N. H. McLEAN,
Nothing important here. The main force of the enemy is still in Boston Mountains, gathering re-enforcements, as he says, to march against me. Since my list I have learned that he burned the mills and cotton factories at Can Hill and a large until 9 miles south of Fayetteville.
SAM. R. CURTIS,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE SOUTHWEST, Camp Halleck, March 3 1862.
Brigadier General FRANZ SIGEL,
GENERAL: Yours of this morning is duly received.* I shall remain here at Cross Hollow till you move around to Sugar Creek, when we must intrench ourselves. I hope your movement will secure a thorough knowledge of the country and roads passing around our Sugar