War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0619 Chapter XVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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CAIRO, ILL., March 17, 1862.

Lieutenant H. A. WISE,

Bureau Ordnance and Hydrography:

Dispatch received from squadron 3 o'clock last night. We have had some beautiful practice to-day with rifles at their upper battery. Mortars firing also. No special result. Rebels very strong. Hard for us to get at them. The upper battery about 2 miles above Numbers 10, on Kentucky shore. General Pope's guns at New Madrid command the river, preventing rebel gunboats and transports from passing, they being between New Madrid and Island Numbers 10.

A. M. PENNOCK,

For Flag-Officer Foote.

CAIRO, March 17, 1862.

General HALLECK:

Expedition heard from up to 5 o'clock last evening. The Benton, with her two stern guns, and eight mortar boats were attacking first fort on the Kentucky shore, 2 miles above Island Numbers 10. Enemy driven out several times, but returned. His fort reduced. More extended operations will be undertaken this morning. Fortifications on Kentucky and Tennessee shore extend 2 miles, strongly fortified, and enemy in large force. General Pope had sent message to flag-officer that his heavy guns command the river from New Madrid, so that neither steamers nor gunboats of the enemy can escape by the river.

WM. K. STRONG,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

New Madrid, March 17, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK:

Your dispatch of this date received. Will take immediate steps to obey your instructions. Thinks I shall get up with less trouble than you suppose. River blockaded by heavy guns here, between here and Point Pleasant and 5 miles below Point Pleasant. Have caught six large transports and five gunboats above my lower battery of heavy guns, which will be ours or destroyed. Very few troops on Island Numbers 10; all on main-land. My spies opposite Island Numbers 10 reported to me yesterday and day before that enemy were leaving island for main-land, which led me to believe that they were evacuating.

JNO. POPE,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

New Madrid, March 17, 1862.

General CULLUM:

If Commodore Foote can run past the batteries of Island Numbers 10 with two or three gunboats and reach here I can cross my whole force and capture every man of the enemy at Island Numbers 10 and on the main-land. I shall send a messenger to him suggesting it; but for fear of accident