War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0620 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

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you had perhaps best send him this letter. He had best be careful in approaching this place, in case he gets past the battery, and display a white flag some distance off.

I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. POPE,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

New Madrid, March 17, 1862.

General PALMER:

On no account permit the 24-pounder gun to be fired at Point Pleasant. You will defeat my whole object by letting the enemy know the gun is there. I was surprised to learn from Colonel Bissell that you had thought even of firing it at gunboats or any other boats. Once for all, my object is to establish this heavy battery, without the knowledge of the enemy, at a point below or nearly opposite Tiptonville, so as to command the place where troops can be shipped. By getting the guns quietly into position near the lower Riddle farm to-night the gunboats will be above you and can be dealt with. The transports lying there can be destroyed at daylight, before they can get our of the way. If you fire the 24-pounder at Point Pleasant my whole purpose is defeated.

I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. POPE,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

NEW MADRID, March 17 (via Cairo, 18), 1862.

Major-General HALLECK:

Commodore Foote arrived near Island Numbers 10 at 12 m. on 15th. Have heard no bombardment nor anything of him since island was being evacuated, on the 15th, by the few troops there. I have no means to cross the river, or I could intercept all the troops which left here and the island. They are trying to get off in steamers 4 miles below Point Pleasant and opposite. I occupied a point 5 miles below Point Pleasant, immediately opposite the beginning of the swamps, on the east side of the river with four regiments and two 24-pounder guns, last night. As the movement was secret and was made in the night we shall undoubtedly cut off some of their gunboats, which are opposite and above Point Pleasant, and prevent any shipment of troops down the river.

With some transports to pass round the swamps I can move down the river, flanking and forcing the evacuation of any batteries that they may have on the river.

JNO. POPE,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

UNITED STATES FLAG-SHIP BENTON,

March 17, 1862.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Commanding Department of Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.:

GENERAL: Leaving Cairo on the 14th instant with seven iron-clad gunboats and ten mortar boats, and being joined at Columbus on the