War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0645 Chapter XVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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think the escape of the enemy nearly impossible. Certainly no baggage nor any sort of artillery or material of war can be carried off. My lower battery is 2 miles below Tiptonville, and commands the upper end of the overflowed lands on the east bank. It consists of two 24s and two 10-pounder Parrotts well supported. From this place around to the lower battery the shore is lined with heavy guns, 24s and 32s.

I shall anxiously await your reply, in which I hope you will let me know the draught of your smallest gunboat with and without guns. To cross this furious river, so wide that our batteries cannot cover the landing, in the face of an enemy with artillery, and on such frail vessels as we must use, is a very hazardous and difficult operation, only to be justified by the necessities of the case. Every means, therefore, must be taken to diminish the danger of any disaster and your gunboat will render matters greatly more safe. When once my force is on the other side I am a match for any enemy to be found there, in whatever numbers they are likely to have. Please communicate with me as soon as possible.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

JNO. POPE,

Major-General, Commanding.

NEW MADRID, March 27, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK:

Our canal progresses slowly but surely. Much difficulty has been met with sawing off trees below the water. It will require three days to get the boats through yet. I fear no gunboat can be brought, but I will speedily fit up one that will carry a heavy shell gun or two to cover our landing. Some delay is unavoidable, but I am confident of success. The enemy's gunboats keep very clear of us. I do not think it possible for the enemy to escape in transports from Tiptonville in the face of our heavy battery below. They cannot embark below Tiptonville, as the whole country is under water. Bragg is said to be at Island 10. Doubtful.

JNO. POPE,

Major-General.

NEW MADRID, March 27, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK:

Your dispatch of 24th received. Will take Island 10 within a week. Trust me. As Commodore Foote is unable to reduce and unwilling to run his gunboats past it, I would ask, as they belong to the United States, that he be directed to remove his crew from two fo them and turn over the boats to me. I will bring them here. I can get along without them, but will have several days' delay.

The railroad from Bird's Point to Sikeston under water, and route to Commerce impracticable from backwater of swamps. Troops could not be taken from here will river is open. I am confident of success, and shall carefully provide against any danger in crossing the river.

JNO. POPE,

Major-General.