to the 10th of May. Should they leave before that time their animals would be badly broken down before reaching their destination, and it would require a long time in that country to recruit them. It has been found impossible to take any number of animals over the plains in fair condition before grass.
No provisions whatever has been made for the expedition south, which for 5,000 men will require about the same transportation and nearly the same supplies as the expedition to New Mexico.
If possible, the four companies of Missouri cavalry referred to by Major Price ought to be returned and kept on duty here. This would allow two mounted regiments for New Mexico; and as the impression here is that Sibley has already done all the harm there he can, the force sent out ought to be strong enough to overwhelm him, without reference to the troops under General Canby. From all the information I can obtain, I think Major Prince's recommendation is about correct. It might perhaps be as well to substitute Doubleday's for Mitchell's regiment, but that is not material, except as regards Hollister's battery.
Fearing you may have left Saint Louis, I send this by my aide, Lieutenant Broadhead, who will bring back your answer.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. W. DENVER,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
New Madrid, April 2, 1862.
I submit herewith two plans of crossing the river with his command, one of which will be adopted, as circumstances dictate:
First plan (without any assistance from Commodore Foote). The road down the bend runs nearly due east, and intersects the road from Island Numbers 10 to Tiptonville at right angles about midway between those places. This road leaves the river at Watson's Landing, 1 1/2 or 2 miles below the slough which makes the small island opposite this place. From Watson's Landing to Tiptonville, or Island Numbers 10, is 10 miles. I have thrown up a battery of four 32s, flanked by rifle pits for 1,000 men, immediately opposite Watson's Landing, or about 1 1/2 miles below the battery of two 24s thrown up some time since, to command the mouth of the slough. (See sketch I sent you). The enemy has thrown up batteries and rifle pits at Watson's landing, immediately opposite our battery of 32s. I am extending our batteries and rifle pits and firing frequently, so as to draw his attention as much as possible to that point and induce him to concentrate his opposition to our landing as much as possible at Watson's. As soon as everything is ready I shall tow over in the night to the shore of the small island immediately opposite to this place our floating battery, and drop it down along the shore until it enters the mouth of the slough, anchoring it half way across the slough and within 100 yards of the main shore, so that it will enfilade the bank of the river for a mile and a half below and completely cover the high land at the mouth of the slough. At daylight, having one whole division of four infantry regiments and a battery of artillery on board the boats, I shall commence to cross, landing at the mouth of the slough, every man with a spade to put himself at once into a rifle pit. Our 32s opposite Watson's Landing