day dawns. Carry two days' cooked rations, the spaced, shovels, axes, and everything complete for service. Load your command on the steamboats as soon as possible and await further orders. IO will be down in person. Your supply of ammunition, over and above the full cartridge-boxes, you will have placed on one of the steamers, and when you disembark leave an officer in charge of it. Be prompt and up to time.
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
New Madrid, April 6, 1862.
Captain HENRY WALKE:
I am induced to believe, by the reports of General Granger and Colonel Smith, that you will be able to silence or take the upper batteries of the enemy on the opposite shore; I mean the batteries immediately opposite our batteries of 32s. Commodore Foote sends another boat down to-night. I design to attempt the crossing with my force to-morrow, and I desire, if it meet your views, that the two gunboats go down as soon as day dawns and silence the batteries specified and to hold on near the shore until the troops disembark. As soon as you start I will have the transports brought into the river and loaded with troops, which will cross the river and land near you as soon as the batteries are silenced. You will doubtless have to run close into them, and maintain your position so as to cover the whole ground in rear of the landing. Our batteries will be ordered to open as soon as day dawns and to keep up their fire vigorously until the object is accomplished. I can cross 3,500 men at a time. If you can thus silence those batteries in three hours or more we have the rebels opposite in our hands. Call on Colonel Bissell, who is in the intrenchments near you, and he will give you 32 and 64 pounder ammunition.
Respectfully, captain, your obedient servant,
NEW MADRID, April 6, 1862.
The second gunboat did not try to run the batteries last night; will probably be here to-night. I sent down the Carondelet with some officers to reconnoiter the opposite shore closely between here and Tiptonville. She unmasked five or six batteries along the shore, I think largely in consequence of my plan of getting transports to cross the river to take the enemy in rear having been published by the newspaper reporters of the flotilla. The emphasis for two weeks been kept advised of my plans and have lines the whole river bank with guns. To-morrow will determine whether we can dislodge a sufficient number to cross with any sort of security by the aid f gunboats, our floating battery, and our land batteries. The matter will be settled. Of course there will be no such thing as crossing in frail steamers in the face of heavy guns at all points of landing. I will telegraph you further to-night. The gunboats has not yet returned from below.