War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0707 Chapter XVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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tice, which may have the effect to demoralize green troops. The want of experienced officers seems to be felt in the garrison.

Fort Pillow is a place of much greater natural strength than Columbus, and the batteries are well constructed and well located. Some sixty guns can be brought to bear on almost any point of the river within range.

I did not see the works on the land front, but was informed that they were well placed and very extensive, requiring a large garrison. The present garrison of Fort Pillow is insufficient to man the guns on the river front for any protracted engagement.

I look upon this place as one of great importance. Should boats be able to get past Columbus they could be very effectually stopped here. It is not so much exposed, or at least the main batteries are not, to a mortar fire, and it would form an excellent rallying point to any troops that might meet with a reverse in front. It ought to be commanded by an experienced and scientific officer and kept well provisioned.

With regard to affairs in Missouri, General Price has advanced toward Sedalia and issued a proclamation calling for 50,000 men. It is supposed that he will obtain them. If he does, he ought of course to make a demonstration toward Saint Louis, in order to retain there as much as possible of Halleck's force, and at the same time he ought by all means to attack and take Fort Leavenworth, which contains supplies of every kind sufficient to winter his army, and which are estimated by those who transported them to be worth &8,000,000. Having taken Fort Leavenworth, and destroyed the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad before he did so, he could then with that force sweep down through Kansas and exterminate the jayhawking bands of Lane and Montgomery, which he could easily do, as he would then have them between two fires.

By very prompt and energetic action, such as he has heretofore exhibited, it is not impossible that Halleck's great expedition might be paralyzed; but to do this he must have a large force, and to obtain this it has been necessary for him, in the proclamation referred to, to confess his present weakness.

When we look at the great necessity that exists for troops in this direction it seems impossible that the recent movement of troops from that theater to Arkansas can be justified.

I need not tell you that to lose Memphis now would be to lose the heart of the Southwestern States of the Confederacy. To prevent this it is necessary that those States should strain every nerve to re-enforce Fort Pillow and Columbus and that speedily and at the same time everything now possible should be done to give heart and hope to the people of Missouri.

Very truly, yours,


NEW MADRID, MO., December 11, 1861.

Major-General POLK:

DEAR SIR: I have deferred writing a few days to learn something of the country and of my duties here.

The fort is nearly completed. Is not so large as I anticipated; only of sufficient size to contain buildings for a magazine and commissary store and quarters for about two infantry and two artillery companies. More than this would be dangerous, since in case of fire the soldiers