War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0742 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

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The weather may prevent either of these movements. If a severe snow-storm should take place, I do not think the Federals could advance. I am expecting in a short time the arrival of other officers here superior in rank to myself, and they will expect an efficient force here to operate with. However, whenever I think it necessary for this division to act, I will assume the responsibility.

Colonel Hebert brigade comprises the greatest and most efficient part of my command. I know the importance of holding Springfield, and I know that it is unnecessary to urge you to strengthen it by every means in your power now while you have the time.

JAMES McINTOSH,

Colonel, Commanding Division.

HEADQUARTERS NEW MADRID, MO.,

January 24, 1862-9 p. m.

[General POLK:]

DEAR SIR: I have just learned from my pickets that a large force of infantry and cavalry reached Charleston at 12 o'clock a. m. of to-day. Their destination may be here. If it is, and as large as represented, their progress must necessarily be slow, and you shall be advised in due time. If a small force, they had better stay away. New Madrid is not "taken" yet, and allow me to say if it is, the announcement of it in the papers shall not be so tame as that I read to-day.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. W. GANTT,

Colonel, Commanding Post.

NEW MADRID, January 24, 1862.

Colonel SOL. G. KITCHEN, Clarkston:

DEAR COLONEL: The enemy are making a demonstration from Charleston as well as on your side of the swamp. I will hold myself in readiness to support you, and will send some cannon down early in the morning or to-night. I am alive to the importance of defending the plank road, and hope you will give them hell if they come before I get there; and if you have to retreat come over the plank road, as I will hold this end against the devil.

If you have time, have as much corn as possible hauled to Cane Ridge and other subsistence. If Pheelan's ammunition is saved, I hope there will be enough until I hear again. Probably the enemy will stop to fortify Bloomfield, in which case I will be after them myself.

Let no personal prejudice interfere with good of the cause.

M. JEFF. THOMPSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

NEW MADRID, January 24, 1862.

Major General LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.:

DEAR GENERAL: The enemy are in motion on our side of the river A courier just in from the plank road reports 2,000 men advancing on Clarkton. They cannot reach there before to morrow night. I will