War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0757 Chapter XVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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troops in Arkansas to come to my assistance. This, from correspondence, I was led confidently to expect, and, relying upon it, I held my position to the very last moment, and, as the sequel proved, almost to long, for on Wednesday, the 12th February, my pickets were driven in, and reported the enemy advancing upon me in force. No resource was now left me except retreat, without hazarding all with greatly unequal numbers upon the result of one engagement. This I deemed it unwise to do. I commenced retreating at once. I reached Cassville with loss unworthy of mention in any respect. Here the enemy in my rear commenced a series of attack running through four days. Retreating and fighting all the way to the Cross Hollow, in this State, I am rejoiced to say my command, under the most exhausting fatigue all that time, with but little rest for either man or horse and no sleep, sustained themselves and came through, repulsing the enemy upon every occasion with great determination and gallantry. My loss does not exceed 4 to 6 killed and some 15 or 18 wounded. That of the enemy we know to be ten times as great.

Colonel Henry Little, commanding the First Brigade, with Cols. B. A. Rivers and J. Q. Burbridge of the infantry, and Colonel E. Gates of the cavalry, covered this retreat from beyond Cassville and acted as the rear guard. The colonel commanding deserves the highest praise for unceasing watchfulness and the good management of his entire command. I heartily commend him to your attention. All these officers merit and should receive the thanks of both Government and people. To all the officers and men of my army I am under obligations. No men or officers were ever more ready and prompt to meet and repel an enemy.

Governor, we are confident of the future.


Major-General, Commanding Mo. S. G.

JACKSON, February 26, 1862.

General POLK:

New Madrid all important. In my opinion must be watched and held at all coasts. All troops at Fort Pillow but mere guard should be transferred there with utmost celerity. If satisfied of the movements of the enemy on New Madrid, place should be re-enforced at once to all possible extent from Columbus. Regiment at Trenton could be sent there as well as some gunboats.



Columbus, Ky., February 26, 1862.

Colonel E. W. GANTT,

Commanding at New Madrid:

Your notes of the 24th and 25th received. I have ordered Colonel Walker's regiments up to your support from Fort Pillow; also a good part of the regiment of Colonel Baker from the same place.

I send you the ammunition and caps you ask for. I will send additional ammunition on the boats that are to follow for your heavy guns. I will also see to giving you such other support from the gunboats as may be practicable. Your position is a strong one, which you have