Point, is a good soldier, but has not rank. Captain S. P. Bankhead is also a reliable man and a well-instructed soldier.
I make these suggestions for the information of yourself and General Beauregard. I must have reliable men to command and with rank. Colonels do not like to be under their equal in rank.
J. P. McCOWN,
ISLAND Numbers 10,
February 27, 1862-12 o'clock.
General LEONIDAS POLK, Commanding:
GENERAL: My attention having been drawn to New Madrid, I had not carefully examined matters here. I find that little or nothing had been done by Captain Gray. Colonel Kennedy has pushed matters, however, and has five guns mounted in the upper battery, on the east shore, and seven on the lower, on the same shore. He (Colonel Kennedy) says he will get five more up to-morrow. Nothing was done on the island until yesterday. I have ordered the siege battery there. Upon examination I believe that the upper battery is not equal to what is expected of it. Every hour I can get is of great importance. I fear I will have to defend this place with the bayonet unless I can get time. If the gunboats pass, New Madrid is gone, unless the gunboats of Commodore Hollins can defeat them. Ten guns lost holding Columbus a day or two ago, so more would be well expended.
J. P. McCOWN,
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT,
Columbus, Ky., February 28, 1862.
Commanding, New Madrid:
GENERAL: On your return from New Madrid on the evening of the 26th I informed you, as you will remember, that I had received instructions from General Beauregard that New Madrid must be held at all events, and that in pursuance of those instructions I had ordered Colonel Mark's brigade to proceed to New Madrid, which order he received. I informed you at the same time that I had ordered Colonel Neely's brigade to proceed to the same place. I informed you also that I would sent you artillerists from this post ot man the guns being placed in position at Island Numbers 10 as rapidly as they could be spared; that the post for the present had been put under the orders of Colonel Kennedy, Louisiana Volunteers, under whose command you might place so much of a supporting infantry force as the existing emergency might require. I informed you also that all the force from Fort Pillow, consisting of Walker's and Baker's regiments, excepting a strong guard to take care of the post, had been ordered to New Madrid and Island Numbers 10 had been placed under your command by direction of General Beauregard, whose instructions in regard to the importance of holding New Madrid I strongly impressed upon you. I likewise informed you that