War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0761 Chapter XVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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a portion of Commodore Hollins' fleet would be placed at your disposal, to be employed at whatever point you might think best. Being, as you are, perfectly familiar with all the localities and their approaches and in possession of the views and instructions of the commanding general, I feel it would be injudicious to hamper your actions by insisting on details. You are therefore at liberty to consult your own judgment in disposing of the respective force under your orders.

I think it proper nevertheless to say that you should by all means place a sufficient amount of your force of all arms so as to make sure of New Madrid.

I will send you down a battery of siege guns, with a company to man it, to be used in the defense of New Madrid. It will go to-day, with the necessary ammunition. I will also send you this evening several other companies of artillerists for Island Numbers 10.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT,

Columbus, Ky., February 28, 1862.

Brigadier-General McCOWN,

Commanding, New Madrid:

GENERAL: I wrote you at large to-day in a dispatch sent you by Captain Cummings, in command of General Beauregard's signal company, in which dispatch I gave you my views and instructions. This you will have received before this reaches you. You will ere this receive also a full supply of ammunition of all sorts. I send you to-night more guns; these are those from the fort, the best we have, and I hope you will get them up speedily. I send you to-night also a large lot of spades and shovels. I would turn out full details from all your regiments, and work as many as you have tools for all night, and day and night, until the work is finished. By pushing matters you an accomplish this. Again I repeat, work your regiments day and night until the armament is complete.

Your artillery companies go down to-night. I should like to have the gunboats come up so as to cover the retreat of our transports, provided you have no immediate prospect of an attack. If they could come up to-night the work would be finished to-morrow. I shall get through with the dismounting the fort to-morrow. All the ammunition and stores will be removed, and I hope also the guns. I am glad to hear from Captain Barrow that you have twelve guns mounted on the Tennessee shore. He informs me also that you will have five other guns mounted before morning. These, with the four siege guns which I hear are in position on the island, will give you twenty-two; a very respectable force. I think, too, you will not be disturbed until you get the others on the island and the floating battery in place.

Keep me constantly advised.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK,

Major-General, Commanding.

P. S.-I shall send to you Brigadier-General Stewart, and will endeavor to have other brigadiers appointed for you. I acknowledge the receipt of yours on that subject, also those by Captain Barrow.