tain my position in the bend, unprotected by works as it is. I consider New Madrid of great importance. I shall not relinquish it without a struggle. We have fifty guns of all sorts mounted at [Island] 10 and on shore opposite, including siege guns and floating battery. The carriages for many of our best guns can't be found. Where are they? The guns mounted are not all protected by works.
A captain in Colonel Travis' regiment was seriously wounded yesterday.
I have not been able yet to send any force to Tiptonville except a small force of cavalry. Can't the force in my front at New Madrid be cut to pieces or captured? All I can do is to hold what I have and risk nothing.
J. P. McCOWN,
UNION CITY, March 7, 1862-10 p. m.
Major General LEONIDAS POLK, Commanding, &c.:
Captain Tobin's battery is without men or horses at all adequate. He is therefore sent by me for the purpose of having such of his men, horses, &c., as are at Humboldt or elsewhere on the road immediately forwarded here. Captain Tobin will himself represent his condition to you. I think it of the utmost importance that his battery should be placed in a condition for service or sent away from this post.
A countrymen from Hickman to-day represents that there were reports there to the effect that the Federals were expected to occupy Hickman to-morrow or next day. Lieutenant Kelly (just in), however, reports that he heard no such rumors, and Lieutenant Blake (of Lillard's scouts) has sent me no such information. Lieutenant Blake writes by Lieutenant Kelly of the express:
No troops can get from Charleston to Madrid unless they (the enemy) have repaired the road. Bertrand, some 5 or 6 miles, is as far as they can go, in consequence of high water.
The express to Island 10 was started from this post under command of Lieutenant Garrett, of Logwood's battalion, on the morning of the 6th and up to this time there has been no return from the island, and the cause is as yet unknown. I have taken measures to ascertain it.
I have used all the means at my command for the purpose of impressing slaves for Island 10, but have not succeeded too any considerable extent. I have now 8 here who came in to-day, and some 20 or 30 were promised Lieutenant Garrett to be forwarded.
All the cavalry at this post have been used as express scouts and pickets, some 35 in number, and all the field officers dismounted; Major Winfield being only one for duty not in command, and he has been sent on the reconnoitering party. Besides, I have not through it prudent to weaken Lieutenant-Colonel Logwood or Lieutenant-Colonel Miller further. Slaves are scarce in the region assigned me by your order as the sphere of operations.
I believe it impracticable to send loaded wagons to Island 10. Shall I attempt to put through four days' rations for 500, irrespective of the number of slaves impressed by me? The express which arrived at 5 p. m. reported heavy firing of artillery and musketry from 11 a. m. at New Madrid; very heavy from 2 to 3 p. m.; ceased at 3 p. m. for about twenty minutes, and was then resumed and continued less vigorously