P. S.-You will find an order constituting Gantt and Walker brigadier-generals by direction of General Beauregard. Their appointments will doubtless be confirmed by the War Department. You will dispose of them as you think best.
Madrid Bend, March 9, 1862-11 p. m.
General LEONIDAS POLK, Command:
GENERAL: I send a copy of a communication from Commodore Hollins. The enemy is erecting works at Point Pleasant. Their force is heavy. Time will wear out my command. The force in my force can be cut to pieces and captured if a strong force is promptly thrown here. If I should have to give up New Madrid it would require a stronger force than I have to hold this bank of the river.
I believe an attempt will be made to pass Island 10. My command is in good spirits.
J. P. McCOWN,
New Madrid, March 9, 1862.
General McCOWN, Commanding Forces:
GENERAL: The report of the commanders of the gunboats Polk and Pontchartrain convince me that unless a force can be landed either at Point Pleasant or this side of it and the enemy driven from that place the navigation from below will virtually be cut off. The gunboats can drive them from the bank while they are firing, but they fall back out of reach and advance again as soon as the gunboats leave. The enemy are said to have moved a large force to that place. I should say that unless large re-enforcements are sent to you to meet the enemy now in our front we shall either be compelled to leave this place or give up our communication in transports from Tiptonville to this place.
I would suggest planting a good heavy battery on the Tennessee side to shell them in conjunction with the river battery in the gunboats; this may obviate the difficulty until your re-enforcements arrive, and if you have a mortar, it could be used to great advantage.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. N. HOLLINS,
MADRID BEND, March 10, 1862-noon.
From the best information I can obtain-notwithstanding Captain Gray's assurance to the contrary-I am inclined to believe that the enemy may be able to occupy some point on the Missouri shore (Riddle's Point) below Tiptonville, at least with light guns. The Federals are fortifying. All quiet. If the gunboats stop to attack Numbers 10 I will capture them. All I fear is their running past. Commodore Hollins gives me the most hearty co-operation.
J. P. McCOWN,