UNION CITY, March 10, 1862.
Major General LEONIDAS POLK:
Major Winfield returned; reports it impracticable to send troops across from Union City to Island 10. Judge Botwick states that troops can be landed at Mrs. Meriwether's, below and out of sight of Point Pleasant, marched across a fine ridge road to Island 10, thence landed at New Madrid, unknown to the enemy. Reliable parties report thirty transports loaded with troops passed Paducah Thursday down the river.
All quiet at Hickman. No enemy in sight.
Small scouting parties of the enemy 5 miles southeast of Clinton yesterday.
ED. PICKETT, JR.,
ISLAND 10, March 10, 1862.
General LEONIDAS POLK:
Commanding First Division, Western Department, C. S. Army:
GENERAL: Major Meriwether has informed you of the cause of my not proceeding to join you under your last order from Columbus. General McCown, Captain Harris, Colonel Jordan, and Major Meriwether all though I should remain, and I was anxious to do all in my power to push the defense to completion. We have now some fifty-one guns in position, including the siege battery and naval battery. The latter is now placed on the north side of the island, in a fine place to guard the north channel. The Belmont is on the end of the island, according to your orders. Each day puts us in a more efficient state for repelling the gunboats, and I believe they can hardly pass, not certainly in daytime, if our cannoneers are proportionably god to the situation of the batteries.
We have now five batteries on the main-land. One upper battery, the Redan Numbers 1, has six guns. The river is at an extreme high stage of water and connects with the lake, making our flanking arrangements on the right perfect. It prevents the battery being very efficient, but the guns can be fired. It was never intended to use this battery in highest stage of the river, but the men to fall back to the other batteries that completely command it. General McCown, however, thinks the locality so fine for a cross-fire, that he has ordered a detachment to use the guns as well as they can. They can retire along the cremaillere line if the enemy's fire gets too severe for them.
Our batteries 2, 3, and 4 have eight rifled 32s, one 8-inch Columbiad, and one smooth-bore 32. These batteries, with our seven-gun battery, Numbers 5, will prove very effectual, no doubt. The island batteries are placed as well as they could be, and in this stage of water will be nearest to the enemy.
Sunday morning I went to Point Pleasant (the point opposite the village of Point Pleasant), and placed two of Captain Stewart's rifled pieces on the bank to fire upon the enemy across the river.
The enemy have nearly all left New Madrid and are fortifying along the bank half a mile above and below the village of Point Pleasant. They commenced Saturday morning throwing up earthworks, and with my reconnoitering glass I could distinguish the men, with their spades and shovels and sentinels. I proceeded to Tiptonville and reported it to Captain Carter, of the gunboat, who was there. Nothing was done to