prevent the enemy going ahead until next morning, when the gunboats convoyed the steamer Mears past Point Pleasant to New Madrid, opening fire at the same time on the enemy's batteries. At 12 o'clock in the day (Sunday) we reached there with the two light-battery guns above mentioned. Our first shot from the Parrott gun scattered the enemy from their work and they ran in various directions. We continued firing some fifteen or twenty shots with both pieces, driving every man of the them away from the two earthworks they were throwing up. The distance across at the this stage of water to Point Pleasant village or to the enemy's batteries is about 1 1/2 miles. At low water boats will be obliged to run very close to their works, and if they be permitted to put up strong embankments and to hold them we shall be troubled much. The lake and swamps west of New Madrid are now only 3 1/2 to 6 miles from Island 10 (by a good road), to endeavor to dislodge the enemy. I am afraid their works have progressed too far for us from this side to do much. The gunboats are all that can do them harm, except from a attack in their rear by land.
We are very shot of Reed shot for our rifled 32s-only 50 rounds to each. We have but few wheelbarrows, and greatly in want of axes.
I am, general, in great haste, very respectfully,
A. B. GRAY, C. S. A.,
Chief Engineer Island 10.
JACKSON, March 10, 1862.
General LEONIDAS POLK:
If negroes ordered to McCown are not with him, please have as many collected as possible and sent him immediately.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
HUMBOLDT, March 11, 1862.
Sent the following to McCown:
I am sending you 1,300 negroes. They will be with you in two days. I am sending also a regiment of Alabama troops of thorough-drilled artillerists from General Bragg's command from Pensacola. I hope your gunboats may be able to clear the Missouri shore of the enemy's batteries of light guns as successfully as their boats cleared the same shore of ours above Columbus. Captain Champneys, who is with me, says he furnished from Columbus an ample supply of spikes for all the guns at New Madrid and on the island, which I hope you may never have to use., It is satisfactory to know that you have them. I do not at all believe the enemy will attempt to run past you. On the subject of re-enforcements, I refer you to General Beauregard's communication forward yesterday. With your gunboats and heavy guns in Fort Thompson we believe you my keep at bay 50,000 men. If you have any guns you do not intend to mount, let them be sent to Fort Pillow as speedily as possible.
Your dispatch of the 10th just received. Don't believe the enemy can establish a battery at Riddle's Point that can harm you.