War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0781 Chapter XVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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factory to me from a want of discipline of the troops. The guns left were rendered useless to the enemy. I am enforcing discipline with a strong hand. I am sending down all the boats I can spare. Everything was tumbled down here in such confusion that it required time to find what is here. Orders not through me to persons has increased the confusion. I hope soon to get matters in some order. I find officers acting under other authority than mine. Dr. Bell died last night.

J. P. McCOWN,

Brigadier-General.

HUMBOLDT, March 15, 1862.

Brigadier-General McCOWN,

New Madrid Bend, care Colonel Pickett:

Congratulate you on having retired your troops safely from New Madrid, as announced in yours of the 14th.

You say, "I find officers acting under other authority than mine," and orders "not through me to persons has increased the confusion." In your reply you will please state to me who these officers and what these orders are. I am not aware of the existence of the one or the other. All officers at the post commanded by you will report to you for orders immediately.

I have heard the gunboats have attacked you and hope you have made successful resistance.

Hope you have received dispatch from General Beauregard, ordering retiring all infantry to Fort Pillow except what was necessary to support the guns-say three regiments, to be left under General L. M. Walker. Same dispatch goes by the hands of special messenger.

Colonel Pickett will send this immediately.

L. POLK,

Major-General.

[JACKSON, TENN.,] March 15, 1862.

General McCOWN,

New Madrid, care Colonel Pickett, Union City:

I came here to advise with General Beauregard as to what you should do in view of the evacuation of New Madrid.

We have agreed on the course which he has sent you through his adjutant-general. I have to add that if Bankhead's battery has been left I have another to give him as soon as he shall arrive.

L. POLK,

Major-General.

JACKSON, TENN., March 15, 1862.

Colonel PICKETT:

Please dispatch by express the following to General McCown:

GENERAL: The general commanding fully approves the projected evacuation of your position of New Madrid, and trusts that it has already been safely accomplished; if determined on, that step determines an immediate reduction of your force to the number necessary to the efficient service of the batteries at Island Numbers 10 and Madrid Bend, with an infantry support and reserve of three regiments, under the command of Brigadier-General Walker, to whom you will assign the command and honor of defending that Therompylae of the Misssissippi Valley.