Please say to General Beauregard I have seen the gunboats. They are worthless for offense or defense. The guns are fine. Get them placed at Forty Pillow-the officers and crew of the boats to man them, if possible. Secure the guns at all events.
I would not give the price of the wood which the boats burn for their present service.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. MACKALL,
FORT PILLOW, April 1, 1862.
Colonel THOMAS JORDAN,
COLONEL: I have the honor to inform the general, in reply to your communication of the 21st March-*
1st. That the artificial defenses of the position of Island Numbers 10 and Madrid Bend, when I first reached there, consisted of two batteries on the main-land, now designated as Numbers 1 and Numbers 5, about 1 1\2 miles apart, in which were mounted, to the best of my recollection, two 8-inch columbiads and four smooth-bore 32-pounders. Soon after my arrival seven other guns were mounted in the same batteries by the company of sappers and miners who were sent with me from Columbus, Ky., making in all thirteen guns. A few more guns could have been mounted in these batteries, but I thought it best to give them sufficient distance to admit of the construction of traverses and to avoid placing too guns in any one battery.
The platforms of the upper battery, Numbers 1, are from 3 to 9 inches below high water mark.
In addition to these batteries a cremaillere line had been located and partially constructed from Battery Numbers 1 to a bayou leading into Reelfoot Lake and a heavy abatis felled in front of it. This line, when completed, was designed to guard against the approach of the enemy by land from Hickman and other points up the river, which could be done at ordinary stages of the river but not during the prevalence of high water. The ground upon which this line was located is subject to overflow and is now under water.
2nd. The means for constructing works, I was informed by Captain Gray, of the Engineers, at Madrid Bend, when I arrived there, were quite insignificant, consisting of only a few laborers and about 20 spades and shovels.
3rd. At the time of my departure for Fort Pillow thirty-nine guns, consisting of the Belmont and twelve other rifled guns (mostly 32-pounders), ten 8-inch columbiads, and sixteen smooth-bore 32-pounders, were mounted in eight different batteries, including the two (Numbers 1 and Numbers 5) above mentioned. Five of these batteries are on the main-land and three upon Island Numbers 10. Two other 3-gun batteries on the mainland were nearly ready to receive their guns.
In addition to the erection of these and other batteries, two of which were intended to be on the island in positions selected by Captain Gray and myself, it was contemplated to construct two redoubts, one on the main-land and the other on the island, of sufficient capacity for three regiments. These redoubts were located and the construction
* Not found.