OSCEOLA, ARK., April 1, 1862.
Brigadier-General VILLEPIGUE, C. S. A.,
Commanding Fort Pillow:
GENERAL: Please allow me to suggest that it would be expedient to station a signal officers at this place, who will be able to bring in steamboats when necessary. This is the only point where information can reach the Mississippi River direct from Crowley Ridge, and as it will probably soon be a place of considerable military moment, it may be necessary to communicate through this channel, which is several days quicker than any other. Canoe-men will have to be employed, who cannot stop a steamboat, but they can, if necessary, go all the way to the fort, and it will expedite matters to arrange a private signal which boats will understand and observe.
M. JEFF. THOMPSON,
Brigadier-General, Mo. S. G.
Madrid, Bend, April 1, 1862.
Colonel THOMAS JORDAN,
Adjutant-General, Army of the Mississippi, Corinth:
COLONEL: 1st. I reached this place yesterday morning. An hour after my arrival General Trudeau announced his attention of leaving and left.
2nd. Finding Major-General McCown preparing to leave, I asked him to remain another day. He assented, but during the afternoon again proposed to go, and finding that his company was engaging both his time and mine, I consented.
3rd. Brigadier-General Gantt handed me his resignation immediately after my arrival.
4th. Brigadier-General Walker is absent sick.
5th. I sent for Colonel Steedman. He is absent in the country sick. 6th. The return of the troops handed me gives present for duty 3,475 rank and file. The following memoranda I got from Major-General McCown, and find I cannot take the "present for duty" as a measure of the force:
Colonel Brown's Fifty-fifth Tennessee Regiment -but few arms. Those in the regiment different kinds, but pretty good. The colonel says fifty are wanted.
Eleventh Arkansas, Colonel Smith-all sorts of arms. Every variety country guns.
Forty -sixth Tennessee Regiment, Colonel Clark-only two companies armed (400 for duty 16 armed).
Fourth Arkansas Battalion, Major McKay commanding-badly armed.
Two companies cavalry, Wheeler and Hudson.
7th. The ordnance officer states that there are on an average 125 rounds for each gun.
8th. The commissary's return has not yet been received. There are no provisions on the island. It is supplied from the Tennessee shore.
I have ordered there enough for twenty days.
9th. How far examination will confirm the returns of troops and munitions remains to be seen.
10th. Yesterday the enemy fired half-hour shells during the day and ten in rapid succession at night. General McCown estimates the force across the river at 30,000.