and by a coup de main enter Paducah, capture its garrison, and destroy the large amount of stores understood to have been accumulated there. Any steamboats that you may be able to seize of course will be burned. Arms captured, if any, will be brought away if possible, without endangering your command.
Detailed instructions cannot be given for your movements. The garrison of the place is believed to be small, much inferior to the force that you will be able to command; and should you be able to move with sufficient celerity, you can surprise the place and effect the purposes of the expedition with brilliant success; that is, can destroy their supplies, capture prisoners, and greatly disturb their communications.
Show this communication to Colonel Jackson.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. S.-Of course you will so arrange your movements as to dash into Paducah about daybreak. You should give out by the wayside that you are the advance guard of General Van Dorn en route to take possession of the mouth of the river, to cut off retreat of enemy, whilst we take the river in front, General Price meanwhile to cross the Tennessee and march on Nashville.
CORINTH, April 30, 1862.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD, &c.:
DEAR GENERAL: As requested, I have just seen General Johson in relation to the subject of your note of this evening. By consulting the map you will find it two and a half or three days' march for infantry from Jackson, the nearest point to the river.
The general thinks we shall have decided the contest before any force could reach the river for the diversion, though favoring the idea were it practicable.
I agree fully as to the advantages it offers, but cannot help thinking it now too late for practical execution without a fatal delay to our main movement.
Yours, very truly,
Bethel, April 30, 1862.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Commanding Army of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: Your order has just been received, and will be promptly obeyed in reference to the railroad.
Immediately upon receiving information yesterday morning, about 10 o'clock, of the advance of the enemy, I repaired to the advance cavalry pickets near Purdy. Whilst there I endeavored to learn his intentions. A picket, evidently cool, reported the sound of a heavy body of horse moving down from Purdy on the Ripley road. I at once concluded their object to be to cut the road, and, in order to ascertain immediately at what point they would strike, returned to Bethel, and had the engine and tender sent down to examine the road, directing engineer to