ever, that my regiment is divided, and that I would be pleased to have it united.
When at New Madrid and Cape Girardeau, I felt that we were in the same neighborhood; now we are certainly not neighbors, and are embarrassed by being in two departments. It is not my place to suggest either the when or the where, but only my wish, that, if consistent with the public welfare, it would be remembered as a kindness could we again be brought together.
Your most obedient servant,
Colonel Thirty-second Iowa Infantry.
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,
Saint Louis, Mo.
SAINT LOUIS, MO., January 5, 1863.
The abandonment of Fort Pillow [New Madrid] must be punished. General Carr reports that he communicated different orders to Colonel Scott. He should have obeyed Carr, not Davies, and must be arrested.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
COLUMBUS, January 12, 1863.
Brigadier-General CARR, Saint Louis:
SIR: I hear you have placed Colonel Scott under arrest for evacuating New Madrid.
The circumstances of the case were these: Colonel Scott happened to be in Columbus during the excitement along the river, and information, such as was supposed reliable, reached here that New Madrid was threatened by a very large [force] under Thompson and Jeffers; that Fort Pillow was in like manner threatened, as was true, by Van Dorn.
I called General Tuttle and General Fisk to my office, and we carefully looked over the ground, and agreed that the force at New Madrid was insufficient to stand a heavy attack, and the six pieces (siege guns) then in position, if they fell into the hands of the enemy, would, in the present position of the army below, prove almost fatal to us, we having no gunboats or forces to displace them immediately.
As a precaution, which we deemed bound to take, it was determined to evacuate New Madrid and couple the armament and re-enforce Fort Pillow. I had great hesitancy in giving the order, the troops not being under my command; but on the assurance of General Fisk that it would be all right, and that General Curtis would approve of it (not knowing that you commanded the district), I have the order to Colonel Scott to evacuate New Madrid, spike the guns with soft iron, and destroy the ammunition, which, I understand, was done.
I took the ground we would be blamable to allow any chance, however remote, to be embraced by the enemy to capture any heavy ordnance on the river at this particular juncture.
I think the position is a correct one, and I hope this explanation will relieve Colonel Scott, at least, from any blame. We acted according to our best judgment in the premises.
I am, general, very respectfully,
THOS. A. DAVIES,