COLUMBUS, KY., January 15, 1863.
Brigadier-General CARR, Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: On the 12th of January I wrote you a communication respecting the evacuation of New Madrid, and, as dispatches sometimes miscarry, I send you duplicate.*
I have to add that the telegram to General Curtis, in the following words, needs some explanation:
Colonel Scott sends me back word to-day that Jeff. Thompson and Jeffers were within 10 miles of him with a force; that he could not have held the place.
Colonel Scott has since told me that he did not send me such a message, which is, no doubt, true. It was brought to me by the captain of the steamer O'Brien, a boat owned by Government, who was at Island 10 the morning of the evacuation, who said that it was a verbal message from Colonel Scott. The boat is now at New Madrid delivering supplies, and, when the captain returns, will investigate the source of information and send you a statement. The only point in the affair where Colonel Scott is in fault, it seems to me, was in not reporting to you the order; but I am sure, from the little knowledge I have of him, that such failure was owing to ignorance of military rule. I reported the order to Major-General Curtis, not knowing that you was his immediate commanding officer.
The extent of property destroyed was six secesh gun carriages and platforms and some secesh ammunition, which, I was informed, had just been sent there from Island Numbers 10. The siege guns can be unspiked by a few hours' work.
There is any quantity of gun carriages lying about Columbus and at Island 10, which I can send you to New Madrid if you desire at any time to remove the siege guns at that place.
I also inclose you a copy of my order to Colonel Scott.
I am, general, very respectfully,
THOS. A. DAVIES,
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 26, 1863.
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,
Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs that you investigate and report upon the facts of the destruction of the ordnance and ordnance stores at New Madrid, and also report whether the officer in command should not be dismissed from the service. This may either be done by yourself in person or by a board of officers appointed by you for that purpose.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
* See p. 174.