Gen. Pope’s Official Dispatch.
ST. LOUIS, March 15. – Brigadier Gen. Pope, in a dispatch to Gen. Halleck, says:
Our success at New Madrid has been even greater than was reported. Twenty-five pieces of heavy artillery, consisting of 24 and rifled 32 pounders, two batteries of field artillery, an immense quantity of fixed ammunition, several thousand small arms, hundreds of boxes of musket cartridge, three hundred mules and horses, tents for an army of 12,000 men, and an immense quantity of other property, of not less value than one million dollars, has fallen into our hands. Their men only escaped.
The enemy’s whole force is demoralized and dispersed in the swamps on the opposite side of the river.
The enemy abandoned their works so hurriedly as to leave all the baggage of their officers and knapsacks of their men.
Their dead were left unburied. Their suppers were on the tables, and candles burning in their tents.
A furious thunder storm which raged all night enabled the enemy to get across the river without being discovered.
Our heavy batteries were erected during the night of the 12th, within 800 yards of the enemy’s works and opened at day-light on the 13th, just 31 hours after the guns were delivered to us at Cairo.
During the whole day of yesterday our lines were drawn closer around their works under a furious fire of sixty pieces of artillery.
The fear of an assault on their works at daylight induced them to flee precipitately during the night. Many prisoners have been taken, also the colors of several Arkansas regiments.
Our loss is about fifty killed and wounded.
Hollins was in command of the fleet, and Generals McConn, Stuart and Gnatt in command of the land forces. The gunboats went down the river.
Gen. Pope has 25 heavy guns planted in the enemy’s works which command every part of the river.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, March 22, 1862, p. 4