CAIRO, April 2. – Accounts from Island No. 10, represent matters there unchanged. The bombardment continues at slow intervals. – Shells have been thrown into the new fortifications on the Kentucky side of the river, and a few shots have been received in return, with no great damage on either side.
The rebels are continually busy at building fortifications. They are improving every moment of time, and when the attack is made, it will be found that the delay has greatly enhanced the difficulty of capture.
Firing is continually heard in the direction of New Madrid, and it is supposed that the enemy are making desperate efforts to prevent General Pope from crossing the river. They have erected batteries on the point opposite New Madrid, which commands a stretch of about five miles of the river, and places his transports in danger of annihilation. He must silence the batteries before he can cross to the relief of the fleet.
The rebels have also built batteries on the river below New Madrid, and have their gunboats in readiness for action. There are one or two of these boats guarding the point where our troops are expected to cross.
Advices direct from New Madrid report that Gen. Pope is in active preparation, and will soon be in a condition to enter the field, with an overwhelming force. We are not permitted to give the details of his plans, but they will be such as will accomplish any desired result, which may be within the range of possibilities.
There is nothing from the Tennessee river of direct importance.
We here that Gen. Grant is nearly prepared for the grand battle that is expected. The members of his staff who are here, have been ordered to report at Headquarters immediately.
Gen. Buell is on the line of the Nashville and Decatur Railroad, making very slow progress.
The terrific storm that visited this locality last night, extended over a wide tract of country, and did an immense amount of damage, 10 or 12 lives were lost here by the breaking of the levee and sinking of boats.
At Paducah and Mound City, large numbers of houses were unroofed, and several lives lost.
We have heard nothing of its effect on the bombarding fleet.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 5, 1862, p. 3