War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0657 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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They are getting very bold, and are nightly stealing horses and money within two or three miles of our camp. Some forty odd took breakfast this morning four miles northeast of here at L. S. Eddin's. Our forces under Major Matlack are very inefficient, being made up mostly of boys, poorly disciplined and worse armed, and only a portion of them mounted; and, to make the matter worse, they have been in the service eight months and have not as yet received any pay. The officers, we think, are good men and will do all they can under the circumstances. Situated as they are, they will be very fortunate indeed if they can hold the post and keep up the military telegraph lines, which are being cut daily. Great good could be done here at this time in scouting, had we a sufficient force to put in the brush in different directions. To do this we want at least double the force we have at this time, in order to do effective work, and our earnest prayer is that we may speedily get our force doubled.

Our organization under General Orders, No. 107, does not amount to much. They number some sixty-five or seventy good men under Lieutenant Vance, yet they seem to have no head or starting-point, and they did not know until to-day whether they were in the service or not. The men all seem willing to do good service for their county if they can only get to work understandingly. Mr. Holtzclaw called on Mr. Richard Earickson, living two miles south of town, on Tuesday night at 11 o'clock. Took from him a fine horse and demanded him to pay them $100. Mr. E. not having the amount of money in his possession they compelled him to agree to leave the amount on a designated stump some mile or more from his house, which part of the contract we learn he complied with. Mr. Earickson had a conversation of nearly an hour with Holtzclaw. He told Mr. E. that but for a little mismanagement on his part he would have taken you and your party in on your return from Fayette to Glasgow, when you were last here. He further stated that had you returned by the same route to Brookfield that you came he would have gotten you certain, as he had his plans all laid. He told Mr. E. he could report him as soon as he was gone, but that in a short time he would have things in a fix that he could not report. He also stated that he could take the post of Glasgow whenever he thought proper, as he was well posted about our force here and the inefficiency of their arms. In regard to the organization at Brunswick, I must confess I look upon it with great distrust at this time, and my opinion is it should be watched closely, lest at some moment, when not looked for by many, they may turn out like Governor Hall's militia of Platte County. Major Matlack agrees with me fully on this subject, from what he saw and heard whilst scouting in the vicinity of Brunswick. We hope we are mistaken in this, but we are confident we are not. General, I hope you will see the necessity as I do of immediately placing more troops at this place, if possible. I learn that General Pleasonton is doing some heavy work in Saline, but it only makes it worse for us, as he is driving many of his knights to our county, and we are not strong enough to co-operate with him, and it is fallacy for us to try and tighten the reins whilst we are outnumbered four to one at least. We hope soon to have the pleasure of welcoming yourself and staff to Glasgow. All join in regards to yourself and Lieutenant Clarke, as well as the balance of your staff. Please let us hear from you as often as you have time.

Your friend,

B. W. LEWIS.

Per D.

42 R R-VOL XLI, PT II