Numbers 6. Reports of Brigadier General M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard (Confederate), of operations in Southeastern Missouri, August 30 to September 5, with correspondence.
CAMP HUNTER, MO., August 30, 1861.
Colonel MCCOWN, C. S. A., Commanding Brigade, Sikeston, Mo.:
DEAR GENERAL: My picket at Benton just send s me word that 4,000 troops landed at commerce to-day, and that a man from the Cape states that a large force will leave there to-night. I see from the Saint Louis papers that General Prentiss left Ironton with a large force, to hunt Hardee. So it seems we have attracted their attention at last, and they are after us. What is now to be done? Send pillow word, or go on with the programme? They cannot more than drive me back, at the worst. I will send up immediately to find out the truth about Commerce, and will carefully watch the Cape. Some gentlemen in from Bollinger say there are 1,000 Federals at Dallas and 1,200 of my men at Lakeville. If I should be compelled to go across to Bloomfield, your movement will be covered by a general retreat, and be probably more effectually done than if I were to stay fighting in squads. I will write every hour, if necessary.
M. JEFF. THOMPSON,
HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, MOD. S. G.,
Camp Hunter, Mo., August 31, 1861-6.30 a. m.
Brigadier General GIDEON J. PILLOW, C. S. A., New Madrid, Mo.:
DEAR GENERAL: After promising to be more careful and economical in future, I must request you to place a little more ammunition at my disposal. My men from Hardee are at lakeville, and have scarcely any powder, but an abundance of lead, and we are rather scarce ourselves. I would be pleased, therefore, to have about 20 kegs rifle powder; 10, musket caps; 20,000 shot-gun caps, and 10,000 musket cartridges. With these I think I can hold the country against any force which may be sent against me. Various rumors of the movements of the enemy reached me last night, which puts me on the qui vive, but I have not had any of them confirmed by the pickets this morning, although I ordered all the pickets to advance at daybreak until they felt the enemy, never mind how strong.
M. JEFF. THOMPSON,
HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, MO. S. G.,
Camp Hunter, Mo., August 31, 1861-5 p. m.
DEAR GENERAL: Yours of to-day to General McCown and myself is at hand.* You need not fear in the least for my safety, when left untrammeled by other movements. I will be lynx-eyed, and run whenever