Stembel, for a reconnaissance to Columbus. About 7 o'clock a. m. we passed Islands Nos. 3 and 4, where we discovered the camp fires a few miles above Columbus, on the Kentucky shore, exactly in the center of the two natural platform bluffs commanding the river and Belmont. In attempting to pass the foot of Lucas Bend, near Columbus, two batteries opened fire on us, one consisting of three the other of four guns, but, notwithstanding the high elevation given to their pieces, their shot all fell short. We did not answer as they were out of range and we could not do them any damage, the caliber of the guns being two 24-pounder howitzers and 24 and 32 pounders on barbette carriages. The direction of their guns was good, the powder weak, and the fuses entirely too long. I was quite well satisfied with the reconnaissance, but, having some suspicion of gunboats lying in Lucas Bend, I requested Captain Stembel to throw some shell in the bend. This was done, and caused the appearance of two gunboats. One of them followed us. As it was not our intention to enter into an engagement we retreated, and arrived at Cairo this day at 10 o'clock a. m. It is beyond doubt that on the bluffs at Columbus there is a camp of at least 2,000 men, with two batteries of heavy guns, about 1,000 men and some field pieces.
It affords me pleasure to report the cool, calculating, and energetic behavior of Captain Stembel, his officers and men.
Chief of Artillery.
Brigadier General U. S. GRANT,
Commanding Forces, Southeast Missouri.
Numbers 2. Reports of Brigadier General U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, of reconnaissance, September 10.
CAIRO, September 10, 1861.
Gunboats returned. Engaged batteries at Lucas Bend all day. Found 16 guns on Missouri shore. Rebel batteries all silenced. One man wounded don Conestoga. The gunboat Yankee was disabled, and would have been taken but for land batteries near Columbus. The rebels must have suffered severely. Discovered large bodies of cavalry on Missouri side. Saw no troops on Kentucky side.
U. S. GRANT.
Major General JOHN C. FREMONT.
HDQRS. DISTRICT SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI,
Cairo, September 10, 1861.
This morning Colonel Waagner started from Norfolk, with all the force that could be spare from that point, to reconnoiter towards Belmont, supported by the gunboats Conestoga and Lexington. They went as far as Beckwith's farm, about 5 miles below Norfolk. Found no regular force, but had 1 man wounded and lost 1 horse by shots from the pickets of the rebels. The gunboats, however, penetrated