War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0229 Chapter X. SKIRMISHERS NEAR CLINTONVILLE, MO., ETC.

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FREDERICTON, MO.,

October 19, 1861 - 6 a. m.

Colonel D. F. SHALL, C. S. A.

Commanding Arkansas Volunteers, Bailey's, Mo.:

DEAR COLONEL: Unfortunately I was not credibly informed of your position until a few hours ago. I am sorry that more men are not up with you, so that the men will not have to be held still so long. Your had better assume some defensible position of the enemy and prevent his leaning of the marches of the infantry and artillery until we are prepared to strike. Communicate with General McBride on the west, and when we all get at equal distances from Ironton, we will march simultaneously. Our support is near at hand, and I hope we will be ready to strike by to-morrow night or Monday. The report that Pirce has whipped Fremont is currently believed, but needs confirmation. If it is a fact, Southern Missouri is free. Nothing prevented me from whipping the 1,200 troops sent out here on Thursday by the fatigue of my horses, which had just returned from a 200-mile trip. nd, although the men were very anxious, and the infantry were quite fretted at my making them stand still, yet I felt compelled to do so, as the other troops on the west and south were not in position. I am here with my whole force, except those left at Bloomfield and New Madrid, to garrison those posts, and I am having lead hauled away. We must keep in constant communication and act as circumstances may dictate. The enemy are reported to have about 15,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry. We must whip all that come 10 miles out, but it will not do to approach nearer until the definite time.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

FREDERICTON, MO., October 20, 1861.

Colonel D. F. SHALL,

Commanding Arkansas Troops, Iron County, Mo.:

DEAR COLONEL: You will please carry out the programme indicated on the second page of the letter I wrote you yesterday. Mr. Martin can give you the news of the day, which is not well to trust to paper. Feed high and be ready for active service.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

FREDERICTON, MO., October 20, 1861.

Colonel W. G. PHEELNA, Commandant at Bloomfield, Mo.:

SIR: You must keep vigilant watch towards Cape Girardeau. The troops from there are marching out to intercept our retreat, and they may make a detour towards Bloomfield to hurry me. Collect in all the men you can. I am in a damned tight place, but I believe I will get out safely.

Yours, &c.,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.