No. 18. Report of Major D. F. Shall, C. S. Army, of co-operation with Thompson's forces, October 19-23.
HEADQUARTERS CAMP HARDEE,
Pitman's Ferry, October 23, 1861.
GENERAL: On the evening of the 18th instant received a dispatch from General M. Jeff. Thomson, inviting us to participate in the taking of Ironton, stating that he would burn Bir River Bridge, and soon afterwards be ready to attack the Knob. We responded. On the morning of the 19th started with 230 mounted men of the First Regiment (including 40 men of Casey's company) for Bailey's, the place indicated by the general; here expected to find troops to act with, or a messenger from him, but neither were there. On the morning of the 20th camped within 4 miles of that place; here remained, expecting to hear from General Thompson; did not do so. At 11 o'clock that night started back (just as we started received a vague dispatch); reached the Stoney battery; camped for the night; next day, 21st, camped 6 miles south of Patterson, on the road to Doniphan, and to-day reach[ed] this post about 4 o'clock p. m. White nea Ironton learned from a reliable gentleman living within 4 miles of that place that it had been re-enforced with artillery, cavalry, and infantry, and that the force then thee was at least 7,000 strong. This is reliable.
Soon after arriving in camp here, about five hours ago, a Missourian came in from Greenville, with news to the effect that Thompson had bee defeated a mile south of Fredericktown by a force from Cape Girardeau and Saint Genievieve, and that with the remnant of his commend was retreating towards this place. Thompson's force, form what I learned before the fight from a man of his at Bailey's, was 700 mounted men and 1,000 infantry. This defeat exposes the post here and a Pocahontas to imminent danger, and to be prepared to face it I am making every exertion my poor abilities are capable of. I have made call upon the people of the State generally, the governor, and some individuals of prominence. Hope to be able to hold our position at Pocahontas, to which point will fall back immediately. Captain Bridewell having taken all the teams and himself off in violation of orders, leaves me crippled in the way of transportation. Can you not and will you not help us?
In haste, your obedience servant,
D. F. SHALL,
Major, Commanding Post.
General HARDEE, Memphis, Tenn.
P. S. - Colonel Borland will probably be here in a few days.
Before leaving Pitman's Ferry, I gave orders to have all the stores of every description removed to Pocahontas, which is in steamboat communication, usually about twice a week, with Jacksonport and Memphis. It is 110 miles from Trenton to Pocahontas. I feel no apprehension that the force I left there will be attacked, or, if attacked, that it will not be able to make a successful resistance. This force consisted of 7 companies cavalry of Borland's regiment and 4 companies infantry of McCarver's