remaining companies of his regiment, and took command of the Eleventh Regiment in person. Through Colonel Wallace I received your verbal order to return to Bird's Point. To avoid the terrible swamp in front of Bloomfield I returned by Cape Girardeau. Colonels Lawler and Rearden marched to Cape Girardeau in two days, the Eighth and Eleventh Illinois and Tenth Iowa following the next day. The whole force arrived at Bird's Point on Tuesday, the 12th, having marched over 100 miles, and embarked and debarked twice, and traveled by water 85 miles besides, in less than nine days. I detained the forces one day at Bloomofield out of the nine.
The chief object of the expedition having failed, I have to inform you that the information derived about the country, and of the feelings of the inhabitants and the purposes of the rebellion, have fully compensated all the labor it has required. A more unhappy and deluded people I have never seen. Wherever the column moved consternation filled the whole community, and the fact that without regard to sex or age the whole people were not outraged and destroyed seemed to stupefy them.
I have to report the wanton destruction of property in one or two instances, otherwise the march through the country was most exemplary and satisfactory. My orders were obeyed with cheerfulness and alacrity. After four days I obtained forage from the people of the country for all the mules and horses. Four-fifths of the inhabitants are ready to return to the Union whenever the Government can assure them from punishment by the rebel army. The yoke of Jeff. Thompson is a heavy one, and the people are becoming disgusted at his arbitrary sway. The scrip he has substituted for a good currency is totally worthless. His brutality in murdering in cold blood so many good citizens of Missouri, and suffering them to rot unburied in full view of the public, has met its just return in the horror with which he and his whole command are beginning to be appreciated by the people of Southeastern Missouri.
R. J. OGLESBY,
Colonel Eighth Regiment Ill. Vols., Commanding Expedition.
Brigadier General U. S. GRANT,
Commanding Dist. Southeast Missouri, Cairo, Ill.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, November 2, 1861.
COLONEL: A dispatch just received requires me to send a force to the Saint Francois River to destroy rebels congregated there. I have determined to give you the command, and will require your regiment and three companies of cavalry from Bird's Point to prepare for as early a move tomorrow as practicable. The balance of your command will be sent from this side of the river. You will require fourteen days' rations and about four days' forage. this latter article, being heavy, must be supplied by the country through which you pass. Thirty or thirty-five teams must be supplied from your side of the river, and to get them you will have to draw upon the regimental transportation of the whole command there.
Detailed instructions will be drawn up for you before starting.*
U. S. GRANT,
Colonel RICHARD J. OGLESBY, Bird's Point, Mo.
*See General Grant's report of the engagement at Belmont, November 7,p.267.
17 R R-VOL III