Charge them to keep scouts well to the south, and if they get in pursuit of Thompson, in conjunction with the force from Ironton chase him to Arkansas. They should not venture far, however, unsupported.
U. S. GRANT,
No. 3. Report of Colonel William P. Carlin, Thirty-eighth Illinois Infantry, of expedition from Ironton.
HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITION TO INDIAN FORD, November 10, 1861.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that I arrived at this place yesterday evening, 70 miles from Ironton. On Tuesday last Thompson had withdrawn his detachment from this and other points in the neighborhood, and the same day fled from Bloomfield, which, I learn here, was occupied next day by Colonel Oglesby's command from Cairo or Bird's Point.
Last night I sent my aide, Lieutenant Willett, and a detachment of cavalry, to communicate with the commanding officer at Bloomfield, but on arriving within 3 miles of town he met a messenger, who informed him that the troops there had been ordered to return to Bird's Point in consequence of a fight at Belmont, that had been lost by our forces.
I find that it will be impracticable to follow up Thompson without making preparations for a long campaign. To this point it is possible for wagons to come, though they retard our march greatly. But beginning here is a miry, swampy region, utterly impracticable for baggage wagons. The country is now almost destitute of forage and provisions, the inhabitants living on corn bread and pork exclusively. During the remainder of this year, if Thompson should return, he can accounts he is disgusted and dispirited, and his forces kept together only by fear of being arrested by us.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. P. CARLIN,
Captain C. McKEEVER,
Adjutant-General Western Department.
No. 4. Reports of Brigadier General M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard, with instructions to his subordinates.
HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT MO. S. G., Bloomfield, Mo., November 5, 1861-3 p.m.
SIR: I have just been informed by a courier from Cape Girardeau that the enemy is advancing on this point in considerable force, and also from Commerce this way. The move must be a general one [if being made at all], from the fact that they moved also at Greenville last night with 300 cavalry, and I was just preparing to go that way when