War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0261 Chapter X. EXPEDITION AGAINST THOMPSON'S FORCES.

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I heard of the other moves. I will immediately put my command in marching order, and move to meet one or other of the columns, I think the one coming here from Cape Girardeau. I cannot be cut off; but, if the report be true as to numbers, I may be driven southward towards the plank road, but will keep you constantly advised, so that you can take advantage of any false movement they may make. You can rest assured, if Fremont has whipped Price, this movement is a real one; and if not, it is to cover greater ones. I hope there are post-horses from Little Rock to Price's army, or the Federals will get four or five days' advantage by telegraph.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major General LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.

BLOOMFIELD, MO., November 5, 1861- 8 p.m.

DEAR GENERAL: Another courier has arrived from Scott County, confirming the report from Cape Girardeau County. The last courier says 3,500 men landed at Commerce yesterday at 11 o'clock a.m., and camped last night at Benton. No other couriers have yet arrived, but these couriers from different directions confirming the report have forced me to prepare for action. I have issued orders disposing of my forces for a defense to cross no swamp to get here, their numbers may overwhelm me, and force me southward. If there is no possible chance to whip them, I may forego the pleasure of fighting them for the purpose of trying to save this county, which has always been very true to us, and may be sacked entirely if I should kill many of their men. The reports of the night and morning will determine me.

Should they move a large force down this ridge, Columbus is turned, and you will be forced to fight them.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major General LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A.

7.30 A. M., 6TH.

Several couriers from the Cape road confirming reports.

CAMP JOHNSTON, TEN MILES SOUTH BLOOMFIELD, MO., November 7, 1861-6 o'clock a.m.

DEAR SIR: I fell back to this place last evening, as I found that I could not prevent the conjunction of the columns of the enemy. The exact amount of the enemy marching against us I cannot ascertain, but I understand that 3,000 are encamped at Carpenter's Ferry and 4,000 at Castor Bridge, the latter 7 miles, the former 12 miles, from Bloomfield. I will be by noon at the west end of the Blanton road to New Madrid, and, if necessary, at the west end of the plank road to New Madrid or Point Pleasant to-morrow or next day. I cannot now be cut off and do not fear pursuit, as I am 20 miles ahead.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major General LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.