of the 11th explained matters somewhat to your satisfaction, and I will do so fully to Captain White. I have now in the field about 2,000 men, of which 700 are mounted. I have eight field pieces. I did have Colonel Pheelan at Bloomfield, Colonel Walker at New Madrid, and the balance of my force with me at Fredericton. After returning from Frederictown I had my men placed from the Saint Francis to Little River, so that I could move towards Ironton or Cape Girardeau with facility and secrecy. I heard of the approach from Ironton, and prepared to get in the rear of the enemy, to destroy his trains and force him to return, but just then I heard of his return [except Hawkins' command], and of the concerted movements on my post at Bloomfield. I barely had time to call in my men and leave before 8,000 of them closed down on an empty net. The fight at Columbus disconcerted their plans for the time being, and all their troops have been called in to join the grand army, which I understand they are now concentrating to march down the Mississippi. I had yesterday Colonel Pheelan at the west end of the plank road, with 350 infantry, 200 dragoons, and 3 guns. Colonel Waugh was at the east end of the plank road, with 600 infantry. Colonel Walker was here with 200 infantry, 500 dragoons, and 5 guns. To-day Pheelan will be at the west end of the Blanton road; his dragoons will be in Bloomfield. Walker will be at the east end of the Blanton road [eight miles from here]. Waugh will bring his infantry here, and I expect to take the dragoons to Sikeston, and, if possible, again destroy the Charleston Railroad,f or make some diversion which will disconcert or deadly the plans of the enemy at Bird's Point. You will see that I am entirely too far away to be of any assistance to you, unless a single column should advance from Ironton [without one from Cape Girardeau], in which case I can, without the enemy being aware of my movements, be at the Indian Ford, or Saint Francisville, in four days, and either force them to come after me or go in their rear. I would be pleased to hear from you often, and any movements which I can make for your benefit, or as part of your plans, I will be pleased to make.
Yours, most respectfully,
M. JEFF. THOMPSON,
No. 5. Report of Colonel Solon Borland, C. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS POCAHONTAS, ARK., November 5, 1861-9 o'clock p.m.
GENERAL: I have just received information which I indorse as reliable, for it comes from my own scouts, &c., that the enemy in very large force [7,000] are coming rapidly down upon us. That number was within 30 miles of De la Plaine [58 miles north of this] this morning. As you are aware, I have a very small force here, not exceeding, even if reaching, 700 effective men of all arms, and every one of them, men and officers, raw and inexperienced. I have a few old cannon [6 and 4 pounders] that General Hardee pronounced worthless and threw aside as such before he left. Besides, I have no artillery company. Captain Roberts, with about 60 men, who have some knowledge of such service, though not regularly trained, left here yesterday evening, by order of