War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0368 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

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night. No baggage is to be taken, and only two days' rations in haversacks. I would like Colonel Wallace to go in command of the expedition, and if he knows of a passable road from Charleston to Benton, let the command be doubled and one-half take that route.

U. S. GRANT,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Colonel R. J. OGLESBY,

Commanding U. S. Forces, Bird's Point, Mo.

No. 2. Reports of Brigadier General M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard, of proposed capture of steamers.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, MO. S. G.,

New Madrid, Mo., November 17, 1861-10 a.m.

DEAR GENERAL: I will, with pleasure, undertake the expedition, but I have no hopes that I can remain long enough in ambush to catch any particular boat. I will do my best, and if I cannot get the one desired, I will get some other, and by this means stop navigation for a week, except under large convoy. This will give you time, by amusing the enemy's gunboats, which I suppose to be of much importance at this juncture. I will not use your steamboats, but will go under curtain of my pickets.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major General LEONIDAS POLK,

C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.

NEW MADRID, MO., November 17, 1861.

DEAR GENERAL: Your favor, by the Prince, is at hand,* and I will cheerfully undertake the expedition, but will not risk it on the route you propose. The enemy have been alarmed at the proximity of my pickets to Bird's Point, and are now guarding the roads leading to the railroad. I will go by Sikeston, Jones' Ford, and to the river, at Commerce, or below the Big Island, and will startle the enemy, if I do not capture them. It will be impossible for me to capture any particular boat, as it will not do to lay in ambush too long; but I will get some boat and stop the navigation for a week, except under the convoy of land forces and gunboats. This will give you time, which is now of vast importance. I will start this afternoon, and be in position by sunrise to morrow.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brigadier General GIDEON J. PILLOW,

C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.

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*Not found.

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