CAIRO, July 15, 1861.
CHESTER HARDING, Jr.:
I have received McClellan's dispatch. My plan would be to start a strong column across Missouri from this point, leaving it well guarded; at the same time, advance from Cape Girardeau and Greenville, concentrating with Lyon on Missouri forces, and drive them back. It would be better first to break up rebel encampment at Union City, in Tennessee, to prevent their crossing at Hickman or Madrid to get in our rear. All of which I could do if ordered by major-general commanding. I must await orders. I have not been officially informed that Fremont commands us.
B. M. PRENTISS,
CHICAGO, July 15, 1861.
CHESTER HARDING, Jr.:
Have dispatched condition of affairs to General Fremont, and asked authority to take the field in Northern Missouri with five more regiments. Expect answer to-night. Will go down and confer with you as soon as I hear. How did you succeed with Harris?
WASHINGTON, July 15, 1861.
The President is going in person to the War Department to arrange matters for you.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE WEST,
Springfield, Mo., July 15, 1861.
Colonel CHESTER HARDING, Jr.,
Adjt. General Missouri Vols., Saint Louis Arsenal, Mo.:
COLONEL: General Lyon is now here with about 7,000 men. Of these, fully one-half are three-months' volunteers, whose term of service has nearly expired, the latest expiring on the 14th of August. Governor Jackson is concentrating his forces in the southwestern part of the State, and is receiving large re-enforcements from Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Texas. This effective force will soon be certainly not less than 30,000 men-probably much larger. All idea of any further advance movement, or of even maintaining our present position, must soon be abandoned unless the Government furnish us promptly with large re-enforcements and supplies. Our troops are badly clothed, poorly fed, and imperfectly supplied with tents. None of them have as yet been paid, and the three-months' volunteers have become disheartened to such extent that very few of them are willing to renew their enlistment. The blank pay-rolls are not here, and the long time required to get them here, fill them up, send them to Washington, have the payment ordered, and the paymaster reach us, leaves no hope that our troops can be paid for five or six weeks to come. Under these circumstances there remains no other course but to urgently press upon