according with what I have advised for weeks Expecting you here daily, I have not telegraphed before; but if you do not come at once, will you take into consideration the importance to Cairo that the southeast should be held by us?
CHESTER HARDING, Jr.,
WASHINGTON, July 20, 1861.
Colonel CHESTER HARDING, Jr.,
General Thomas authorized me to say that you can accept as many three-years' regiments as shall offer, until further notice.
F. P. BLAIR,
Colonel First Regiment.
CINCINNATI, July 20, 1861.
CHESTER HARDING, Jr.,
In case of attack on Cairo, have none but Illinois troops to re-enforce, and only 11,000 arms in Illinois. Will direct two regiments to be ready at Caseyville, but you will only use them for defense of Saint Louis and in case of absolute necessity. Telegraph me from time to time.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
Major-General, U. S. Army.
SAINT LOUIS ARSENAL, July 21, 1861.
GENERAL: Before referring to your recent communications, allow me to explain the state of affairs in other parts of Missouri outside of your line of operations.
Before you left Booneville I had the honor to advise you that large forces were gathering at Pocahontas. In accordance with your instructions, I communicated freely by telegraph with General McClellan, and, as I supposed, succeeded in having placed at your disposal sufficient troops from Illinois to hold the swamp counties of the southeast. Accordingly, I commenced by sending Bland's regiment to Ironton, with directions to proceed as far as he could, with entire safety, in the direction of Greenville. At the same time Colonel Grant's regiment was ordered here, to proceed to Bloomfield, and Colonel Marsh to Cape Girardeau, where he could have easy communication with either Cairo or Bloomfield. I armed 800 Home Guards in Cape Girardeau and Scott Counties, to act as skirmishers, scouts, and guides in the marshes, and obtained authority from the Secretary of War to raise a force of mounted scouts. With these forces, and with arms for Home Guards in Wayne, Stoddard, and Butler, I expected to keep down local rebellion in that region, encourage Union men, hold the causeway through the swamps, and prevent the approach of an army from Pocahontas until the commanding generals and the authorities at Washington became convinced that it was the design of the enemy to march upon Bird's Point and Saint Louis as soon as sufficient strength was gathered.