General McClellan countermanded his order to Grant. I could get no answer in regard to equipping Buell's battery (though now the authority is here and aa portion of the battery in service on the Missouri River), and Bland and Marsh are at the points which they were sent to, without the force to accomplish the object named. General McClellan's reason for countermanding the order to Grant was that Cairo was threatened. Therefore, instead of occupying the country through which the enemy must come, eight regiments are lying in that sickly hole, Cairo, where General Prentiss can see the whole of them at once. He also has cavalry and two light batteries.
A week since General McClellan telegraphed that he had the same definite information of troops crossing from Tennessee and coming up from all parts of Arkansas to Pocahontas, which I had learned from our scouts and spies (one of them a pilot on a Memphis boat which had conveyed some of the troops over), and had sent to him.
Now, in the southeast we stand thus: Two regiments, not in communication with each other; no artillery, and a few Home Guards, against, what they expect to be, 20,000 men (regular troops, well provided), who design marching upon Saint Louis.
I have explained all this to General Fremont, who will be here Tuesday, and who (as does General Pope) understands the threatened movement, and will take vigorous measures to meet it.
So much for the southeast. Meanwhile, your departure from Booneville, and the necessity of having 1,800 troops to garrison Jefferson City, Booneville, and Lexington, encouraged the rebels in Northeast Missouri. Brigadier General Tom. Harris gathered a force below Monroe Station, in camp. I took the liberty of ordering Colonel Smith, of Illinois, who was lying 18 miles from him, to break up the camp. He waited a day or two until Harris had got together 1,600 men, proceeded part way, shut himself up in a seminary, and sent back for re-enforcements, as his men had been marched off in such a hurry that they forgot to fill their cartridge boxes and had only four rounds apiece. He was relieved, and Harris marched southwestwardly, on his way through Callaway County, to make a combined attack upon Jefferson City, with forces from Pettis, Osage, and Linn Counties.
To check this, I ordered up Schuttner's regiment from Cairo. As soon as the boat arrived I gave Colonel Schuttner his marching orders, and immediately went to work to equip his regiment. McKinstry helped, and both of us worked all night. The field officers, except Hammer, and nearly all the company officers went up town, and McKinstry and I were colonels, captains, adjutants, and quartermasters, as occasion required. I finally got them off, to go to Jefferson City, to cross there. As the regiment was in the worst possible state of discipline, and as Hammer is no soldier (Schuttner and the balance I put in arrest as soon as they appeared at the gate at reveille), I couldn't trust him, and ordered McNeil to take seven of his companies and follow him and take command. Hammer had with him forty-two mounted orderlies. The two commands united were to proceed from Jefferson City, via Fulton, to Mexico, between which two places last named Harris was.
At the same time Colonel M. L. Smith, Eighth Regiment, with two companies, and four companies of the Second, under Schaefer, were sent up to Mexico by rail, where it was arranged with Hurlbut that either Palmer's or Grant's regiment should join them and scour the country down toward Jefferson. After fully entering into the plan, and after I
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