I have been strengthening Bayles all I could. There are three companies here now, mustered and ready to go down as soon as armed (by Tuesday at furthest), and the other two companies will be ready during the week, in all probability. The ten companies were to be commanded by Saxton. He is said to be on his way here at this time, and Saxton would be invaluable, either in command on the line or with you. When Lieutenant-Colonel Hassendeubel reports I shall send that company back, unless I am satisfied that he had good authority for his action.
As to re-enforcements, I shall reorganize the Second and Fourth under their captains, and put the first ten companies formed into one regiment, without regard to the preferences of individuals. This can be done during the week, as Boernstein, Schaefer, and Hammer are all to come here to-morrow.
The surplus can be organized under a temporary battalion organization, sent to the field, and afterwards filled up.
Smith's Eighth can go down during the week, and a splendid regiment it is.
Last night the adjutant-general gave me authority to accept any regiment that offered. Two are formed in the country. Both will be ready in two weeks. Others will come. I have caused the notice of the authority to be published. Bland can't be spared; nor can Curtis's men. Saint Joe and the surrounding country are reported to be ready to rise. In fact, the whole State is.
McNeil can doubtless raise a regiment without difficulty. He is ordered home as soon as Pope relieves him.
The Ninth and Tenth are filling up fast, and can be ready in two weeks, probably. These statements are made upon the supposition that arms and equipments will be here as ordered.
Mulligan's regiment of Illinois Volunteers, I forgot to say, arrived here yesterday for arms. I sent some companies to Jefferson to-day, and the remainder will go up Tuesday.
But, better than all, General Fremont telegraphed me last night that he would start for Saint Louis immediately, and when I can have the opportunity of going over the map with him I trust that he will use his power to fill this State with troops. A few weeks' delay would make the whole State a battle-field.
And now, general, I can say that to be relieved of the responsibility which I have had upon me since you left, without the authority, after the change in the department command, to do what I saw was necessary, with my representations to the department generally unnoticed, and without even a competent clerk to aid me in the ordinary routine of business, is truly a relief; and no one can be so glad that Fremont is coming as I am. I have never before had the time to write you fully, and I presume that now the office is full of people, who are waiting upon the same errands with which you were formerly so much annoyed.
I shall always feel proud of the confidence which you have placed in me, and I hope you will think that I have endeavored to justify it.
Very respectfully and truly,
CHESTER HARDING, JR.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NORTH MISSOURI,
Saint Charles, July 21, 1861.
An investigation of the circumstances attending the difficulties along the line of the North Missouri Railroad, and the wanton destruction of