which are inclosed, as with an expectation of finding any considerable force in arms against the United States. I inclose also copy of instructions issued to officers in command of these various columns,* as also copy of a letter addressed to J. H. Sturgeon, esq.+ These various papers will explain fully the policy I am pursuing and the reasons therefor. In addition to the reasons thus assigned, I have to say that, by pursuing the system of hunting out these guerrilla parties, the whole force under my command will be as much demoralized and as little fitted for active service in campaign as the marauding parties themselves. I am compelled to pursue some policy, however harsh, which will enable me to assemble my forces in a camp of instruction, that I may establish that discipline and habit of service essential to any efficiency in the field hereafter. Raw troops such as these grow worse every day by this system of small detachments scattered over the country on police duty, and if it be pursued for two months, I shall have a mob and not an army to command.
I have selected a point near Brookfield, on the Hannibal and Saint Joe Railroad, for a camp for all the forces under my command. Water is abundant and good, and the ground fine rolling prairie, with timber at hand on both sides. I shall move to that point as soon as the quartermaster in Saint Louis can send forward transportation. It is my design in moving to that point to occupy in succession Columbia, Fayette, Glasgow, and Keytesville.
I am, captain, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding in North Missouri.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, August 6, 1861.
DEAR SIR: By order of the President I yesterday sent a dispatch to General Fremont, asking him to report briefly the situation of affairs in the region of Cairo. The inclosed is his answer, which the President asks me to send you.
JNO. G. NICOLAY.
SAINT LOUIS, MO., August 6, 1861.
JOHN G. NICOLAY, Private Secretary:
Our position in that region good. Enemy very much superior in force. Eighteen thousand between Bird's Point and New Madrid, under Pillow and Jeff. Thompson. Strong in cavalry and artillery. We are re-enforcing and entrenching Ironton, Cape Girardeau, and Bird's Point. Night of my arrival at Bird's Point the enemy burned bridges of Fulton and Cairo Railroad. We are not losing a moment, but distressed by rawness of troops and want of arms. Shall I give detail of relative forces by telegraph?
J. C. FREMONT.
* See p. 421, 422.
+ See p. 423.