intend to defend the line of the Marmiton, including Fort Scott. But as that post cannot be fortified, I am withdrawing there from all trains and stores not required for immediate use. This, the Little Osage line, about 12 miles north, I can, and am fortifying, and here I will establish such depots as are necessary while organizing the brigade. There are now at Fort Scoutt about 1,200 men, say 600 cavalry, and about the same number of infantry, including the little artillery. The cavalry will be employed in defending the border and dispersing such parties as they can reach. The infantry are drilling industriously, and all at work filling up their companies. At this point we have two companies, about 100 men, engaged in erecting entrenchments and drilling.
Three miles in advance, on Fish Creek, on the road to Fort Scott, we have 40 men; 5 miles below, at Bernesville, 3 miles from the line, on this river, on the military road from Kansas City to Fort Scott, we have about 100 men entrenched and drilling; at Mound city we are fortifying, to be manned by the local militia.
With a small force on last Monday I could have destroyed Rains' Division; he was within 30 miles of us. Yesterday we dispersed a force at Ball's Mill. Night before last we sent a force south to disperse a camp they have not yet returned. Dean's command, about 230, that you are conversant with, left us yesterday to return to Bates County. This morning at 3 o'clock I received a dispatch from him and Jennison, informing me that 500 rebels had crossed the line and were threatening Paola and Osawatomie. I directed him to pitch in and clear the border between us and Kansas City, calling in such assistance as he could get from the country. I at the same time directed Montgomery to send a body of cavalry along the border north from Fort Scoutt up the military road.
Our little force will be actively employed to defend Kansas and confuse Missourians. But, sir, I assure you that Fort Leavenworth and Kansas should be defended from this point, and the idea of holding artillery to rust at Fort Leavenworth does not strike me with any favor. I hope the first troops forwarded will bring down artillery that can be used to some purpose.
General Weed has this moment come in from Fort Scott. He says the enemy is threatening; that a large force is marching upon us; that a rumor reached Fort Scott yesterday that our party, under Williams, had a fight; we feel some uneasiness, but hope for the best. All the Government stores and trains will be removed back upon this line to-day and night from Fort Scott.
Can you not send use re-enforcements; with it, we could play hell with Missouri in a few days.
J. H. LANE.
HEADQUARTERS FORT LEAVENWORTH,
August 27, 1861.
ASSISTANT ADJUTANT GENERAL,
Headquarters Western Department, Saint Louis, Mo.:
Respectfully submitted. Lane's brigade should be supplied with a battery of four pieces, caissons, ammunition, &c., which, with the two pieces now in this command, will materially strengthen him; if approved, please send them to this place at once.
W. E. PRINCE,