HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Jefferson City, Mo., August 27, 1861.
Captain SPEED BUTLER, Saint Louis, Mo.:
Two spies, one from the neighborhood of Lebanon and the other from Springfield, have come in this morning. The one from Lebanon reports that the Southern Army is traveling north in small bodies, and secessionists say with a view of concentrating about Linn Creek. The citizens of Lebanon expected a body of 10,000 men without a few days of the time my informant left. The one from Springfield reports substantially that same thing, so far as the leaving of troops in detachments goes. He says that after the battle of Springfield the rebels concealed a portion of their artillery and commenced a retreat without burying any considerable portion of their dead. Finding, however, that a retreat had commenced from the other side, they returned to Springfield, after having made a retrograde movement of some 5 miles.
I sent out on Sunday a detachment of Home Guards to arrest two secession captains that I learned had come in. They succeeded infinding them by coming upon them in the night. Their names are J. Johnson, of Miller County, and B. Barnd, of Cole. These men claim to have come in under the proclamation of Governor Gamble, and with the intention of laying down their arms. I have proof, however, william Mathews, John Hicks, and Aaron Bell being witnesses, that B. Barnd stated that these difficulties had to be settled by the sword, and that he (Barnd) was going back to Jackson's army, and that Johnson was also going. The manner and apparent ignorance of these men as to condition of affairs about Springfield goes very far against the plausibility of their having come in in good faith.
I have appointed an ordnance-sergeant here to take charge of all stores that may arrive.
I am getting teams broken in as rapidly as possible. I have to report that the harness sent her is entirely too light and very inferior in quality. The chains are so light and brittle that they snap with the least strain. I have been compelled to order the purchase of new traces here for the teams we are working, and shall be compelled to do so as fast as additional ones are hitched up.
The detachment that left here a few days since to ares parties for firing into the cars west of here brought in a number of prisoners, but from all the evidence they were the most innocent men in the county. I had them liberated. I would renew my recommendation of yesterday, that a large force be concentrated here; that the road be prepared and possession taken, and protection be given to all the counties bordering on the Missouri.
U. S. GRANT,
Washington, D. C., August 28, 1861.
Honorable FRANK P. BLAIR, Saint Louis, Mo.:
DEAR COLONEL: Your brother, the Postmaster-General, has handed me your letter of the 21st of August. I asked him to let me have it, in order that I might, by a few words, strengthen your hands and General Fremont's, and disabuse both him and you of some errors which may give trouble.
If there was any deficiency in the quartermaster's department in Mis-