through Butler, we might catch some of the cowardly guerrillas between us and the border, while, if I move up the border and form a junction near Kansas City and then move on Harrisonville, the effect would be to herd the enemy, as Sigel did at Carthage and Lyon did at Spring-field.
Start your column from Kansas City for Hassinville, give me notice of the time of their arrival, and I will meet them there. My infantry having marched all day Sunday and my cavalry yesterday and to-day, they will be compelled to rest for one day and night, and we cannot move until the ammunition arrives, which you say you have sent.
No one feels the importance of making a diversion in favor of Peabody more than I do, if it is true he is falling back on Lexington. A column united at Harrinsonville could make that diversion, and if it be true that a force is moving from Sedalia, they could untie and perhaps cut off Price's and Rains' commands.
Another reason in favor of these views: A movement up the border will enable the enemy to concentrate and strike me in the rear.
Forts Scott, Lincoln, and Barnesville are endangered. While here I can cover them, and a movement into the interior protects them. The two Kansas regiments, If they are intended for my command, should be hastened forward to this point. It is a commanding position for the protection of Kansas and the striking of Missouri. Forage is plenty, vegetables for the men to be had for the gathering, good quarters, good water, and plenty of timber.
I am informed that there are three companies of Jenninson's regiment at Fort Leavenworth mustered in. They should be armed and sent forward without delay.
I received a letter from Sickles, of Chicago, who says he has several companies for my brigade. They should be hastened to this point.
Should Kansas City be threatened, a column here could strike them while this column is being strengthened. Be assured we will not be idle. Whenever and wherever we can strike the enemy it shall be done. I am just informed that the last words of the gallant Johnson were, "Come on, boys!"
Can you not induce Captain Reno to send me down a 12-pounder? I am told you have one. I have as brave and skillful artillery officers as there are in the world.
J. H. LANE.
HDQRS. WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Numbers 210.
Saint Louis, Mo., September 17, 1861.
Brigadier General B. M. Prentiss, volunteer service, is assigned to the command of that section of the State of Missouri bordering on and lying north of the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad.
Brigadier-General Prentiss will open, and use stringent measures to keep open, said railroad, and preserve the telegraph line from interruption by the secessionists.
In order to prevent the secessionists from meeting in bands for camp and drill for a few days or a week, as has been their custom in Northeast Missouri, Brigadier-General Prentiss will use the third Regiment of Iowa Cavalry, Colonel Bussey, and the cavalry of Major Bishop, as soon as they are ready for service.
By order of Major-General Fremont: