I would ask if storage for the gunboat fleet is to be furnished by the Quartermaster's Department, or is Captain Perry, Navy receiving officer here, to furnish this accommodation out of a different appropriation.
It is highly necessary, in view of possible high water, to revert the outer embankments of Fort Prentiss, to prevent them from washing away. There is no money in the engineer department to make the purchase of material with which to do it. Shall I order the quartermaster to purchase the necessary material? The labor can be furnished by detail.
In the matter of signing discharges on surgeon's certificates I examined the regulations well, and come fully to the conclusion that now that General Fremont was in the field I might regard myself as commanding an army in the field also, and therefore be entitled to sign such discharges. Then, too, many of the cases coming before me are of such a nature that the applicant should not be detailed a single day.
I would ask as to my authority to grant sick leaves; also if I have authority to send officers or men on recruiting services to fill up companies here.
For the last few days the reports I get from the enemy are so contradictory that I feel but little like reporting. I am satisfied, however, that Hardee, with 5 regiments, has joined Buckner; also that a large force has crossed to the Missouri shore-this latter chiefly, I think, to gather the large crop of corn now maturing.
There has been added lately to the works at Columbus a casemate battery.
Several days ago I ordered a steamer to Cape Girardeau to follow the first Saint Louis steamer, and make all her landings below that point and seize all goods landed. My orders were exceeded by seizing the steamer also, but she was released promptly on being brought into port. A copy of the report of the officer commanding, marked A,* is inclosed. Are these goods to be retained? I would again suggest that trade with Southeastern Missouri should be cut off. The enemy are enabled to get valuable supplies by that route, and all the information in possession of citizens of Saint Louis. Paper marked B* contains a list of articles seized in the same manner, landed by the steamer Arago.
I would suggest that, if consistent with the views of the commanding general, I would like to visit Saint Louis and Springfield strictly on business for this command. I have frequently reported our deficiency in many of the necessaries to a complete outfit, and want to give my best efforts to remedy the evil.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
ROLLA, MO., October 18, 1861.
Captain CHAUNCEY McKEEVER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.:
CAPTAIN: A scout returned here last night and reports that the rebel forces at Vienna have dispersed, some joining Johnston and the balance scattered.
Freeman is about 40 miles south, with a force of 700 men.
Price has halted South of the Osage, and called the legislature to-gether at Carthage on the 4th day of November.