War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0544 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

Search Civil War Official Records

Division and General Asboth's Fourth Division. The force designed to act against Price consists of five divisions, as follows:

First Division, Hunter's, at Tipton ..................... 9,750

Second Division, Pope's, at Georgetown .................. 9,220

Third Division, Sigel's, at Sedalia ..................... 7,980

Fifth Division, Asboth's at Tipton ...................... 6,451

Sixth Division, McKinstry's, at Syracuse ................ 5,388

-------

Total ...................................................38,789

As soon as I obtained a view of the several encampments at Tipton, I expressed the opinion that the forces there assembled could not be moved, as scarcely any means of transportation were visible. I saw General Hunter, second in command, and conversed freely with him. He stated that there was great confusion, and that Fremont was utterly incompetent; that his own division was greatly scattered, and the force then present defective in many respects; that he required 100 wagons, yet he was ordered to march that day, and some of this troops were already drawn out on the road. His cavalry regiment (Ellis') had horses, arms (indifferent), but no equipments; had to carry their cartridges in their pockets; consequently, on their first day's march from Jefferson City, in a heavy rain, the cartridges carried about their persons were destroyed. This march to Tipton (35 miles) was made on a miry, heavy earth road parallel to the railroad, and but a little distance from it. The troops were directed by General Fremont to march without provisions, knapsacks, and without transportation. A violent rain storm came up, and the troops were exposed to it all night, were without food for twenty-four hours, and when food was received the beef was found to be spoiled.

General Hunter stated that he had just received a written report from one of his colonels, informing him that but 20 out of 100 of his guns would go off. These were the guns procured by General Fremont in Europe. I may here state that General Sherman, at Louisville, made a similar complaint of the great inferiority of these European arms. He had given the men orders to file down the nipples. In conversation with Colonel Swords, assistant quartermaster-general, at Louisville, just from California, he stated that Mr. Selover, who was in Europe with General Fremont, wrote to some friend in San Francisco that his share of the profit of the purchase of these arms was $30,000.

When General Hunter, at Jefferson City, received orders to march to Tipton, he was directed to take 41 wagons with him, when he had only 40 mules, which fact had been duly reported to headquarters. At this time Colonel Stevenson's Seventh Missouri Regiment was, without General Hunter's knowledge, taken from him, leaving him, when under marching orders, with only one regiment at Jefferson City fit to take the field (see paper Numbers 9*). General Hunter showed me the order for marching, dated October 10, which he only received the 12th (see paper Numbers 10).+ (See Hunter's reply, showing the great wants of his command, marked Numbers 11).++ The same day the order was changed to one day's march (see paper Numbers 12).@

When General Pope, at Georgetown, 25 miles distant, received this order of march, he wrote a private letter to Hunter, which I read. It set forth the utter impossibility of his moving for the want of supplies and transportation, and asked whether General Fremont could mean what he said.

---------------

*See Hunter to Eaton, October 4, p. 519.

+See Circular, October 11, p. 530.

++See Hunter to Eaton, October 12, p. 531.

@See Eaton to Hunter, October 12, p. 531.

---------------