stated they were turning in mules on Mr. Haskell's account. I called for the contract or order under which Haskell furnished them, but never received any until I received a line from General McKinstry, quartermaster, stating that General Fremont desired me to inspect and receive Mr. Haskell's mules as rapidly as possible. I received mules from Mr. Haskell only as they were required to ship off for field service. I received some from other parties in like manner.
I have good grounds for believing that in not receiving all Mr. Haskell's mules I gave much offense to him and to his friends. But I believed then, and I do yet, that my action was for the best interest of the Government.
P. T. TURNELY,
General L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General United States.
Disposition for retaking Springfield.
Springfield, the strategical point of that wide elevation which separates the waters of the Osage from those of the Arkansas River, is the key to the whole southwestern part of Missouri, commanding an area of nearly 60,000 square miles.
Around it is clustered a true and loyal population, large numbers of whom, driven from their homes and fire-sides, and burning with a desire to revenge their sufferings and recapture their homesteads, are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to join and advancing army.
Not only, therefore, military strategy, but a wise and humane policy, demands the reoccupation of that place.
To effect this in the shortest and speediest way, a combined movement of our troops should be made from Rolla and Jefferson City.
The column from the latter place, moving first, will cross, after two days' marching, the Osage River at Tuscumbia. To prevent delay in crossing, anchors, ropes, pulleys, and other portable necessaries for the construction of raft bridges be taken along from Jefferson City.
Upon an appointed day after the passage of the river has been accomplished, the column from Rolla will commence its march, and that place and Tuscumbia being each about 100 miles from Springfield, in six days the two forces will be able to unite at their destination.
As the lines of march converge upon their approach to Springfield, it will be practicable at Lebanon and Cross Plains (10 miles north of Buffalo) to open communication between the columns. Strong scouting parties will best effect this object, and each body will thus support and assist the other.
The Cole County Home Guards should occupy Tuscumbia. After the column from Jefferson City has passed that place, a reserve should be left at Linn Creek to cover the rear provision train, while Warsaw, the most important point on the Osage, should be immediately occupied by the Home Guards of Johnson, Pettis, and Benton County, re-enforced by a volunteer regiment and two pieces of artillery.
Rolla, Waynesville, and Lebanon can be occupied upon the withdrawal of the other troops by regiments of the United States Reserve Corps from Saint Louis, while Jefferson City can be placed in charge of an adequate force of General Sigel's brigade, now under reorganization.
To co-operate with this combined movement, General Lane will be