War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0641 Chapter X. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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To-night three of the regiments are south of the Arkansas River, and can be transported by water if the exigency require it.

Indicate to us whether the necessity demands such prompt transportation. It is our desire to facilitate every movement.

H. M. RECTOR,

President Military Board.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, MO. S. G.,

Camp Sikeston, Mo., August 10, 1861.

Brigadier General GIDEON J. PILLOW, C. S. A., New Madrid, Mo.:

DEAR SIR: Yours of this morning, ordering me to retreat or fall back to Moore's, has been received, but I have sent to the country for meal, flour, &c., and have the party, mentioned in mine of 11.30 o'clock, and another, which is just starting, to strength a picket on the road to Benton to cover some wagons I have there, and watch a force of 500 men, who reached Benton this morning. Therefore I will be in no condition to fall back until morning, and will endeavor to hold my position until then, unless you positively request that I fall back to-night, which I can well do after dark, if necessary. If you will allow me, I would suggest that I think it proper, if possible, to hold this point as they key to Bird's Point and Cape Girardeau, and, from the strength of picket, the enemy will believe that I have a large force here, and will not dare advance through the swamp, where I can whip him two to one, until convinced of my weakness, by which time you can strengthen me, and I will have 1,000 men more of my own. They are just learning that it is me that is here, as they have believed me at Greenville, and I am perfectly willing to risk holding this point with the two companies of cavalry you have sent me, if you will allow me to. Answer as soon as possible.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

P. S.-If I can stay here, please send the baggage of the cavalry companies on up; if not, we will all fall back to-night after supper. I prefer remaining.

CAMP WHITEWATER, MO., August 10, 1861-10 p.m.

Brigadier General GIDEON J. PILLOW, C. S. A.,

Commanding Army of Liberation, New Madrid, Mo.:

DEAR SIR: I am here according to promise, and will be to-morrow by noon several miles east of here, in township 27, range 14. I will expect orders every moment from you. I would go at once to Sikeston, but have not heard from that side of the river for two days. I am going to Horse Mill to have meal ground. I have 400 dragoons and 900 infantry.

Yours, respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON.

HEADQUARTERS UPPER DISTRICT ARKANSAS,

Greenville, Mo., August 11, 1861.

Major-General POLK, Commanding, Memphis:

GENERAL: I had placed myself in communication with General Jeff. Thompson, and had planned with him an attack on Ironton. He left me

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