on Sunday, and had not been in since. The other says he left yesterday. Our men agree in saying that several thousand were advancing on Charleston, but a neighbor, who left an h our or more after them, says but 700 had arrived in the town when he left. Captain White had sent to you for re-enforcements, but, as we cannot second any attack from this point, they had better not advance. I will try to hear definitely and truthfully from Bird's Point to-morrow. A spy, just in from Scott County, reports that at noon there were no men in Commerce, but 300 in Hamburg and 300 in Benton. They have six guns with them. If you would allow me to suggest, I would that this is not the point for a depot until after Commerce or Cape Girardeau is taken. I shall have sufficient store room for you. Tippen's regiment and two companies of Mississippians are at Jones' Ferry, and I have only 20 men towards Charleston. To-morrow I hope there will be one of your officers here to act in conjunction with me, and that the horses of your cavalry will be sufficiently rested to take their turn at picket duty. If the force represented be at Bird's Point we cannot be too vigilant. I have requested the Tennessee cavalry to start at daybreak towards Charleston, to cover us in that direction.
Yours, most respectfully,
M. JEFF. THOMPSON,
CAMP SIKESTON, MO., August 14, 1861-10.30 o'clock.
Brigadier General GIDEON J. PILLOW, C. S. A., New Madrid, Mo.:
DEAR SIR: Yours of this morning is at hand. I will have a wareroom prepared. I had taken the depot myself, but you shall have the largest to be had in the village. I had sent the Mississippi cavalry and Colonel Tippen's regiment to the point you indicated in your letter before I heard from you. Waugh, with his men and the Tennessee cavalry, has returned. The shots were exchanged by the cavalry pickets, and both parties ran. I will give my men a good lecture. My men are doing finely at Charleston, as you will see by the inclosed note. I am not strong enough to hold Charleston, and therefore will let my men fall back, according to written instructions. If the horses of the Tennesseeans were not tired, I would send over and drive the enemy into Bird's Point, which we could easily do, as we have them frightened. I will send over some men to cover the retreat.
M. JEFF. THOMPSON,
P. S.-If you will let me, I will try to take Commerce to-morrow. It is a strong point, and will cut off communication as effectually as Cape Girardeau.
CAMP SIKESTON, MO., August 14, 1861-11 p.m.
Major J. H. MILLER,
Commanding Mississippi Cavalry, Jones' Ford, Mo.:
DEAR MAJOR: Yours of to-night is at hand. I agree with you that the bait is very tempting, and that time is a great object in our movements against Hamburg and Commerce; but we are entirely too weak to hold these positions, if we took them, until to-morrow night, and