to feel the strength of the enemy. I believe he will retire at once, in which case I will drive him out of Scott County. I have sent my First Regiment up to Jones' Ford, to relieve the Third. I have sent 80 of my dragoons to Hickory Ridge, to watch Cape Girardeau, and two companies of dragoons to the neighborhood of Bird's Point. Some strange commotion is evidently going on among the enemy, and strong vedettes will make him more cautious, if he has any design upon us. If he is going to Saint Louis (which I believe), the sooner we get a point on the river between Cairo and Saint Louis the better. Captain Neely says the enemy is confined to the limits of his works at Bird's Point, last night having called in all his workmen and guard from the railroad. I send a requisition for some strapped shot, which you will please send me as speedily as possible.
M. JEFF. THOMPSON,
CAMP SIKESTON, MO., August 16, 1861-4 o'clock.
Brigadier General W. J. HARDEE, C. S. A., Greenville, or en route:
DEAR GENERAL: I inclose you another dispatch* from General Pillow. While we are resting on our oars, except the demonstrations I will make at Bird's Point, and other points around me, our enemy is in the greatest commotion. All the troops at Bird's Point went up the river yesterday, but how far I have not yet learned. Four gunboats ran down to New Madrid, to keep General Pillow there, but I am satisfied that they had no troops aboard, and only intended to cover some other movement. The enemy will either land in force at Cape Girardeau or concentrate their whole force at Saint Louis, to make a demonstration at you or to cover the retreat of Lyon's troops, whom I am satisfied have been totally routed, although they are reported as retreating in order by the Saint Louis Democrat. I send 80 dragoons to watch Cape Girardeau, and one of them will bear this to you, and can tell you whether the Cape is the point or not. I have hard the the Iron Mountain Railroad has been crippled. I hope the time to narrow the circle around Saint Louis has come, and that our coils are strong enough to crush the enemy at once.
Yours, most respectfully,
M. JEFF. THOMPSON,
CAMP SIKESTON, MO., August 16, 1861-8 p. m.
Brigadier General GIDEON J. PILLOW, C. S. A., New Madrid, Mo.:
DEAR GENERAL: I send you a dispatch from Cleburne and a courier from Hardee.+ My men from Charleston report still no more men outside of Bird's Point. My expedition into Scott County has not sent me a single messenger, and I believe they are clearing out the whole county, and prefer the credit of doing the whole job alone. I would like very much to have your permission to advance, as I am sure that I can take
+No inclosures found.