War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0670 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

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seem to be the only construction to be put upon the course pursed by you in regard to Colonel Neely's regiment, to wit, a disposition to consult your own convenience, to gratify your own wishes, and to set up your own judgment in opposition to the positive orders of the commanding general.

You spoke, nevertheless, of the inconvenience of being tied down "and allowed no discretion," and suggest that your "energies should not be crippled."

I am not aware of the existence of any evidence of a disposition to do anything of that kind at headquarters. On the country, I am conscious of the desire to give to you the largest discretion and the most efficient support inside of the sphere embarked by your command; and I may add, you will never find the exercise of your discretion curtailed, except when there seems to be a disposition manifested to exceed your lawful authority.

But your explanation is satisfactory, and I waived the transmission of the correspondence to Richmond and all further notice or recollection of the matter, and hope you may have a brilliant and successful campaign.

I send you by the Ohio Belle forty mules, the larger part of which were of the lot put on shore there, and allowed to escape on the landing of the Hill.

I sen you a copy of an order sent by me to the quartermaster, Anderson, at Memphis, in regard to other transportation. let me know if you will want what is ordered.

I desire to correct a remark of your sin your dispatch of the 21st, in reference to your lack of facilities since the superseding of quartermaster Peters. Your facilities should be as great hereafter as they have been heretofore, and you have only to send your requisitions forward, and they shall be promptly responded to.

I remain, respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK,

Major-General, Commanding Second Department.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF LIBERATION,

New Madrid, August 23, 1861.

General POLK:

GENERAL: General Hardee has sent Colonel borland to se me relative to the co-operation of our commands in the work before us. He tells me that Hardee thinks he cannot advance to Jackson, Cape Girardeau, or any other point. In other words he thinks himself unable to co-operate at all, but proposes that two shall occupy our positions and await the maturity of the growing crop and the arrival of re-enforcements. This is against my judgment. My opinion is that we should move promptly on the enemy's positions, and dislodge him before he has time to gather his forces and send them down upon us. I regard the success fa everything as depending upon our immediate advance.

My present position is very unsatisfactory if I do not at once advance. I must either go forward or fall back. My force is at Sikeston, benton, and this place. I was in the act of throwing the forces at this place forward, and would have left to-day with everything. Hardee proposes, if I do not concur in his views, that we refer the matter to you. This