War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0681 Chapter X. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

being so encouraged by his letters of last night, which assured me that be would advance this morning. I certainly do not intend to keep my men in this dangerous position any longer, when I know there is no occasion for it. We never had any business this side of the swamps, and it has only been a Memphis ear that prompted such a move. If not allowed to take Cape Girardeau, to obtain supplies, and then fall back on your line, I must go to you at once, for I may be cut to pieces here any night. You Arkansas men can live on beef alone, and then live better than they ever lived at home, the same as my Missourians; and in a war of liberty coffee, sugar, and rice are not indispensable. Excuse my speaking so bluntly. My heart is in this cause, and I know that every hour is costing lives. Governor Reynolds is with me, and, although we would not displease our Tennessee and Mississippi allies, yet will I ask him to transfer me to you again if a forward movement is not made to-morrow.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

CAMP BENTON, MO., August 25, 1861-2 p. m.

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

Commanding Army of Liberation, New Madrid, Mo.:

DEAR GENERAL: I took the privilege of reading your letter to General Hardee, and am rived to the heart at its contents. I must either be allowed to advance or must go away from the Mississippi River, as I feel that my men are in too great danger here, and if we should be driven away, which I expect every hour, the cause in Southeastern Missouri will be crushed to death, and it will cost us a thousand lives to reinstate it.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

CAMP BENTON, MO., August 25, 1861.

Brigadier General W. J. HARDEE, C. S. A., Greenville, Mo.:

DEAR GENERAL: Your flattering letter, turning over the job that must be done to me, is at hand.* Had I not been restrained by positive orders from General Pillow I would have had Cape Girardeau hereford now, and would have been at your service. I see that you expected General Pillow to be at this point. Instead of that the returned from Memphis yesterday, and will start int his direction from New Madrid to-day. I suppose he will be here to-night or to-morrow. Every day lost since I have been here may cost 100 lives, for the enemy have found by now our numbers, whereas they would have run before without firing a shot. I have heard, by rumors, that Lowe's command has started to join me. If so, I hope it is by your orders, as I am not disposed to encourage disobedience. If they join me I will return to you with my whole command as soon as we take the Cape, as we have no more business on the Mississippi River after establishing a permanent post between Saint Louis and Cairo. We can have daily or hourly correspondence

---------------

*Not found.

---------------