have made good use of the time m perfecting my arrangements and arranging the establishment of a permanent post at this point, as a depot for my sick and recruits. My scouts report 4,000 of the enemy at Charleston. It seems that an engine was actually on the outer end of the railroad when my men destroyed the bridge, and the only the enemy now suffer is a march from Bird's Point to the bridge. I do not believe there are 1,000 at Charleston, although they may be fortifying, as reported; but, at any rate, it would be well to bag them; and, as they are evidently there to prevent me from marching out, and as I am already out and behind them, if you will send over a few regiments to cut off their retreat, I will undertake to drive them into your hands. I will, as soon as I hear the truth of the report, send you a courier, and will expect co-operation.
M. JEFF. THOMPSON,
NEW MADRID, MO., October 3, 1861-7 a. m.
Colonel ADEN LOWE, C. S. A., Spring Hill, Mo.:
DEAR SIR: Your courier reached me last night, but I have delayed him until this morning. For want of transportation from Columbus to this place I will be delayed fully forty-eight hours in all my marches. The baggage wagons that should have been here night before lat have not yet arrived, but will come to-day. You will therefore remain at Spring Hill until further orders, as you may have to come to Sikeston to my assistance if the enemy is at Charleston, as reported by the scouts this morning. If the report is false, I except to cross to Spring Hill to you, and we will all move together. I have an abundance of ammunition for muskets and plenty of powder for you, and will send you a load to-day, and we will move together. It will not, however, reach you to-day, as the rains have made the swamps bad. I hope you have none with you but the able-bodied and well-armed, as we have an active campaign before us, and a few well-conditioned men can do more than an army of sick. I will sick select a post commandant for Bloomfield and New Madrid, where heavy baggage, the sick, recruits, and convalescents will make a small army. If you have transportation enough for your active force you can carry four tents along, although I hope you will not have to pitch them. You can exercise your judgement about your prisoners. The deserters can be released if they will go along-that is, if they are well enough. Hard stories are told about the actions of some of your men on the trip to Jackson. I hope they are not true. I will try to get over to Bloomfield, to see how things are arranged, before we finally leave. Make, if possible, your monthly report.
M. JEFF. THOMPSON,
CAMP NEW MADRID, MO., October 3, 1861.
Brigadier General GIDEON J. PILLOW, C. S. ARMY, Columbus, Ky.:
DEAR GENERAL: I send you to-day 8 more prisoners of war, whom my men captured at Jackson ten days ago. I understand the woods