War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0714 OPERATIONS IN MO, ARK., KANS., AND INT. T. Chapter X.

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opposite Columbus are filled with the enemy's pickets, and that they are fortifying Charleston. I have written to General Johnston to send over, to drive them westward, when I will catch them, or if the will hold the bag, I will drive.

Yours, &c.,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

NEW MADRID, MO., October 3, 1861.

Colonel J. J. SMITH,

Second Regiment Dragons, Camp near Sikeston, Mo.:

DEAR SIR: I place no faith in the report that as many of the enemy are at Charleston as I hear. There may be some there, and if so we must drive them in. You must keep an active lookout in that direction, and, if possible, find out the number and location of the forces. I will try to have a movement made from Columbus to cut him off, and we will attack him from our side. They have no idea that we are outside of them in force, and their movement there is the one I anticipated, and was intended to cut us off. We are out of the cage in time, and will probably put them in it. The delay in our baggage has occasioned me much trouble, and the troops of the First Regiment have this moment arrived, while their wagons (empty) are coming down by land. This will delay our march forty-eight hours, and we must be as patient as possible. You will, therefore, if you are in a comfortable place, remain there, resting as many horses as you safely can, and await orders. You will hear from me repeatedly during the day.

Yours, &c.,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

P. S.-As soon as you hear the truth, send a courier, with all the facts, to General Johnston.

CAMP BROWN, MO., October 7, 1861-9 a. m.

Colonel JAMES A. WALKER, Commanding at New Madrid, Mo.:

SIR: Nearly all the men you sent along have deserted, and those that are here very much dissatisfied. It seems, from their reports, that you are furloughing all the men left with you to garrison the post of New Madrid, and it is said you have even furnished them with State transportation to go home in. This is very demoralizing, and must be peremptorily stopped; and if you have let any go home, it is in express opposition to my orders left with you. I will state here again, plainly, that no man, soldier or officer, shall be furloughed again for more than twenty-four hours, for the reason that it demoralizes the command, by producing dissatisfaction both in camp and at home. You must enforce the strictest military discipline around your post, as by this means only can you give satisfaction to any one. Catch all the deserters you can.

Yours, &c.,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.