HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI,
Cairo, November 21, 1861.
Captain J. C. KENTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.:
General Orders, Numbers 1, of the 19th instant, Department of the Missouri, is just received. During the temporary absence of headquarters from Saint Louis I made a report to Major-General McClellan, and was directed by him to make a full report of all my command, how located, their wants, &c. This has been done, but no requisitions forwarded.
My command embraces the posts of Cape Girardeau and Bird's Point, Mo., Fort Holt, Ky., and Cairo and Mound City, Ill. For strength of each command see tri-monthly, which will be forwarded in a day or two.
Paducah and Smithland compose a separate district. Since the affair of Belmont, on the 7th, quite a number of Northern men have made their escape from the South, not a few of them soldiers. From this source I have got what I believe a reliable statement of the strength of the enemy; the position of his batteries; number of his troops, &c.
There are now at Columbus forty-seven regiments of infantry and cavalry, two companies of light artillery, and over one hundred pieces of heavy ordnance. All the statements I have received corroborate each other. In addition to these there are at Camp Beauregard, on the road about half way between Mayfield and Union City, some 8,000 more, of all arms, under command of Major Bowen, of Camp Jackson notoriety. The position of the camp may have been charged since I last heard from them, but the force is exclusively of those enumerated above.
The enemy are working night, and day upon their fortifications, and the greatest consternation has prevailed for the last ten days lest Columbus should be attacked. Finding that they are let alone, they may be induced to act on the offensive if more troops are not sent here soon. A gunboat reached Columbus the night of the 19th instant, and another is expected within a few days.
The condition of this command is bad in every particular except discipline. In this latter I think they will compare favorably with almost any volunteers. There is great deficiency in transportation. I have no ambulances. The clothing received has been almost universally of an inferior quality and deficient in quantity. The arms in the hands of the men are mostly the old flint lock repaired, the "Tower" musket, and others of still more inferior quality.
My cavalry force are none of them properly armed - the best being deficiency in sword-belts and having the old pattern carbiness. Eight companies are entirely without arms of any description.
The Quartermaster's Department has been carried on here with so little funds that Government credit has become exhausted. I would urgently recommend that relief in this particular be afforced at as early a days as practicable.
U. S. GRANT,
P. S.- The facts relating to arms, clothing, Quartermaster's Department, &c., have been frequently reported and requisition made.
STANFORD, KY., November 21, 1861.
Captain J. B. FRY, A. A. G. and Chief of Staff,
Hdqrs. Dept. of the Ohio, Louisville, Ky.:
SIR: Your communication of the 19th has just been received . The roads being in such bad condition I am compelled to move by Danville