HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI,
Cairo November 28, 1861.
Captain J. C. KELTON, Saint Louis, Mo:
I would respectfully report for the consideration of the general commanding the department that on Monday last one of the two gunboats for service at this place was sent to meet two of the new then said to be ready t start for Cairo. None of this fleet have yet arrived.
As reported by me, the rebels have one gunboat at Columbus, and are now expecting a fleet of them from New Orders, under command of Captain Hollins. The arrival of this fleet without the floating means here of competing with them will serve material to restore the confidence and feeling of security of the enemy, now, from best accounts, much shaken.
I have been much dissatisfied with the progress making upon the gunboats being built at Mound City, and here expressed the fear that the detention upon those being built at Carondelet would prevent their being brought out this winter. In view of the fact the Mississippi River is usual very low in the month of December, I would respectfully recommend that all the gunboats at Corendelet be brought here as soon as practicable and as light. One point i would ask for information on. Many men, representing themselves as Northern men, who happened to be South at the commencement of our present difficulties and forces to enter their service, are deserting and pass our lines on their way North. Some enlist in our service, but the majority make their way North. Mary of them are without the means of paying their passage, and I would ask in such cases if I am authorized to give them free passage to their homes. I am satisfied that in every case that has come under my own observation the desertion has been for the purpose of escape, and not to get within our lines for the purpose of fainting information.
U. S. GRANT,
LOUISIANA, November 28, 1861.
General THOMAS, Washington:
I have one regular and nine volunteer batteries. My artillery inspector represents all the volunteer batteries to be in bad condition for service. Seven have been for some time in service; the others are entirely uninstructed. No other batteries are being formed. There should be not less than twenty batteries with this command as now composed.
D. C. BUELL.
LEBANON, November 28, 1861.
Express from Colonel Bramlette at 2 o'clock this morning. He says the enemy is now in Wayne Country, advancing towards the river; some at Monticello and other at Mill Springs; ten regiments strong; one piece of artillery. His scouts have just gotten in from Clinton; they were within 200 yards of the enemy's camp last night; examined well; saw and talked with friends on the road, and reported the fact to him.
Will your order the movement of any of the troops here?
J. T. BOYLE.