HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI,
Cairo, December 3, 1861.
Captain J. C. KELTON, Saint Louis, Mo.:
By orders from the Governor of this State two regiments of troops have been sent to Shawneetown. One of these has been mustered into the service of the United States, and the acting assistant commissary of subsistence, who in now here, represent to me that the State authorities decline rationing them longer. Under these circumstances I have caused to be turned over to the commissary ten days' rations for his regiment. In a few days I understand that the other regiment will be mustered in also, and will probably be calling here for subsistence.
Troops are highly necessary at Shawneetown, not only protect the citizens from marauding parties of secession troops, who are now collection hogs and cattle and horses on the opposite side of the river, but will serve to keep open navigation of the Ohio, and to prevent much of the smuggling now going on. Under these circumstances I would respectfully ask if it would be well to extend the limits of this military district to the Wabash and give it limits north in this State. If this is not done, I would at least recommend that some command be required to take in these troops, where they can look for supplies and so that they may be properly retained.
Constant complaints are coming here from citizens of Crittenden and Union Counties, Kentucky, of depredations that are being committed by troops from Hopkinsville, and as the troops at Shawneetown have a steamer at their command, they may make excursions across the river that might be improper. There are large quantities of stock of all kinds being driven from these counties to the Southern Army, and quite a trade is being carried on in salt, power, caps, and domestics. I have reported these facts, as facias could well be done in a limited telegraphic dispatch to General Buell.
U. S. GRANT,
CAMP CALVERT, KY., December 4, 1861.
(Received December 6, 1861.)
Brigadier General George H. THOMAS,
Commanding, &c., Lebanon, Ky.:
GENERAL: As I had heard nothing from you since 25th ultimo, i did not until this evening know where you had established your headquarters.
I wrote to the commander of this department on the 2nd instant, and advised him that we had already no little difficulty in obtaining necessary forage for our draught animals and that a potion of our stores was nearly exhausted, and in order to be nearer our depot I expected, unless I should received orders to the contrary, to move towards Somerset. I hope that this step will meet with your approbation.
Another reason which renders a charge of camps advisable is the sickness of our men and the increases malignity of disease. We have some rebels in camp from Scott Country, East Tennessee; they were brought in yesterday by some Tennessee and Kentuckians. They have been noted for the bitterness of their enmity to the Union cause and the unrelenting manner in which they have persecuted loyal men. Four of them are said to be members of a rebel company of rangers, one of whom is a sergeant. What shall be done with them?