APRIL 2-4, 1862.-Reconnaissance from Cape Girardeau to Jackson, Whitewater, and Dallas, Mo.
Report of Captain Lindsay Murdoch, Missouri Cavalry, Militia.
Cape Girardeau, Mo., April 5, 1862.
SIR: I have to report since last communication that owing to the reports constantly arriving from the country of the intention of Jeff. Thompson and command surprising the Cape, and the daily reported presence of bodies of sucessionists about Jackson and Dallas, I considered it advisable to make a reconnaissance in the direction of the two last-mentioned places. For that purpose I telegraphed to your for assistance, which you said you could not furnish. I telegraphed to Brigadier General W. K. Strong, commanding at Cairo, who promptly sent two companies of infantry and one of cavalry. By agreement they were landed at Commerce, on the 2nd instant, under the command of Colonel Toler, Sixtieth Illinois Infantry, and proceeded by way of Rock Levee across Noggerwood Swamp; opened communication with my command of 120 men, and agreed to form junction at jackson. I left camp at 8 o'clock, evening, Colonel Toler proceeding by way of Benton and Jackson road, the Home Guards of this place having turned out and garrisoned the forts; proceeded on gravel road to within 1 mile of Jackson; halted and detached Company B, Captain Walker, to surround the north and east part of the town; detailed two men to open communication with Colonel Toler, but owing to the darkness and a heavy rain-storm occurring did not succeed in opening communication; waited till daybreak; went into the place, but found nothing of importance; searched all suspected houses with no result.
About 9 o'clock Colonel Toler came into town also, and we agreed to go out to Whitewater and Dallas. Proceeded slowly to Whitewater; found everything quiet there also. Proceeded same manner to Dallas, where we arrived and surrounded at 2 p. m.; made no arrest of any importance; saw Mr. James Noel, county and circuit clerk of Boolingber Country, who reported to me that he had been taken prisoner by Major Kitchen about four days previous, who had a body of about 120 secessionists; that they had destroyed the records of the county and circuit court, and carried off the records of the swamp lands and other valuable papers; while in Bollinger and Cape Girardeau Counties they took several prisoners; also stole a number of horses. Among the prisoners they took there were two men named Miller and McIntee, who were brutally murdered, McIntee being killed by the hand of the miscreant Bowles, and Miller by his orders. Mr. Noel was taken by them by them below Bloomfield, where he was released by the intercession of some of his friends. He reports that Jeff. Thompson's force is somewhere about 1,000 men; also he reports the current belief is that their destination is Pocahontas.
Left Dallas on the morning of the 4th instant and returned by the way of Jackson to camp, where we arrived on the evening of the same day. Colonel Toler's command arrived next day and proceeded to Cairo on steamer J. D. Perry.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Missouri State Militia, Commanding Post.
Colonel C. W. MARSH, A. A. G., Mo. Militia, Saint Louis, Mo.