This Major Marvin is a loyal citizens, and in my opinion perfectly reliable. From that information I have obtained from different sources I am satisfied that there will be no movement of the enemy upon this point so long as our troops occupy their present position, nor do I believe that they will move north of us except in small parties.
We frequently her of marauding parties making their way towards Warrensburg and Lexington, who are represented as soldiers on furlough from Price's army. Major marvin told me that Price's army did not number as many now by 5,000 as it did two weeks ago. It is said that the rebel army is almost destitute of clothing and their numbers have been considerably diminished by desertion. The hoof disease is among their animals and has rendered a large proportion of them totally unfit for service.
If it should be ascertained that the principal part of Price's army has crossed the osage, I should be in favor or endeavoring to engage them with a well-organized force from this command by rapid march at night. I am satisfied that they will not, with their present force give us battle as long as they can run.
If it is the intention for this command to winter here, we can get a good camping ground about 3 miles from the depot, sheltered from the wind, and with facilities for obtaining fuel, good water, and forage. There is a saw-mill near this place belonging to the Government, where Colonel's battalion of mechanics are now stationed. Colonel Bisell informs me that he has considerable timber out now, and could in a short time furnish enough to hut the whole command.
I shall probably move the division to this locality to-morrow, and wish to be advised as to whether I shall commence building huts. The troops have already suffered from the inclemency of the weather; the sick list is constantly increasing, and if we have not soon some protection from the weather besides tents the consequences may be still more serious. I continue to throw out scouting and reconnoitering parties, which besides the information which they bring me, has the effect of intimidating the enemy.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS MISSOURI MILITIA, Numbers 1. Saint Louis, November 29, 1861.
I. In compliance with orders from Major-General Halleck, of the Missouri Militia, dated Saint Louis, November 27, 1861, I hereby assume command of all the militia of the State.
II. The organization of the State forces and their muster into service according to the terms of the arrangement entered into between the President of the United States and the Governor of Missouri, will be prosecuted as rapidly as possible. Mustering officers will be appointed and rendezvous designated from time to time, as circumstances may require.
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J. M. SCHOFIELD,