War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0410 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

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have a large disposable force for other points; but now, destitute as we are of arms, organization, and discipline, it seems to me madness to remove any of our troops from this State. You will me if I use strong language, for you must know that I have no object in view other than the sucess of our cause. At your distance from the scene of hostilities here you cannot fully appareciate the true condition of affairs.

I write you hastily and in a desultory style, for as yet I have neither the time nor the means for formal reports.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




Pilot Knob, December 6, 1861.

General H. W. HALLECK:

I have sent out scouts from Potosi and this post towards Salem, Steelville, and Centreville. The Potosi scouts, report no rebel troops at or east of Salem or Steeleville; that Freeman's band-400-had been to both places, but were driven away by Colonel Wyman. My scouts have not returned, but will probably bring the same reports. A force of 400 rebels, under Freeman, is on Current River, 80 miles southeast of this point.



Cairo, Ill., December 6, 1861.


Commanding at Bird's Point, Mo.:

Information having been received at these headquarters that the enemy have some heavy pieces of artillery at Belmont, or at the point on the river immediately this side, not yet mounted, with but a small guard and working party to protect them, you will order the entire force of cavalry at Bird's Point, Mo., to make a reconnaissance towards Belmont to-night, and if the enemy are found in force not too strong they will make a dash upon him and spike all his guns they may find, after which they will immediately return to Bird's Point. They will observe great caution not to be drawn into ambush or engage a superior force of the enemy. A detachment will be sent from Cairo to act in concert with those of your command.

By order of Brigadier-General Grat:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

P. S.-The expedition will be in readiness to move immediately upon the arrival of the force from Cairo, between the hours of 6 and7 o'


SEDALIA, Mo., December 6, 1861.

General HALLECK:

It is reported by a Union man, who has before come from Henry County to give information concerning the enemy, that Price's army