with respect to these arms is almost the only good news I have heard since I arrived here. There is a large body of troops at Benton Barracks, but most of them are without arms, and therefore can neither be sent into the field nor be used to suppress insurrection here, if one should be attempted.
Major Bowen wrote from Salem on the 9th that he had driven the enemy through the Current Hills, taking 20 prisoners and some 35 horses. I have since learned that about 1,500 of the enemy returned on him. He has been re-enforced with infantry and artillery from Rolla. At Pilot Knob a number of prisoners have been taken, and scattering men from Price's army are coming in daily and taking the oath of allegiance.
General Prentiss has cleaned out all the counties north of the Missouri River and west of Brunswick. He is at Carrollton to-day. The three regiments sent through Callaway, Boone, Howard, and Randolph Counties will meet General Prentiss about Glasgow. They have already taken severarl hundred prisoners and broken up the insurgent organizations. The expedition sent by Colonel Steele to Marshall, Arrow Rock, and Waverly have returned to Sedalia, having been completely successful. They took some 50 prisoners, including one piece of artillery, a quality of arms, and destroyed a number of wagons and other property. Among the prisoners are two assistant adjutant-generals and one lieutenant of Price's army. A mail-bag was also taken, giving us valuable information. We had one corporal killed in the skirmish near Waverly, where one of the enemy's field pieces burst in discharging it. As well as I could ascertain, about 8,000 or 10,000 insurgents were organizing in the counties north of the river, and I deemed it imprudent to move against Price with this large force in our rear. They will be thouroughly broken up this week.
Unfortunately General Prentiss neglected to obey my orders to keep me advised of his movements. Expecting that the insurgents scattered by him would croos the river, I had a large force of cavalry and infantry (in empty wagons) at Sedalia, ready to co-operate on the south side and cut off their retreat. Early yesterday morning I learned that about 4,000 of the insurgents had crossed at Lexington, with the intention of joining Price at Osceola. I immediately telegraphed General Pope at Sedalia to move with all possible dispatch 4,000 men to some point between Warrensburg and Clinton to cut off their retreat. The expedition was ready and started instntly, but I fear it will be too late to catch them. Had Prentiss advised me in time I would have taken the whole of them. His carelessness, neglect, or obstinacy, whichever it may be called, thwarted my plans. Possibly they may yet succeed. A large force has been placed in position to re-enforce General Pope and to protect his flank from any advance made by Price's army to cut off his retreat.
The large number of prisoners taken and about to be sent to this city already begins to be embarrassing, and some means must be devised for disposing of them. I will address you a communication on this subject in a few days.
General Sigel is still sick, and I feel greatly embarrassed about a commander for the troops, mostly German, at Rolla. If General Asboth has not been appointed, or if there be any objections to him, please have P. J. Osterhaus made brigadier-general of volunteers. Perhaps, all things considered, he is the better man of the two.
The following regular officers, not on parole, have been within the