HDQRS. DIST. OF CENTRAL MISSOURI, Numbers 29.
Otterville, December 28, 1861.
Brigadier General J. M. Palmer is assigned to the command of the cantonment at La Mine Crossing and of all the troops in the vicinity.
By order of General Pope:
Jefferson City, Mo., December 29, 1861.
Colonel LEWIS MERRILL,
Commanding Merrill's House:
SIR: In addition to the orders given you on the 26th instant to hold yourself in readiness to proceed to Columbia, the general directs me to instruct you to march to that point as soon as it is practicable to get your command over the river. Your duties, as heretofore made known to you, will be to operate against the rebels generally; to disperse or capture all organized bands; seize all arms, &c., intended for use against the United States. There will be other United States forces at Fulton, Danville, and probably at Mexico, with whom you can co-operate or communicate whenever you may deem it proper to do so.
By command of General McKean, commanding this post:
WM. T. CLARK,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
ROLLA, MO., December 29, 1861.
Captain J. C. KELTON,
Twenty-four cavalry companies, Colonel Carr commanding in my absence, are moving towards Springfield, on a road a little south of the common traveled way. Scouting party drove out rebels from Lebanon Thursday and left there Friday morning. The report there was that Springfield was occupied with 2,200 rebels. Will report by letter.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HEADQUARTERS SOUTHWESTERN DISTRICT,
Rolla, December 29, 1861.
Captain J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.:
CAPTAIN: I arrived here 8 p. m. Thursday night and immediately rode to the camp of Brigadier-General Sigel, about 3 miles from town. I communicated to him the wishes of the major-general in regard to moving the cavalry forthwith, and requested him to order immediate preparation for the movements.
The general not having received the order placing me in command of the district and I not having assumed command (wishing to treat the general with all possible courtesy by conferring with him beforehand), it was with some expressions of doubt as to my rank and au-