to the enemy and the obstacles to overcome induce me to present the general with whatever occurs to me.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
MEXICO, MO., January 10, 1862.
Major-General HALLECK, Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: It is represented to me by many of the most respectable citizens of this party of the State, who have, as they confess, sympathized with the rebellion, but have, I think, unquestionably been opposed to all such acts as bridge burning, &c., that they now desire to pledge themselves in the most solemn manner that they will hereafter discharge to the fullest extent their duty as loyal citizens, by discouraging all rebellious organizations and by giving information to the United States authorities of every moment of the kind that shall come to their knowledge, provided they can be secured in their persons and property from molestation by United States troops.
It appears to me that by exercising a wise discretion in granting such assurances of protection to men of well-known respectability, and influence much good may be done. If you approve of this proposition I will carry it out in such cases as I am perfectly satisfied are worthy of it.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
MEXICO, January 11, 1862.
GENERAL: I find that the rebels are still attempting to keep up their organization in this part of this State. As you are doubtless aware, Merrill's cavalry routed Poindexter on the 8th. I am informed they were to have attacked Cobb's force, said to be several hundred strong, on the 9th or 10th. I have not heard the result. There is also a considerable rebel force in the vicinity of Paris. I am satisfied we can keep down their organizations only be permanently occupying those portions of the State which are favorable for rendezvous by post of infantry and cavalry so near together as to continually scour the entire country and strike them the moment make the first attempt to organize.
If this plan be adopted immediately after breaking up the bands that now exist only a small force will be required at any one point. Scarcely and place will require more than two companies of infantry and one of cavalry, while at most points even a less force will be sufficient. I will send a portion of General Henderson's command to break up the gang about Paris and remain in that vicinity. I can also easily take care of the country south and east of this point.
I think there should be a force permanently in Randolph County, saw at Hutsville or Renick. If a few companies of mounted men could be added to Colonel Birge's command, he would be quite strong enough for the purpose. With infantry only he can do little more than hold a single point, and must be quite strong even to do this, for he cannot prevent the enemy from concentrating. I am satisfied that we can