War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0527 Chapter XVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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Lebanon, Mo., January 26, 1862.


Hdqrs. Southwestern Dist., en route from Rolla to Lebanon, Mo.:

SIR: I received the general's letter of the 25th this evening. I am very glad he is coming for many reasons.

I inclose letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Wright, giving his views.* The lieutenant-colonel is evidently anxious for an advance to Springfield. As I previously have remarked, I do not believe in taking that place (even if we can) for the purpose of giving it up again, and if the enemy has 30,000 in Arkansas he will send them to keep the war out of that State, without inquiring whether Price's appointment is confirmed or not. Meantime, with 12,000, all that I can yet here from at the disposal of the general (perhaps less), and they far behind and we far away from our supports, how can we sustain ourselves, even if we can take Springfield.

In case there are forces from the north or other supports, of which I am not informed, it will be different. I have ordered out a battalion of cavalry to take post at Bennett's Mill, 12 miles a little north of west from here, and one on or near the Osage Fork, 11 miles southeast. This will control the sources of supply and form a front of 23 miles, by which I hope we can conceal our movements and make the country tributary.

I had already sent a company to Bennett's Mill, and have reports that it can furnish 15,000 pounds per day and to the custom-work. I am afraid I have overestimated the capacity of the two miles, but hope, with the aid of what we can get from the Osage, to fill out what I said. I send Colonel Phelps to Osage Fork with a few of his men, mounted. He will talk with the people and start the system of collecting supplies, and be able to report to the general on Tuesday.

Colonel Osterhaus had a fine brigade drill to-day, but discipline is still very bad. As relates to plundering, it will be very disagreeable to the general to use the necessary means to stop it, but I hope he will do so, as I feel it a disgrace to myself to be connected with people who commit such crimes as some of these.

I will make the best arrangements I can to find quarters for the general and his staff, but they most not expect the luxuries of Rolla.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding.

SAINT LOUIS, January 27, 1862.

Colonel W. P. CARLIN,

Commanding, Ironton, Mo.:

COLONEL: Your letter of the 24th is received.* You will immediately throw forward a regiment of infantry, supported by cavalry and artillery, to Greenville, and also with cavalry threaten Poplar Bluff and Doniphan. It is important that these pillaging bands should be broken up. Arrest and hold all persons in arms or who give aid and assistance, especially those who are robbing and driving out Union men.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




*Not found.