SAINT LOUIS, January 17, 1862.
Brigadier General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,
Commanding, &c., Rolla, Mo.:
GENERAL: Your of the 24th is received. I am well satisfied that Price will not stand if you press on with the forces under your command. The Benton Hussars and Forty-third Illinois will be sent to you as soon they can be armed, probably to-morrow or the day after. Davis' division should not be required to cross the Osage unless it is absolutely necessary for your success. It is wanted elsewhere, on the most urgent representations from Washington, and I have sent it to the Osage only to make your success absolutely certain. If you can dispence with it, as I really think you can as soon as you advance and feel Price, it should be relieved, so as to return to Jefferson City; unless absolutely necessary, to hold it as a reserve is a dead loss to us. Think of this, and if possible relieve it; if not, of course you must have it.
There is a strong pressure on us for troops, and all that are not absolutely necessary here must go elsewhere. Pope's command is entirely broken up; 4,000 in Davis' reserve and 6,000 ordered to Cairo.
Push on as rapidly as possible and end the matter with Price. A detachment leaves Ironton to move in the direction of Pochontas, Ark., as a diversion. If you move rapidly and energetically Price must fall back, at least I think so; if not, you can draw in reserves.
H. W. HALLECK,
January 27, 1862.
Commanding, &c., Otterville, Mo.:
GENERAL: Yours of the 24th is received. I approve all your dispositions, except that I do not see that any garrison is provided for Lexington. I think that should be occupied, at least for the present. I had hoped that the detachment of our troops in Kansas would arrive there by the time the Kansas regiment left. General Denver assured met that they had been ordered back while he was at Leavenrowth, but I can hear nothing of them.
If General Curtis can dispense with Davis' division it will march to Jefferson City, and be sent south if the condition of the country should then admit of their withdraw. In regard to yourself, general, perhaps it will be best for you to remain in charge of the district till it is fully organized, as you can readily rejoin the division brought here or when it reaches its destination. You will certainly have a suitable command if I can give it to you.
Accounts from Washington indicate that the new furore, "On to Richmond!" is abating. If so, we will get time to concentrate and organize our forces for the new campaign.
H. W. HALLECK,
SAINT LOUIS, January 27, 1862.
Major General STERLING PRICE,
Command, &c., Springfield, Mo.:
GENERAL: A man calling himself L. V. Nichols came to my head