CAIRO, January 28, 1862.
Quartermaster-General M. C. MEIGS, U. S. A.:
GENERAL: Since forwarding my report to you that I had accepted the seven gunboats built by contract by Mr. Eads, in which was contained a report of Commanders Pennock and Stember that the engines of the Benton were so much wanting in power that I did not feel authorized to accept her-in fact I concurred in their report and suggestions to place a new engine in her-I have, however, since then, on consultation with several practical men and in view of our pressing want of the Benton, come to the conclusion that by raising the wheel of that vessel 18 inches, widening her buckets, and giving 12 inches more to her rudder at the water's surface, she will handle sufficiently well to answer our purpose. All this can be done in less than three weeks after I get authority to do it and for less than $2,000, including a new donkey engine.
I have telegraphed twice for permission to accept the Benton, but as the wires have been out of order or for some other cause I have had no answer.
Will you please answer by telegram immediately on receiving this, as we are writing to make a demonstration.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. H. FOOTE,
HDQRS. DISTRICT CENTRAL MISSOURI, Numbers 18.
Otterville, January 19, 1862.
The following movements of troops will be made in this district:
I. The Iowa Fifth, the Illinois Forty-seventh, five companies of the Ohio Thirty-ninth, and the Eleventh Ohio Battery will march from Syracuse and La Mine to Booneville, Mo., where Colonel W. H. Worthington will assume the command and make immediate arrangements to cross the Missouri River with his whole force.
II. The Nebraska First, the Ohio Twenty-seventh, the three companies of Fourth Regular Cavalry, the companies of Regular infantry, and one of the batteries of the Missouri Light Artillery at Sedalia, to be designated by Colonel Steele, Eighth Iowa Volunteers, will take up the line of march immediately for Jefferson City, and will be joined at Smith on by the Forty-second Illinois and the battery of Missouri Light Artillery station at that place. This column, under command of Colonel Thayer, First Nebraska, will proceed by the direct road to Jefferson City, where they will received further orders.
III. The nine companies of Merrill's Horse will immediately proceed, under command of the senior officer of that regiment present, to Booneville, Mo., and cross the Missouri River.
IV. The Eighth Iowa Regiment, one battery of Missouri Light Artillery, to be designated by Colonel Steele, and the four companies of the First Iowa Cavalry, under Major Torrence, will constitute the garrison at Sedalia, to be commanded by the senior officer present for duty.
V. The Seventh Missouri Regiment, one company of the First Iowa Cavalry, to be designated by Captain Leffingwell, and one battery of Missouri Light Artillery, to be designated by the major commanding at La Mine, will proceed as soon as practicable to Lexington, Mo., and take post at that place.
VI. The commanders of the moving columns and of the garrison at Sedalia will receive written instructions from these headquarters.