In the selection of these steamers, manning and equipping them for service, great judgment and economy will be necessary; but you have a safe guide from the information we have of the character of the vessels and the rate or amount for which in these time of trade depression they can be purchased. The steamers themselves must be ready to leave for Cairo in ten days after you have selected and taken possession of them.
You are hereby authorized to sign a document stating that my approval of the sale will be given on the delivery of the steamers to you.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. H. FOOTE.
Procure a chain of 1 1/2 inch and 90 fathoms in length, and one anchor of 1,800 to 2,000 pounds. Obtain from Haggerty 600 hammocks and 600 flags; latter 6 inches longer and 4 inches less in diameter than the last.
Washington, January 31, 1862.
Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR:
MY DEAR SIR: It is my wish that the expedition commonly called the "Lane Expedition" shall be as much as has been promised at the Adjutant-General's Office under the supervision of General McClellan and not any more. I have not intended and do not now intend that is shall be a great, exhausting affair, but a snug, sober column of 10,000 or 15,000. General Lane has been told by me many times that he is under the command of General Hunter, and assented to it as often as told. It was the distinct agreement between him and me when I appointed him that he was to bu under Hunter.
HDQRS. SOUTHWESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI,
Lebanon, Mo., January 31, 1862.
Captain J. C. KELTON,
CAPTAIN: Nothing of great importance has transpired since my last dispatches sent from Wet Glaze.
My messenger sent to Colonel Davis arrived, giving accurate intelligence of the progress of that division. It seems the colonel did not leave Tipton till the 26th, and the roads so much delayed him as to make but 10 miles in two days. He hoped, however, to arrive at Linn Creek last night, which at this stage of weather and roads is probably better than can be expected.
It is very cold; about 4 inches of snow on the ground; so the crust will not form hard enough to bear the teams, while it forms a terrible resistance to wheeling. Some teams will probably have to stop; but generally they will work forward slowly.
There is a steamboat and flat-boat at Linn Creek, guarded by 20 men on this side, which I sent, and some on the other side, sent by Colonel Davis; but I trust they will from a junction on the other side, for my messenger met a small band of rebels 5 miles this side of Linn Creek, and heard of 500 being at Warsaw, 40 miles off, threatening to retard the crossing.
A picket southeast from Springfield has been drawn in by the enemy;