far from me and too near the enemy for a regular outpost, as it is 25 miles out, and the stand of the enemy at Boston Mountains is only 24 miles in advance of Fayetteville, with strong pickets much nearer. It will be within my circle of frequent reconnaissances, and Elm Springs, some 10 miles in front, will be my outpicket. Further knowledge of the country may induce modifications. It is said Van Dorn will move a force by Roaring River to cut off my line of communication. It is also said he has joined the main army at Boston Mountains and arrested McCulloch. All accounts agree in saying the main army is distracted with internal feuds among their forces.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Saint Louis, February 26, 1862.
Brigadier General SAMUEL R. CURTIS:
Pants will be sent, but cannot now send more troops or horses. As you are not to move again at present, you must wait. Draw after you your rear guards and garrison; neither your rear nor flanks are exposed. Our cavalry has cleared out all Southern Missouri, and Hunter is advancing to support your right flank. Price's army will be completely turned very soon.
H. W. HALLECK,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE MISSOURI, Numbers 48.
Saint Louis, Mo., February 26, 1862.
I. The public press has given circulation to the following correspondence:
Yesterday (February 8) several companies of our cavalry, with one company of Ross' infantry, scoured the country west, bringing in 50 prisoners. Our cavalry also encountered a large force of rebel cavalry 15 miles beyond Bloomfield. They succeeded in routing them, killing 7, wounding many, and taking 20 prisoners. We had 2 missing and 1 wounded. They found 5 bodies, known to be Union men murdered.
W. P. KELLOGG,
General E. A. PAINE,
CAIRO, February 8.
Commanding, Cape Girardeau:
Hang one of the rebel cavalry for each Uion man murder, and after this two for each. Continue to scout, capture, and kill.
E. A. PAINE,
General Paine, in explanation of the foregoing, says that at the time he received the dispatch of Colonel Kellogg he supposed they caught the rebel cavalry in the act. The major-general commanding takes the earliest opportunity to publish his disapproval of this order. It is contrary to the rules of civilized war, and if its spirit should be adopted the whole country would be covered with blood. Retaliation has its limits, and the innocent should not be made to suffer for the acts of others over whom they have no control.
II. Again, by whom was this official correspondence furnished to the