HEADQUARTERS OF THE MISSOURI STATE MILITIA, Saint Louis, Mo., March 1, 1862.
General T. J. McKEAN,
GENERAL: I have received information from officers recruiting for the State service that the rebels are gathering in considerable force in Johnson and Henry counties, particularly about Clinton, producing a reign of terror and rendering it impossible for the militia to organize for their own defense. I have no troops under my command which I can dispose of for the purpose of giving the protection necessary in those counties, nor would I desire to order a movement of troops in your district if I had them ready for service, my policy being to direct militia companies to report for duty to the district commander as soon as they are in my judgment ready for service.
I hope to be able to place under your command several battalions of militia in a very short time. Meanwhile, if you can use any force at your disposal in giving the protection which seems so much needed in Johnson and Henry counties, I have no doubt the organization of the State troops will be much facilitated. I have addressed a letter to the commanding officer at Sedalia on the subject, having been informed that you were absent from your headquarters. I presume, however, he will not feel at liberty to act without your orders; hence I trouble you with this communication.
Will you be so kind, general, as to inform me what you can do in the matter, and greatly oblige, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Missouri Militia.
SAINT LOUIS, March 3, 1862.
Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN:
It is officially reported that General Jeff. Thompson, with a large party of cavalry and artillery, came north from New Madrid. Our forces advanced from Bird's Point and cut his force at Sikeston. He was pursued into the swamps by the cavalry of General Hamilton and Colonel Morgan's brigade, and three pieces of artillery captured. General Pope pursued the other detachment south, capturing three more artillery, 1 captain, 1 lieutenant, and a number of privates.
H. W. HALLECK,
CAMP TWO MILES NORTH OF NEW MADRID, March 3, 1862.
Arrived before this place with my whole force at 1 p. m. Pushed skirmishers of two divisions into the town, and occupied the upper part of it immediately. There is only a small square earth redoubt near this place. The river is high level with the banks--so high, that the gunboats, of which there are six, sweep the ground for a mile in front of the town. I think the enemy's whole force does not exceed 5,000 men, all of whom are kept carefully out of sight. I can take the work by much loss and without the result desired, as the gunboats, owing to the extraordinary high water, could drive us out immediately.