War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0684 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND T. Chapter XVIII.

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My call upon the militia for re-enforcements has been responded to with spirit and alacrity, but, as was to have been expected, in a manner somewhat tumultuous, and in no light degree troublesome in disposing of the forces thus furnished. By last evening something more than 1,000 men had assembled here, and about an equal number reported themselves in several more distant neighborhoods as assembled and awaiting instructions. By that time I learned from my scouts that the enemy has ceased to advance and were probably falling back a little. Finding that I thus allowed more time for preparation, and that the militiamen, as well those who had arrived here as those on the way, had left home so hurriedly as to be very ill-supplied with arms, &c., I deemed it best to direct them to return home, and there organize, arm, and prepare for service as well and as speedily as possible, and having done this, a they will be able in a day or so, and reported, to await my orders, with the exception of about 100, who are sufficient prepared here. They have all followed this direction, to an extent at least to assure me that within a week from this day I shall have within three days' march of this place at least 3,000, probably more, men at my command, as well prepared for service as the means of the country will allow; by which I mean that while every man will be armed with some sort of a gun - for I will no others - yet they will be far from uniform in this respect, and many will be rather poorly armed, owing to the scarcity of guns of every kind, and especially of good ones, in this part of the country.

Companies thus organized and prepared I have agreed to receive into the service for thirty days from the time they report to me, to be subject to my orders during that time. I adopted this course and this term for these reasons: 1st, Within that time, if at all, it seems obvious to me I shall have to engage the enemy here or hereabouts; 2nd, It is the only source from which I can calculated on re-enforcements of any kind within that time; 3rd, Without such re-enforcements the handful of troops I have here is wholly inadequate to resist such a force as we know the enemy have in striking distance and as there can be no doubt they will bring against me if they come at all; 4th, I have made neither preparation nor calculation for a retreat, that being out of the question, as it would open our State to invasion, the very through of which is not to be entertained for a moment, there not being one among my little band who does not feel that in holding this place he is holding the very door to his own domicile, within which are wife, children, and friends, and who would not deem himself criminal, as well as craven, of he could weigh his own life against the importance of maintaining it; 5th, within that time you will be able to order what other and better course should be pursued.

Of the forces under my command I briefly report - for there are so few of them that a brief report will cover them easily.

1. My own cavalry regiment, seven companies, number 460, and are stationed for purposes of observation, convenience of supplies, &c., between this and Pitman's Ferry, with several companies at and near the ferry, throwing forward scouts, &c. In this service it is very constantly occupied and has been all summer and fall, until pretty well used up.

2. Colonel McCown's five companies of infantry (raw troops), men and officers, number 378, indifferently armed and but slightly trained.

3. Major Desha's four companies infantry number 238, in the same condition as McCown's.

This is my whole permanent force. In addition, for this emergency,