SPRINGFIELD, August 10, 1862.
Brigadier General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD:
I have your message and will follow out the policy indicated. Threatened from every direction, the position I hold is greatly exposed, and more regular troops should be sent to me as soon as possible.
I do not overrate the dangers, and may be forced to abandon Springfield. I can get no relief from General Blunt for the western line.
All the camps have been moved to this post; the troops are moving without trains and subsisting on the country. Two battalions of the Tenth Illinois in Wright and Douglas. The forces at Newtonia, Greenfield, and one battalion of the Fourteenth Missouri State Militia at Ozark, all joined by the militia in their details, is the strength of my present position.
I shall fight every foot of the ground if compelled to.
Is there no way of obtaining the arms and equipments for our troops in advance, so that they may be armed as fast as they are mustered?
The First Arkansas and Eighth Missouri will be completed before the arms can get here if forwarded immediately. The ordnance officer here will receipt for them and obtain the necessary requisitions from the mustering officer.
E. B. BROWN,
HEADQUARTERS SAINT LOUIS DISTRICT,
Saint Louis, Mo., August 10, 1862.
Brigadier General E. B. BROWN,
Commanding Southwest Division, Springfield, Mo.:
GENERAL: I have just sent you a telegram, in which I expressed the opinion that it may be advisable for you to intrench your position at Springfield.
It is a bad place to fortify, so much so that Generals Lyon and Sigel decided last summer not to attempt it. But I was then and am still of opinion that they made a great mistake. You can select three of four of the highest points, so situated as to form a triangle or quadrilateral, and not more than from 600 to 1,000 yards apart (even less would be better), and throw up a small field work at each point, about large enough to contain a regiment of infantry and two or three pieces of artillery.
If you can arrange it so as to have sufficient water from wells or other sources in the polygon of your works it can be made a perfect success.
Colonel Haines will have provisions sent forward rapidly, so that your supply may be sufficient for a considerable siege. In this manner you would, I think without doubt, be able to hold your position until re-enforcements could reach you. The new levies are organizing rapidly in the Northern States and will begin to be available very soon. I am extremely anxious to hold our present lines until re-enforced.
I will have such arms as can be procured sent forward to you without delay. I presume the two regiments which you report so nearly full are cavalry, and I believe there are at present no cavalry arms to be had; if not, I will send muskets.
My views, in short, of your present best policy are to keep boldly on the aggressive with your best mounted force, and at the same time fortify yourself at Springfield so as to be able to hold that point as a last resort until troops can be sent from here to relieve you. But you can