north of the Missouri. They are working well, but the space is too large for the force, particularly when three-fourths of the population are hostile. It is a pity to have to employ mounted men in guarding posts and railroads.
If you cannot find any other troops to spare for our help can't you send home the fragmentary Missouri regiments to recruit and fight both? The Eighteenth and the Twenty-fifth are both fragments, having lost largely in battle. The Twenty-second was reduced by consolidation to a battalion under Lieutenant-Colonel Foster, and this battalion was consolidated with the Tenth under Colonel Holmes. The battalion of Foster is from the part of the State where the rebel uprising is now strongest, and are eager to get home to take care of their own people. Do for us what you can, with the assurance that we will do what we can for ourselves.
I have written to the President about the draft in this State, suggesting the propriety of leaving something to my discretion. Missouri already has more than one-half her fighting loyal people in the field and has a strong and unscrupulous enemy at home.
The order for drafting it is believed by many will re-enforce the bands already organized with thousands of men. It is suggested that the drafting be not attempted until we have first beaten those now embodied, and having used them up we can attend to those who would now re-enforce them. It is also suggested that large portions of the State are so entirely disloyal that a draft is impracticable and ought not to be attempted there, because it would take a force larger than all the men drafted to bring them into the ranks.
So far as these suggestions meet your concurrence will you give them your support? If the order for draft is peremptory, it will be carried out or attempted, whatever may be the consequences.
I have discovered here a disposition to criticize General Schofield and to have him removed from the command. The persons engaged are of the same class that has opposed and abused General McClellan and yourself. They are zealous in opposing rebellion, but incapable of judging correctly of the measures to be adopted. They have but one idea. General Schofield is doing well, according to my judgment.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. R. GAMBLE.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS,
In the Field, Fort Scott, August 11, 1862.
Missouri State Militia, Springfield, Mo.:
SIR: The general commanding directs me to say that he is now ready and desirous of co-operating with you in destroying the forces now infesting Missouri. We start a messenger to-night to bring us reliable information of the whereabouts of Coffee. Various rumors are afloat, some asserting that he is at Osceola, others that he is north of that point, and some say south of it. Now, the general desires that you gather your forces and prevent Coffee from moving north, where he can augment his forces. You can cut him off from moving north, sending us information to that effect, and rely upon it we will prevent him from moving south. The object will be to hem him in between our commands