War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0579 Chapter XXV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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already decided upon, and the disposition of troops proposed is very considerably subordinated to the working of this plan.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

LEWIS MERRILL,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

SPRINGFIELD, August 17, 1862.

Brigadier General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD:

Express from Greenfield just arrived. Colonel Wright has a scout from Coffee's camp. The combined forces of Coffee, joined by Hancock, Poindexter, Quantrill, Tracy, Taylor, now in camp at the mouth of the Little Osage, are about 3,000. Scout says they intend to go south as soon as joined by 1,000 from the north. Blunt's movement in their rear has alarmed them, and they are expecting Rains up from their rear to assist them, and from reports received at the west I think he is moving in Newton County. Coffee thinks he is cut off. This force of Coffee and company is organized into companies made secretly before his raid and were prepared to join him. They are mostly armed, but have no ammunition-prisoners after being with them a week and who have escaped say not 3 rounds. They are in a constant state of alarm, prepared to run and not to fight, and more afraid of the Feds than they are of the devil. They have no artillery. I do not believe, with Blunt and Wright in their rear, that they will leave the Osage Hills in force, but will double-step by them, and leave the State by the route they came, or through a rebel officer on parole in this corps told me last night that their destination was north of the Osage River. Your instructions will be fully carried out.

E. B. BROWN.

HEADQUARTERS POST OF GREENFIELD,

August 17, 1862.

General BLUNT:

I leave this post at 9 a.m. this morning, moving with 1,000 men, four pieces of artillery. I will move directly north. Please inform the Kansas column of my movements. My information is that Coffee is at the mouth of the Little Osage 3,000 strong, looking for re-enforcements from the north.

CLARK WRIGHT,

Colonel, Commanding.

SAINT LOUIS, MO., August 17, 1862.

General BROWN,

Springfield, Mo.:

The rebel force north of the Osage is much stronger than you suppose, and they are making a desperate effort to gain a permanent foot-hold there. If Rains is southwest of you, as you suppose, learn his strength and movements if possible.

J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Brigadier-General.