War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0580 MO., ARK., KANS., IND.T., AND DEPT. N.W. Chapter XXV.

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SPRINGFIELD, August 17, 1862.

Brigadier General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD:

Spies who returned from Arkansas this evening (left Huntsville on Wednesday night) say that Rains is at Van Buren and has not been in Missouri. The rebels who have been in the southwest were part of Rains' old command, and this has given rise to constant rumors of Rains being there. I do not underestimate the numbers of the rebels, but from the course Coffee's men pursued I do not think they will stand before an organized force, and unless they have supplied themselves in Northern Central Missouri, they have but little ammunition. I shall concentrate and call in the militia as infantry as soon as I can arm them. A regiment will be organized here on Tuesday.

I hear threatening rumors of intended movements from Fort Smith. I do not think there is an organized force this side of Huntsville. The cavalry reconnaissance report the force on White River withdrawn toward Little Rock, and all the men for whom I have tools are at work on the intrenchments.

E. B. BROWN,

Brigadier-General.

SPRINGFIELD, August 17, 1862.

Brigadier General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD:

Scouts report a movement in the southeast of McBride's and Coleman's force. They have concentrated, it is said, 8,000, probably half of it, and intend to cut off our communication through Lebanon or Marshfield. The whole plan, as stated, is that joint movement will be made on Springfield from Arkansas via Forsyth or Saline County; McBride by Marshfield, and a detachment from the direction of Osage. I learn this plan from several sources, but none that I consider strictly reliable.

My effective is about 3,200 fighting men, including Lebanon and escorts. Coffee will, if crowded, elude our troops and break out to the east, dividing his forces to mislead us.

E. B. BROWN,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS SOUTHWEST DIVISION,

Springfield, Mo., August 17, 1862.

Brigadier General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,

Saint Louis, Mo.:

I telegraphed you this evening a report of a proposed movement of McBride's in concert with one from the south and another from the northwest, as brought in by a scout, since which I have received the inclosed statement* from a prisoner belonging to Coleman's rebel hand. There may be something in it, but my information from Arkansas is that Rains is organizing his troops at Van Bureau and will not be ready to move for several days; that he has but few arms; the conscripts from north of the mountains are taken to Fort Smith, where they are drilling, but have no arms; and so many of them are Union men they are unwilling to trust them with arms; and that the volunteers are forming companies and drilling. At Camp Rector, near Huntsville,

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*Not found.

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