War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0626 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXV.

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WARRENTON, MO., September 12, 1862.

General SCHOFIELD, Saint Louis, Mo.:

Have just received following, which fully shows what I have always thought and have twice tried to avoid by arbitrarily placing an officer selected from among the lot in command. Will send full report as soon as received. Enrolled Militia seem to have done better than any one else, having their post.

LEWIS MERRILL,

Brigadier-General.

PALMYRA, MO., September 12, 1862.

General MERRILL:

Porter took the prison here this morning early; liberated all the prisoners; took the guard about 26 men; paroled them. The rest of the force here held the place where they were, but were too much in force to resist the enemy in open fight.

Porter's force was claimed by him to be 400 men. From all I learn he moved toward North River. I have sent out a scout to learn where he has gone. I must say I think the men who are in command here are incompetent for the position. I mean Lieutenant Washburn, the jailer, and the assistant provost-marshal. My lieutenant says the jailer shoved out a white flag, which he pulled down twice, but he insisted on surrender. Washburn I think means well, but has no order or method about him.

I do not think there is anything here to hold the place for now. I learn that several citizens here held communication with the rebels, and from several houses they were cheered by waving handkerchiefs, flags, hurrahs. Some leading secesh here are arrested. Have your orders to give about 60 prisoners released.

J. T. K. HAYWARD,

Colonel, Commanding.

PALMYRA, MO., September 12, 1862.

General MERRILL:

Scouts returned report Porter's force, 308 men, probably encamped near Taylor's Mill, in Fabius. Have been there for some days getting supplies from that mill. Will I go to Hannibal to-night? Have about 120 here.

J. T. K. HAYWARD,

Colonel, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS,

In the Field, Fort Scott, September 12, 1862.

Colonel WILLIAM WEER, Commanding Second Brigade:

Your dispatch of the 10th instant was received last night. You will control the movements of Colonel Phillips, and while you will exercise discretionary power in regulating the movements of the troops under your command you will also be expected to use vigilance and caution in making any attack upon the enemy. Of the strength and disposition of the rebel force you will be better able to judge upon the ground than I can from this point. If the enemy should be in superior force, rather than engage them without a certainty of success you should fall back in this direction for support, as General Salomon will leave here to-morrow for Lamar or some point in that vicinity, where he will be in supporting distance.

You will endeavor to keep open communication with General Totten at Springfield and Colonel Clark Wright at Mount Vernon, and co-operate with them, if they desire it.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAS. G. BLUNT,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.