HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, ARMY OF KANSAS,
September 12, 18621.
Captain MOONLIGHT, Fort Scott:
On yesterday I pushed my scouts to within 7 miles of the enemy's camp; also communicated with the Federal force at Mount Vernon. I am now prepared to give you authentic information as to the enemy.
Hindman is in command of the rebels, being superseded at Little Rock by Holmes. This is certain. Rains is in command of Missouri troops, about 7,000. The balance of Hindman's force is composed of Texans and Arkansas troops and Cooper's Indians, number not known. They have been located about Maysville, Ark., while Rains is at Indian Creek, about 10 miles southeast of Neosho.
The rebel plan was to surround Phillips and Ritchie, Cooper being started west for that purpose. Before learning it I started last night about midnight Judson's available cavalry to relieve Phillips, join Ritchie, and together attack Cooper. I am preparing to resist an attack here. At my instance General Brown, who also superseded Colonel Wright at Mount Vernon, sends to-day a large cavalry force to Sarcoxie.
Colonel Ritchie utterly refuses to obey my orders. His camp is, from what I can learn, a motley assemblage. His presence in the army is nothing but embarrassment to the service, and I most urgently recommend his dismissal.
I heard from Judson; he met Phillips retreating from Neosho. The enemy are moving in force this way. Should they not divide, I cannot tell what will be the result. If they go to Mount Vernon they may not send force enough here to drive me. I certainly would recommend that the force at Fort Scott be moved this way and that I be informed of their whereabouts, so as to know what to fall back upon. I shall expect to hear in a few hours important intelligence from Judson, as the enemy had already reached the west of Phillips.
Your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade.
SARCOXIE, September 12, 1862.
General E. B. BROWN,
Commanding at Mount Vernon:
GENERAL: Inclosed you will find the communication* from the Kansas forces. I understand from the messenger that they are fighting near Neosho. I do not deem it advisable to remain here. I have not sufficient force to divide it, and therefore will move cautiously forward on to the prairie near Newtonia. Should I be obliged to fall back I will endeavor to come this route.
I will send a messenger to you between this and morning; also to Colonel Weer. I send the messenger back to the colonel with information as to what I have done.
With due respect, I remain, yours, truly,
J. M. ADAMS,
Captain, Commanding First Battalion First Missouri Cavalry.
P. S.-It is now 2.30 p. m.
*See Weer to commander U. S. forces at Sarcoxie, September 11, 1862.