large party again to-morrow to block their thoroughfare. I would suggest the same be done from the east. The parties going north represent themselves as recruiting. I have one of their officers (a prisoner).
General Salomon, from Kansas, reached Lamar to-day with his brigade as my support. The new Kansas levies will be placed in the field as rapidly as armed. My accounts are that the enemy are growing desperate to repossess themselves of the river valleys of Shoal, Centre, subsistence in McDonald County. I think we should try to hold possession of the grain-growing country in Southwest Missouri.
Please to inform me as to matters in your neighborhood and obtain for me the wishes of General Brown.
My scouts have had slight skirmishes with small parties of the enemy; nothing serious.
Your obedient, servant,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS SOUTHWESTERN DIVISION,
Springfield, Mo., September 14, 1862.
Brigadier General E. B. BROWN,
Commanding Corps, Mount Vernon, Mo.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of dispatched of 9 and 12 p. m. yesterday.
I notice you mention a determination to break up your camp at Mount Vernon and fall back toward this place. I hope you may not have found it necessary to do this. Such a move at this time will have a very serious effect, and encourage the rebel leaders to make another incursion into the State.
At the same time I do not wish you to bring on any engagement with them where you are satisfied they are in overwhelming numbers. Your command, from your returns, foots up nearly 3,000 present for duty and detached service, and if, as your dispatches state, the enemy are but 2,500 strong, I think the will not attempt to attack you.
It is important, at all events, that you show a bold front and hold your position until you have the most positive proof that they are coming upon you in greater numbers. Send word to Colonel Weer to come to your assistance, and state to him that it is perfectly useless to have our forces divided into small parties in order that they may be cut off in detail. If General Blunt is not in Missouri he had no control over these troops, and they should obey the orders, under the existing emergency, of yourself. You are authorized to call upon them in my name, and if necessary to issue a positive order to that effect, as I intimated to you in your instructions.
I do not wish you to bring on an engagement where the chances are doubtful, but if the Carthage force comes to your assistance I feel confident the enemy will hardly attempt an attack upon you unless he numbers as much as 10,000. As I understand it, the enemy are principally on foot; your forces are all mounted, and in this you have great advantage as to the rapidity of your movements, being able to retire before them after they have advanced close to you without the danger of being overtaken. Do not cut up your command by sending out too