many strong scouts. Let them be small and active. Hold the principal part of your command in hands. Try and communicate with the Carthage forces, and try and coax them to co-operate by joining you. If you cannot persuade them to do it without an order, then issue an order to that effect. If General Blunt is with these forces, as a matter of course you can have no control nor I either. In that case you can give him the information and request him to send assistance to you. I would re-enforce you from here, but at present it is not prudent to do so. In case you cannot succeeded in obtaining re-enforcements from Carthage, and are satisfied the enemy are advancing on you in strong force, there will be time enough to retire. I cannot think their movement is any more than a feint.
As before stated, the effect of abandoning Mount Vernon would be very serious, and I would not wish to do it until the last moment.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. FOURTH BRIGADE, MISSOURI STATE MILITIA,
Pond Spring, September 15, 1862.
Brigadier General JAMES TOTTEN,
Commanding Southwest District of Missouri, Springfield:
GENERAL: I find so much to employ myself this morning in camping troops and providing to move again as soon as you may order that I shall not do the unmilitary act of leaving my command in the field to visit you, but will do so to-night, if upon return of the messenger you deem it necessary.
A man was brought into camp last night with an open dispatch from you without envelope to Colonel Weer, ordering him to Springfield. The bearer said he was ordered to go by way of Mount Vernon to Carthage. He also said he did not know the road. I advised him to go north of Sarcoxie. I sent scouts to Sarcoxie three days to meet those from Colonel Weer. They met one the first day, but none after. The officer in command of ours endeavored to send through to Carthage, but the small scout sent out was fired on and driven back, and I have heard nothing from Colonel Weer, except the copy to Colonel Wright sent to you. The communication was effectually closed to small parties.
Captain Adams, who went to Springfield last evening, will be able to give direct information as to the enemy's reported forces. The statement he made to me that the enemy was in considerable force, say 6,000 to 8,000, in Newton County is confirmed by numerous sources that I deem reliable. Forces of the enemy are not dismounted-at least the commands of Hays, Shelby, and others from Missouri. The regiments are regularly drilled and armed. All the reports from the officers and men augur that the enemy at Newtonia forme din line of battle, and, when threatened by our cavalry, formed into squared and marched considerable distance in that formation, showing that they are well drilled and organized troops that are with Rains. I think that Colonel Weer would be willing to co-operate with you.
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Your instructions were so emphatic I did not feel that under the circumstances I could do any less than move back from Mount Vernon, after being unable to obtain an assurance from Colonel Weer that he