would make any movement in concert and after learning the enemy occupied Sarcoxie in considerable force. This he could not have done if the Kansas troops were moving south in any force.
Your dispatch of yesterday met me as I was going into camp. I appreciated the necessity of holding as much of the country west as possible. Yet, under your instructions in Special Orders, Numbers 630, I did not suppose I had any discretion as to longer holding the position at Mount Vernon after learning the state of affairs in the southwest. I regret that I had not received this intimation before I arrived here, as it accords with my own views. Yet I do not think that you will obtain any assistance from the Kansas troops, unless the War Department gives you the command. This they will have to do or disaster will follow.
There is no question of the enemy having a large force, and one head must direct troops in the Southwest. About three of the scouting party whose horses gave ut in the race have arrived. They report that the officer shot by our pickets was Colonel Hays. I inclose you a copy of a note from Colonel King in relation to it.*
I am, very truly, your obedient servant,
E. B. BROWN,
HDQRS. FOURTH BRIGADE MISSOURI STATE MILITIA,
Pond Spring, September 15, 1862.
GENERAL: If I do not receive orders from you I shall move west with a strong cavalry force and four pieces of artillery to-morrow morning at daylight. Mount Vernon is avery objectionable place to make camp. It will be impossible to get a train out of it if attacked. There are three positions this side of it that a small force could cut a train to pieces.
For these reasons I shall not break camp, but shall take a small train with provisions and cooking utensils. At Mount Vernon I will await orders from you as to future movements, but will try to reach Colonel Weer. Perhaps I may be able to have an interview with him if he has not gone north again.
I am, truly, your obedient servant,
E. B. BROWN,
HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, ARMY OF KANSAS,
In the Field, Lamar, September 15, 1862.
Brigadier General JAMES G. BLUNT,
Commanding Department of Kansas, Fort Scott, Kans.:
GENERAL: In compliance with Special Orders, Numbers 28, issued from your headquarters, I marched with all the available troops under my command at 3 p. m. September 13, 1862, toward Lamar. The loading of the commissary train and the fracture of an axle of a gun in Captain Stockton's battery made it impossible to proceed farther than Big Dry-