make Halcombe Springs, and probably Fayetteville, Should I hear anything stirring from below, I will push through to Fayetteville. I have brought the Third Division from Wilson's Creek and the Second from 8 miles the other side of Crane Creek, making 30 miles per day. It is impossible to make day and night marches on a trip of this length. I hope to God we will reach you before they get too close, and with our combined forces I do not fear the result. I am afraid when they hear of re-enforcements coming up they will back down. I think our plan beyond question under such circumstances is to make them fight, even if we have to follow to the other side of the river. Nothing new from the east.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. J. HERRON,
SAINT LOUIS, MO., December 5, 1862.
JAMES S. THOMAS, Esq.,
President Saint Louis County Board:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 3rd instant, in which you request me to answer, for the information of the country board, the following questions touching Special Orders, Numbers 91, issued by me, and under which your board is now acting:
1st. Is it ordered under the authority of approval of Hamilton R. Gamble as Governor of the State of Missouri?
2nd. Is it an order of your own as commander of the State troops of Missouri, or as commander of the militia enrolled under the order of the Governor?
3rd. Is it an order of your as commander of the military district of Missouri; and, if so, is it recognized by the War Department?
These questions can doubtless be most satisfactorily answered by a brief reference to the military condition of Missouri at and about the time the order was issued, and to the position occupied by myself at that time. By appointment from the major-general commanding the Department of the Mississippi, I was commander of the military district of Missouri, and as such acted purely under the authority of the United States. I was placed here for a certain definite purpose, which may be briefly stated-to restore the authority of the United States throughout the State of Missouri and to restore and preserve the peace of the State. To enable me to accomplish this, there was placed at my disposal a certain military force, composed of United States volunteers and the State militia, raised for this special service, under an agreement between the Governor of Missouri and the President of the United States. For a time this force seemed quite sufficient for the purpose, but soon military operations in Arkansas and Tennessee rendered necessary the withdrawal from Missouri of a large portion of the troops originally assigned to my command.
Soon after this, in pursuance of a plan of the rebel Government, large numbers of rebel troops from Missouri were sent back into the State, with commissions to recruit and organize troops for the Southern army. Some of these returned rebels succeeded in passing secretly through our lines, others were arrested, and others gave themselves up and took the required oath and parole, professing their desire to return to their allegiance. These emissaries from the rebel Government spread themselves over the State, and secretly enlisted, organized, and officered a very large number of men; places of rendezvous were designated, and all were ordered to hold themselves in readiness to assemble when the