HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, Mo., April 20, 1863.
Colonel CHESTER HARDING, Jr., Saint Joseph, Mo.:
COLONEL: Yours of the 14th was duly received. I am glad to see you have put the troops to moving about; it is far better for them, and will keep the rebel camps in great fear. I am glad also to se that General Hall heartily co-operates. I think you are making a favorable impression in the district. There is no law which would give us authority to receive the militia as United States troops, unless the President will so accept them under the conscript law. By that law, all persons between twenty and forty-five are the United States forces; and it may be the President could, under that law, continue the neighborhood organizations, and furnish the forces as United States troops. I have not studied the question. When the proper officers are appointed, this may be considered. In the mean time, when we have a sensible man like General Hall to deal with, I think we can get on very well. I suppose the quartermaster furnishes those who are in the service, and I do not care what they are called, if they will only be ready to fight rebels when they show their hand in Missouri.
Very truly, your friend,
SAML. R. CURTIS,
[DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,] April 20, 1863.
Colonel PHILLIPS, In the Field:
Colonel Harrison has repulsed the enemy; but the danger was imminent, and the risk should not have been taken. You must be near enough to support him, or he must be near enough to support you. I you had been near enough to co-operate, the enemy could have been pursued, and his artillery taken. Your force is not strong enough to operate in separate commands against formidable force. There is no need of it. You, being the senior officer in that portion of General Blunt's district, will see that such risks are not repeated.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
SPRINGFIELD, MO., April 20, 1863.
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,
Commanding Department, Saint Louis:
Parties of 200 and 300 are continually passing into the southwest portion of this district. Will have to abandon the western tier of counties in order to protect my center, or have more troops placed at my disposal. Will General Blunt garrison the counties thus abandoned? They are McDonald, Newton, Jasper, Barton, and Vernon.
W. F. CLOUD,
ROLLA, MO., April 20, 1863.
Brigadier General W. W. ORME,
Commanding Third Division, Army of the Frontier:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that your division be at once put in readiness to move at a moment's notice. You will see