there are in this vicinity about 700 of Jeff. Thompson's men. They are scattered, many of them being at their homes, but all ready to concentrate at a moment's notice. Jeff. himself was reported to be at Point Pleasant, 8 miles below here, yesterday noon. A few of his men showed themselves 5 miles west of town. I am in great need of cavalry, to scout and for pickets. If consistent with your views, I hope they will be sent immediately--one or two companies. I am pressing horses from the vicinity to-day, to send out to collect information. I have not among my men a single man familiar with the use of artillery. Can you not send me a sergeant an instructor?
I am, captain, most respectfully, yours,
JAMES K. MILLS,
Colonel Twenty-fourth Missouri Volunteers, Commanding.
P. S.-I should have added that Captain Bonner is at the landing here, with his gunboat, from Island Numbers 10, and urges strongly that some cavalry should be sent here. He returns to the island immediately.
HEADQUARTERS CAMP BEN. BUTLER,
June 9, 1863.
Major C. W. BLAIR,
Commanding Post, Fort Scott, Kans.:
MAJOR: The messenger, with dispatches from General Blunt, found me en route to Diamond Grove, and as I had made arrangements with the Newtonia forces to move at the same time, I did not think it proper to give up the trip, but marched on, and had reached the vicinity of Reeder's, on Turkey Creek, at 4 p. m., when the same messenger came up and informed me that my camp was attacked by a large force of the enemy. This, in connection with information which I had the day previously received from Colonel Phillips, that a body of the enemy, 1,200 in number, was marching in my direction, determined me to return to camp, which I did, arriving here at 9.30 p. m., having marched 30 miles and forded three large streams in ten hours. It was my intention to press sufficient wagons to convey my commissary and ordnance supplies, and then march immediately for Fort Gibson, to the relief of Phillips, but this failure will prevent my moving at all, without the destruction of a large amount of ordnance stores, consisting of arms and ammunition now in my possession, as well as my commissary supplies. In view of this, I again urge upon you the necessity of sending me transportation, to move at once. I have some quartermaster's and ordnance supplies in Fort Scott, awaiting transportation, which I very much need before going below, and I hope that they may come forward at once, with sufficient transportation to move my supplies. I have written to Captain Insley as to what I need.
I do not know who it was that made the attack on the camp. They are nowhere to be seen this morning, and, as I have no cavalry, I am without the proper requisites to make a successful reconnaissance. They succeeded in stampeding some of the battery horses, which could have been entirely prevented had there been any mounted men here for picket and outpost duty. I feel that there is a fault somewhere in not furnishing a small cavalry force for operations against these bandits.
I am, major, with high respect, your obedient servant,
J. M. WILLIAMS,