able to commence carrying them out by this time. Helena has been indicated as the starting point. I shall probably hear from him in a few days.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
COLUMBUS, MO., July 17, 1863.
Commanding District Southeastern Missouri, through Dept. Hdqrs.:
GENERAL: I started for Island Numbers 10 yesterday on a gunboat, expecting to return last night. While at the island, news came of a guerrilla raid into Hickman. I started for that point. The guerrillas had scattered. We heard all sorts of rumors as to their strength. The party which entered Hickman did not number over 75, but the inhabitants spoke of a larger body in the vicinity, estimated at from 400 to 1,200.
I concluded then to run up to Columbus, to inform General Asboth of the situation. I reached this place at midnight, and shall start back as soon as this communication is finished.
General Asboth had sent the Twenty-fourth Missouri and One hundred and first Illinois to Clinton, a point 14 miles distant, on the railroad. He considers himself to be very weak, and wishes to use these men longer. I have informed him that you have instructed me not to send my troops to any great distance, as they may be called for at any moment. On my arrival at New Madrid, I shall expect to find a strong cavalry party which I sent to Gayoso, to proceed as far down as Hornellsville to cross the swamp at all, and found it a most terrible job even there. He reports it practically impassable for a large force. He passed through Kennett and was at Clarkston on the 14th, making his way northward. A few scattering rebel pickets and scouts were all of their troops he had seen. He had made some prisoners, and had killed 1 man. I will send further report on my arrival.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHESTER HARDING, JR.,
Colonel, Commanding Post at New Madrid.
WASHINGTON, July 17, 1863-12.25 p.m.
Department of the Northwest:
It is reported here by Senator Wilkinson and others of high standing that General Sibley's command is altogether too large for the object in view; that one-third of the number would be much more efficient against the Indians, and could be subsisted with much less difficulty. Would it not be better to recall a portion of his forces, now that there is no probability of its meeting any large body of Indians?
H. W. HALLECK,
[JULY 17, 1863.-For Schofield to Secretary of War, in reference to emancipation in Missouri, see Series III.]