HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ROLLA, Rolla, Mo., August 2, 1863.
Commanding Officer, District of Rolla:
I left Rolla June 20, 1863, to go to White County, Arkansas, for the purpose of assisting some Union families to leave that county. The men of the families had been conscripted; they deserted, and then joined the Enrolled Missouri Militia. On my way there I passed the main body of Freeman's and Wood's (rebel) commands. The former was camped, on the 27th of July, on James Creek, Lawrence County, Arkansas. I estimate the command to consist of 250 men, poorly armed, with shot-guns and some revolvers. They appeared to be all provided with horses. From what I could gather, I believe their object was to watch the Houston and Springfield roads, to rob trains, mails, &c., and steal horses. Wood's command seems smaller than has been represented; I do not think, from information I obtained, that it exceeds 150 men. These are scattered by companies over about 20 miles of country. Their occupation is much the same as Freeman's gang, but is held in very poor estimation by the majority of the inhabitants of Fulton County, who wish, as far I am able to judge, to be rid of them. They are rather better armed than Freeman's command, and are provided with four pieces of flying artillery.
I heard it stated by several parties that Monks, Allsop and two sons were doing more harm to their (the rebel) cause than any other parties, and that men were on the lookout to shoot them wherever they could find them. I was shown a horse that had been shot and badly wounded in the fore leg, that I believe I saw Teague riding. Teague is supposed to be the man who attacked the express rider (Briggs, Second Wisconsin Cavalry) a few days before, and was shot at by him. I heard a conversation, on the South Fort of Spring River, Fulton County, between some rebel soldiers, to the effect that they had two good friends, influential men, in Rolla (lawyers), who are in the habit of visiting this place frequently. I learned that at a place between Beaver and Little Piney, about 8 miles from Rolla, there were several families giving aid to rebels by supplying them with provisions, &c., the name of Luster was mentioned as one of the parties. Several rebel families are moving south from the vicinity of Mountain Store, Wright County; they go into Arkansas. I also heard of families on Crooked Creek, near James' Iron Works, who were aiding rebels by maintaining and secreting them. I heard that should the two Harrises, now in the fort (prisoners), be shot, they (the rebels) would kill four Union men in retaliation. I returned to Rolla August 1, 1863.
DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, August 3, 1863.
Brigadier-General DAVIDSON, Wittsburg:
Your movement in leaving the enemy's cavalry in your rear has resulted as I apprehended and repeatedly warned you against. The rebel cavalry are moving into Missouri in considerable force. A large train has been destroyed and man men killed near Bloomfield. Unless you move against the rebel cavalry at once, great damage will be done. Let no time be lost.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,