needs is to put up the wires; the poles are all standing. This will incur but little expense, and will place me in direct communication with Saint Louis and Fort Scott. It will be a difficult matter to communicate by express after the grass is killed by frost. I would also recommend the sending of Colonel Harrison's regiment (First Arkansas Cavalry) to occupy Northwestern Arkansas, with headquarters at Fayetteville. They understand the country thoroughly, and would be of great service in ridding that part of the country of guerrillas, of which there are numerous bands in that locality. They could also protect the telegraph line, if it should be reconstructed. Colonel Catherwood left here yesterday morning with the Sixth and Eighth Missouri State Militia, with orders to proceed to Cassville and report to Brigadier-General McNeil.
You will please give me instructions in regard to the Third Missouri [Wisconsin] Cavalry. At the time they were ordered to concentrate at Fort Scott, it was impossible to comply with the order, as I was almost entirely destitute of cavalry, having no others for escorting the train to Fort blunt, except that regiment, and consequently was compelled to use them. If there is to be no movement into Texas from this point, and I am only to hold Western Arkansas and the Indian Territories, the regiment can now be spared, as it can soon be replaced by the Fourteenth Kansas. If the regiment is left in my command, I would respectfully suggest that Colonel Barstow and Lieutenant-Colonel White be given a leave of absence until after the termination of the war. They are entirely worthless as officers, and their presence with the command will be detrimental to the interest of the service. The former has never been with the regiment since it has been in this department (over one year and a half).
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. G. BLUNT.
CASSVILLE, MO., September 11, 1863.
Brigadier-General MCNEIL, Springfield, Mo.:
My forage train is out, and I cannot consistently move before to-morrow night, as I have many horses to shoe and other work do to get this command in shape. With your approval, I shall leave my train and the telegraph train here, take all my available force, and strike the enemy on both flanks as rapidly as possible; then return by the Telegraph road in a few days as far as Bentonville or Elkhorn, send for telegraph corps, wait until they come up, building the line, scouring the country as we go, and occupy Fayetteville at the same time with the telegraph; but I do think that a preliminary scout on both sides of th main route is indispensable to the security of our line of communication. Do you approve?
M. LA RUE HARRISON,
STURGEON, MO., September 11, 1863.
I came down to see what the trouble on this road amounted to. From what I gathered, it was the noted robber Hunter, with about 20 men, who fired on the train just above this place. Their purpose must have been to rob the train, but it seems from some cause they abandoned it. The same party robbed two stores at Renick last night. I have ordered