Vernon north of Little Osage, to break up and destroy any force men acting Kansas from that quarter, and to intercept rebel forces going north of south through that part of the district.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOMAS EWING, Jr.,
(Copy furnished commanding officer, Paola, Kans., December 18, 1863.)
September 22, 1863-7.25 p.m.
His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN,
President of the United States:
Please make no changes in Kansas military affairs until I arrive in Washington. Will be there soon.
HEADQUARTERS SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI,
Pilot Knob, Mo., September 22, 1863.
Major General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit a brief review and statement of the condition of affairs in the District of Southeastern Missouri. During the two months in which I have been in command of the district, I have kept the troops at my disposal constantly on the move through the most disturbed portions of my territory. Four expeditions from this point have been made to the southwest, and as far as the Arkansas line, and three similar expeditions to the southeast have been sent from Cape Girardeau and Bloomfield. Smaller parties, day and night, have traversed, and horse-thieves. More than 100 of these brigands have in the mean time been killed outright, and among them some of the most desperate characters in the State. More than 50 have been captured and sent to Gratiot street prison, to await their trial on charges which have been properly made and field with the provost-marshal-general of the department. The notorious Jeff. Thompson and his staff, with many other captured rebel prisoners, have been forwarded.
We have nearly completed at Pilot Knob one of the finest forts in the department. It mounts four 32-pounder siege guns and two 24-pounder howitzers; has a capacious and well-protected magazine store-room and well. Much of the labor used in the construction of the fort has been performed by the contrabands. I have no men who have been drilled in the tactics of heavy artillery, and have none whom I can spare from other duties for that purpose. If the artillery detachments you intended to send here when the First Nebraska Infantry were ordered away can now be forwarded, I would recommend that it be promptly done. The battalion of Third Colorado is barely sufficient for the bridge guards and post duty.
The district is and has been comparatively quiet. Thieves in small bands are still infesting the country; they steal horses from citizens of all shades of color and sympathy. Southeastern Missouri suffered much from the presence of these characters before the troubles, and the war