We have no trouble in sending officers to Missouri, recruiting, and there is nothing to hinder my moving into Missouri, if we had arms and ammunition, and as soon as it arrives we shall move forward. My officers are succeeding well in recruiting in Missouri. I suppose you have heard the particulars about the last grand raid to Missouri. If General Marmaduke carried out the orders of General Homes, they were very strange, and I should not be pleased to act under such orders. As the command approached Patterson, Captain Reves' company acted well in capturing all the pickets. The column moved forward, met the relief coming out to relieve the pickets which had been captured, and, instead of ordering a regiment to charge the town and take the enemy by surprise, there was some artillery ordered up and opened, to notify the enemy if they did not leave soon General Marmaduke's command would take them in. They left; a few stragglers were captured. Then Colonel Cater, with one division, moved in the direction of Fredericktown. As Colonel Carter's command approached Bloomfield, McNeil got the news, and left for Cape Girardeau. Colonel Carter followed him. In the mean time Colonel Shelby's division made a most daring charge into Fredericktown, and captured all of the citizens. We found plenty of good whisky, and the stores filled with goods of various kinds. We cleaned the town out completely, and moved on the road to Old Jackson, and camped, leaving one company in town and a few pickets on the road to Ironton.
During the next day a soldier was seen riding through town, saying the Yankees were in town. Such a stampede I never witnessed before. The whole division was called to arms, and the scare proved to be 10 Federals, who approached within 1 mile of the town and fired at our pickets.
We then took up the march, and halted at Patton long enough to let McNeil pass through Old Jackson without molesting him. Then we made a forced march all night, and attacked Cape Girardeau the next morning about 10 o'clock; fought about three hours; retreated to Old Jackson; camped about 10 p. m. The Federals came within our lines with artillery and cavalry, ad took Colonel Burbridge's brigade by surprise; captured most of the men and horses of one company and left. In the morning we retreated in the direction of Bloomfield, the Federals following close in our rear. We continued the retreat across the Saint Francis River, at Chalk Bluff. I left the command perfectly satisfied, and am not anxious to make another trip under like circumstances. It is not necessary to speak of the horses, mules, &c., which were taken on the trip. I saw young mules and colts running in their pastures where the mares had been taken out; it was a common occurrence to take the last horse from the plow in the field, and many other things which if I should write you would be astonished. As I said before, if General Marmaduke carried out his orders, he did perfectly right, as all inferiors are bound to obey their superiors. The raid injured our cause in Missouri, and a few more such, and saltpeter will not save the State. I am adopting a different course entirely. Every man sworn into my command is informed that we kill for stealing and deserting, and it will be carried out, if possible. We intend to visit Missouri on a friendly mission, and hope the citizens will welcome us, and not hide their horses in the bushes and lock their doors, for fear we shall rob them. Missouri is flooded with deserters, and they are committing all kinds of depredations on friends and foes. It must be stopped; citizens are not safe in the country. I have given my officers orders to arrest all soldiers found without proper papers.