BUTLER COUNTY, MISSOURI,
Twenty-five miles southwest of Greenville, June 29, 1863.
Colonel JOHN Q. BURBRIDGE,
Russell's Ferry, Ark.:
COLONEL: There have been movements of the enemy in force since you last heard from me. Several of my scouts have just returned from Patterson. They bring no news of importance, except that the country is being traversed in various directions by Federal scouting parties. A small scout of some 15 or 20 comes down as far as Reeves' Station, on Black River, about every other day, but do not remain very long at a time. I conversed with a gentleman to-day just from Ironton. He says that, judging from the appearance of the men in review, and from the statements of citizens in and around that place, he having in Ironton for the last six or eight weeks, that the force of the enemy at that point is between 6,000 and 8,000. He says he saw a great many wagons loaded with pontoon bridges and provisions, evidently designed, and they say as much themselves, for an expedition in force into some part of Southern Missouri or Arkansas; also that there is but one regiment of infantry at that place; the rest of the infantry having gone to Vicksburg, under General Herron, some two or three weeks ago. There was a grand review of the troops in Ironton on last Tuesday, the 23rd instant, on the arrival of General Schofield at that place from Saint Louis. Black River is not fordable at present, nor will it be for several days yet. I am very sorry I am not able to send you some late Federal newspapers by the bearer, but will endeavor to do so by the next dispatch.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Lieutenant, Commanding Scouts, &c.
P. S.-I am entirely out of funds, and would be much obliged if you would send me such a sum as you may deem sufficient.
June 30, 1863.
I am inclined to think that General Davidson is preparing to make a forward movement. What shall I do if he advances in force? Shall I harass and annoy him as much as possible, or fall back before him and join our main forces?
[JNO. Q. BURBRIDGE,
Fort Smith, Ark., June 29, 1863.
Brigadier General W. L. CABELL,
GENERAL: As soon as you ascertain that Blunt has gone down with re-enforcements to Gibson, you must move to join forces with General Cooper. The road taken must depend upon the points you may be at when you get the information, either by crossing Grand River and forming a junction at the Creek Agency, which will be hazardous, or by coming by this place and going up the south side of the Arkansas River. I do not think as large a force as was stated went down with the train, for the reason that a re-enforcement of 600 was sent out from