the command to me then, and as the late movements of guerrillas and bushwhacking parties indicate, from every quarter, an early and complete organization of their marauding efforts in the four counties of my sub-district, I would respectfully ask the general commanding the District of Central Missouri that he would send me a few companies of infantry, to garrison some of the more important posts in this sub-district, so as to enable me to keep the cavalry companies of my regiment constantly in the field, and busy scouting the more infested portions of the district. One reason still more in favor of this is this fact that in portions of Cass and Jackson Counties there are large quantities of forage abandoned, and which serve to keep up the stock of the bushwhackers in good condition.
By detailing the companies of my regiment to sue this forage in those portions of the country, and so keeping the rebels from its use, would answer two good purposes-save a large item of expense and prevent its use by guerrilla parties, as well as breaking up some of their best rendezvous in this country. By garrisoning with infantry, to do the guard and other local duties of the different posts or stations, the men and horses when there can be always ready at twenty minutes' notice for any scout or expedition, besides patrolling the country more efficiently and thoroughly, and would give me cavalry enough at any time to oppose as large a force as we presume they can ever again bring into the Fourth Sub-District. By this plan I will pledge myself (the bushwhackers') attempts at wholesale plundering and devastation.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES H. FORD,
Colonel Second Colorado Cavalry, Commanding Fourth
Sub-District, Central District of Missouri.
HEADQUARTERS CENTRAL DISTRICT OF MISSOURI,
Jefferson City, February 15, 1864.
Respectfully referred to Major-General Rosecrans, commanding Department of Missouri, for his information.
Four companies of the Ninth Minnesota Infantry have marched to Warrensburg for the purpose of being used in the manner suggested by Colonel Ford.
E. B. BROWN,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
SPRINGFIELD, MO., February 13, 1864.
Major O. D. GREENE, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Brigadier-General Holland sends me a dispatch from Yellville, dated the 11th, that Colonels Freeman, Coleman, and others have crossed to the east side of White River, 12 miles below Buffalo City, with a force estimated at 1,000 men. Scouts will be kept well out to the south, and if the force attempts to move into the State it will be brought to an engagement as soon as possible. My opinion is that the movement was made to retard our forces operating in Arkansas and sent to make a raid, the Arkansas River having risen so much that they could not cross safely to the south.
JOHN B. SANBORN,