HEADQUARTERS POST HOUSTON, Houston, Mo., February 22, 1864.
Captain J. LOVELL,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Rolla, Mo.:
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following as my report for the week ending February 21, 1864: On the 16th instant I sent a small scout of 6 men in the direction of Mountain Store, who returned yesterday. They report that several trails made recently were discovered, together with several campaign-places in the vicinity and on this side of Mountain Store. The spy sent out by you went out with this squad, and, when near the Mountain Store, he left the scout for the purpose of going farther south, and if possible ascertaining the locality and intentions of the force under Colonel Freeman. He was captured the day he left the scout by a squad of 30 bushwhackers, but managed to make his escape and reached this post yesterday.
He ascertained that this squad of 30 were sent out as a scout from Freeman's command, and that their place of operation was to be between Lebanon and Waynesville, ribbing the main and trains. There will also be another squad of about the same size sent up in a short time for the same purpose. Freeman is encamped on White River and has a force of about 450 men in camp. No raid into this district is yet contemplated.
I send out a small squad of from 5 to 10 men each day in a southern direction. I will start 2 spies to-morrow whom I can depend upon and whom I am very confident will bring a correct report of Freeman's whereabouts and the strength of his forces. There are a great many bushwhackers at present in this country, as I can hear of them in small squads in every direction. Their intentions seem to be to prey upon trains between Rolla and Springfield. They avoid this place in passing north, generally going about 20 miles east or west.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Saint Louis, February 22, 1864.
Brigadier General E. B. BROWN,
Commanding Central District, Warrensburg, Mo.:
GENERAL: I am directed to acknowledge the receipt of your indorsement upon letter of Richard H. Melton, esq., relative to the destitute families of rebels in Benton County.
In reply I am directed to instruct you that in cases where the families of rebels within our lines are suffering for want of food, &c., they will be sent to their natural protectors beyond our lines if practicable. There may be cases in which humanity would dictate a different course of action. You are authorized to use your discretion in all such cases.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,