[Rough of special order.]
Captain George H. Smith, assistant quartermaster and superintendent of military telegraph, Department of the Missouri, is hereby authorized to construct a line of military telegraph to connect the city of Saint Louis, Mo., with the State of Kansas. The line will be constructed over the route which shall be determined to be the most expeditious and the least expensive.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, March 22, 1864.
M. H. RITCHEY,
Newton County, Mo.:
DEAR SIR: It is the intention of the general commanding to furnish ample military protection to Southwestern Missouri. The steps to be taken thereof depend on the action of the Government as to the plan which he has submitted on the subject of Missouri affairs. But from present indications the general feels confident that citizens may return to their avocations in that region by arming themselves against thieves and robbers. The dispositions of forces would not be proper subjects of communication at present.
W. S. ROSECRANS,
Pilot Knob, Mo., March 22, 1864.
General C. B. FISK,
Commanding Saint Louis District:
SIR: I would most respectfully apply for two more infantry companies for garrison duty at this post. If practicable, I would ask for Companies A and K of the First Regiment Infantry, Missouri State Militia, at present stationed at Benton Barracks, Saint Louis, Mo., for the following reasons:
First, at the opening of spring bushwhackers and thieves most surely will appear in great numbers, and do a great deal of damage in the lower counties of this State, to exterminate whom all the available cavalry force at this post will be required to attack and watch them from all sides, which, in order to effectually and completely clean the country of these vermin, will very likely, in many cases, leave this post without a sufficient force to do the police duty, to say nothing of a defensive force for the place itself. With the above two companies I shall be able to do all the garrison (except picket) duty, and I guarantee to hold this place against great odds. I shall be able to use the whole cavalry force against the guerrillas, whom, if I am not fourfold outnumbered, I think to rid the country of entirely. I submit the above, in the hope that upon consideration you will pass a judgment favoring my application.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. N. HERDER,
Lieutenant Colonel First Infty., M. S. M., Commanding Post.