HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CENTRAL MISSOURI,
Warrensburg, Mo., March 28, 1864.
Colonel JAMES H. FORD,
Commanding Fourth Sub-District, Kansas City, Mo.:
COLONEL: I am directed by the general commanding to acknowledge the receipt of your communication dated 21st instant, and in answer to state that it is deemed necessary that the troops within your sub-district should be stationed as heretofore directed in orders from these headquarters. You will therefore make such changes as will conform to the same.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES H. STEGER,
Yellville, Ark., March 28, 1864.
Commanding District of Southwest Missouri:
GENERAL: In accordance with your orders I left Springfield on the 21st instant and arrived here on the 26th. I found the troops here very disorderly, being under no sort of discipline. I assumed command on the 27th instant, and, much to my own and the astonished of all president, have succeeded already in establishing good order and discipline. The battalion of the Sixty Regiment Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, have been doing good service since they came here; we have killed 17 armed guerrillas, among whom were 4 notorious characters. I shell keep a sufficient number of men scouting through the country.
I do not believe that the rebels can collect a force of over 500 men, although there may be a large number of armed rebels in the country; but there seems to be some contention among them with regard to who shall command, which prevents them from uniting. I feel confident that I can in a reasonable time clear this country of guerrillas, if I can have the necessary force, There are several families here who been deprived of their entire living by the guerrillas. Unless the Government will do something for them they must suffer for want of the necessaries of life. Will your order the issue of small quantities of flour and bacon, &c., to them? The officer heretofore in command has been thus supplying them in extreme cases. With regard to forage I find that there is very little 20 miles of this place. Citizens, however, come that distance to inform us that they have corn and request us to take it. It will be necessary to haul it from 20 to 30 miles. This we can do if we had a couple of corn-shellers. We can keep a sufficiency of corn. The commissary can furnish the necessary sacks.
Should we evacuate this place and establish a station only 10 miles from here, the town would be immediately burned, and every citizen here having any sympathy for the Government would be murdered. There are hundreds of acres of farming land adjacent to the town now unoccupied. I am doing what I can to induce the refugees here to cultivate it. Abundance of grain can be produced in this manner to supply the wants of these who will be depending on the Government for bread. Since wright the above, Captain Headlee, on the