HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, July 20, 1864.
Respectfully returned to Brigadier General Thomas Ewing, commanding Saint Louis District.
The commanding general is of the opinion that instructions to Colonel Burris not to recognize the authority of Captain Mitchell should be withheld for the present, and an inquiry addressed to Captain Mitchell, asking information as to the cause of his action in the case herein referred to. It may be that Captain Mitchell is acting under peremptory orders from competent authority, and that Colonel Burris acting under instructions not to recognize his authority might bring about a most unfortunate collision at a time when the co-operation of the military and naval forces is very desirable.
By order of Major-General Rosecrans:
HEADQUARTERS SAINT LOUIS DISTRICT,
Saint Louis, July 18, 1864.
Major Wilson's command will reach Bloomfield Wednesday night or the next morning, 200 men and two howitzers. They will take no rations. You will see that the supply there is sufficient. Colonel Tyler says Reves and Johnson's forces are near Pocahontas. General Rosecrans and I are well pleased at the result of your late scout, and hope this will be even more successful. I want you to stay out as long as you stand a show of getting a successful fight or getting useful information as to the purpose of Shelby. With your force you can brush off the swarms of guerrillas and get down to the solid Confederate force occupying Northeastern Arkansas; rout them if possible [let] all scouts bring back information which will be reliable as to the prospect of a raid in force into my district.
THOMAS EWING, JR.,
NEW MADRID, MO., July 18, 1864.
Have just learned something of the movements of the guerrillas from a man whom I started from here. Have him out again, as also the men you sent me. Shall hear from all of them Wednesday evening. Am now having the horses here and at Bloomfield shod. Please have the force named in your dispatch proceed to Bloomfield at once and report to me by telegraph. I do not expect to leave here myself until to-morrow morning. Meantime you shall hear from me again. Does this plan suit you?
JOHN T. BURRIS.