War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0022 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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within last two days, partially armed, pursuant to instructions already received. This number is exclusive of those with Colonels Jennison, Moonlight, and Blair. Five hundred from Linn County will be here to-day. The entire male population is arriving here. No arms, but need them for dismounted men kept here. The fort here is nearly completed.

S. A. DRAKE,

Lieutenant-Colonel Seventeenth Kansas Volunteer Infantry.

WYANDOTTE, KANS., October 16, 1864.

General DEITZLER,

Shawneetown:

After my note which I sent to you from Independence yesterday I went to Hickman Mills. While there a dispatch arrived from Pleasant Hill containing telegraphic news direct from Sedalia. The rebels, about 5,000 strong, had reached that place and fighting was going on, so you see the enemy must be very much divided if they are not retreating south. My information of yesterday satisfied me a few had crossed the river; some were in Lexington day before yesterday and some were in Sedalia. I wish you to send forward as many cavalry and artillery as are pretty well ready, with a brigadier, to Independence to-day to take command at that point as an advance post. General blunt, or a part of his force, will, in like manner, move forward to Pleasant Hill to-day. If possible we must make the enemy feel us to-morrow. The Fort Scott troops arrived last night at Hickman Mills, and Blunt has about 4,000 in that camp. There are also a large number of new men on the river bottom at the mouth of the Kansas, which came last night, I suppose, from Atchison. The weather is fine, but nights cold for troops, and if possible we should keep them moving to keep them warm. Write or come over. I will remain here until 12 m.

Truly, yours,

S. R. CURTIS,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS KANSAS STATE MILITIA,

In Camp at Shawneetown, October 16, 1864.

General W. H. M. FISHBACK,

Kansas State Militia, Hickman Mills, Mo.:

GENERAL: The order of General Blunt, with your indorsement, is received. I am directed by General Deitzler to say that while you are expected to obey all lawful orders issued by General Blunt, you are not required to report yourself to an officer of inferior rank for duty. The utmost harmony among the forces which this exigency has thrown together is especially desirable. You cannot, however, be expected to obey an order which has neither the sanction of law nor usage. You will, therefore, retain your command until superseded by a ranking officer. I have not the slightest doubt General Curtis will take the same view of the matter, and if General Blunt persists in the order a statement of the facts to General Curtis will set all right. The order and indorsement as received will be forwarded to General Curtis.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

O. E. LEARNARD,

Colonel and Chief of Staff.