War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0166 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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under my command ever since till General Deitzler arrived, who ordered him to Shawneetown, being satisfied, he said, to have the brigade wholly in my hands. This relieves me from all embarrassment and I am now ready to do my duty throughout.

With earnest wishes for your safety and success, I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. W. BLAIR,

Colonel, Commanding.

INDEPENDENCE, October 21, 1864.

General DEITZLER:

I have no news, except telegraphic connection with Rosecrans. He is moving down toward Lexington, being within eighteen or twenty miles of that place. I propose to move forward with the willing, ready force. I will give some moral influence to Rosecrans, if nothing more, and find out what has become of the enemy. I will send my present baggage back to the Blue. Take no teams. Carry rations in haversacks and try cornfields for horses. I want you to command the reserves, arranging everything at the Blue for our convenience on our return and easy deployment in the line of battle. Keep the roads clear as possible, and have forage and provisions brought to convenient places. Understand my purpose to make the Blue our line, if Price actually forces his forward movement. If driven from that position we will stand at Kansas City. Try to hurry forward Colonel Blair's division. I rely on that, and some other good militia will come. If a big fight comes off I may get in, but have no design or desire to take even the willing militia beyond the immediate decisive blow that must determined the defeat or success of Price's forces at or near Lexington. Moreover, you must be ready to move, for it is more likely that Price will try to retreat southwest, and the moment I find him moving that way I want the militia and everything moving by the best lines toward Fort Scott, so as to head him off from our border posts-Paola, Mound City, or Fort Scott. I will be in telegraphic communication, and hope you will keep me constantly posted.

I am, truly, yours,

S. R. CURTIS,

Major-General.

IN THE FIELD, Near the Big Blue, Mo., October 21, 1864-4.15 p.m .

To POST COMMANDERS,

Leavenworth, Fort Leavenworth, Lawrence, Paola, Mount City, Olathe, Fort Scott. and Atchison, Kans.:

Price is forcing the passage of the Little Blue and advancing on Independence. The battle has been in progress since noon, and our forces are slowly falling back. The wounded are coming into Independence, and the trains are retiring to this point. Captain McLain, of the First Colorado Battery, had his arm shot off near the shoulder. Captain Gregg, Company M, Eleventh Kansas, wounded. General Curtis is at the front. Kansas is in imminent danger, and every man should hasten to the field.

G. W. DEITZLER,

Major-General, Kansas State Militia.