War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0502 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SOUTHWEST MISSOURI,

Springfield, Mo., November 9, 1864.

Lieutenant-Colonel McMAHAN,

Sixth Prov. Enrolled Missouri Mil., Commanding in the Field:

COLONEL: The general commanding the district directs that you take command of all U. S. troops near the line of march of the rebel forces that are reported moving from Warsaw down toward Bolivar, Marshfield, and Lebanon. You are to move to the crossing of the Niangua and the Lebanon road with Captain Ball's company and Captain Chaffin's company of Enrolled Missouri Militia, which has been ordered there with to you. Captain Cassairt, from Lebanon, will report to you at that point to-night, I think. Major Mitchell has been ordered there with Company L, of the Seventh Provisional, and will be there to-morrow afternoon. I inclose an order for Company I of your own regiment to join you at once there or at any point you may select. You will forward this order to him at once, modifying it as you see fit as to time and place. These are all the companies that are available, but you are authorized to assume command and direct the movements of any companies or detachments of U. S. troops belonging to this district that you may find on or near your line of operations, so far as the same can be done without interfering too much with garrison or escort duty on the Lebanon road. Some 300 to 400 of General Holland's Enrolled Missouri Militia will reach the point designated to-morrow afternoon, with instructions to co-operate with you. Captain Cassairt reports a force of at least 1,000 rebels moving south from the direction of Warsaw, and from him you can learn all that is known concerning them. The general commanding directs that this or any force of rebels moving in or through the district are to be captured or destroyed, and he intrusts the work to you, leaving the dispositions and movements of troops at your disposal entirely under your control. In making these dispositions your will not lose sight of the importance of protecting the road from Springfield to Lebanon and the supply trains constantly moving over it. This road is now patrolled and the trains strongly guarded, and you will therefore be able to operate from it to the north and northeast with your scouts, holding your main force in hand ready to move rapidly to any point. In this way it is hoped that you may be able to prevent the enemy from moving across the road in small detached parties, and that you may force him to concentrate and to fight, in which case the result is not to be doubted. You will communicate to these headquarters all important information as often and as promptly as possible.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. T. KITTREDGE,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure.]

SPECIAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. DIST. OF SOUTHWEST MISSOURI, Numbers 299.

Springfield, Mo., November 9, 1864.

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IV. The commanding officer of Company I, Sixth Provisional Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia, now at Buffalo, Mo., will, upon receipt of this order, move with all the mounted men of his command to the crossing of the Niangua and Lebanon road, and there report to Lieutenant-Colonel McMahan, commanding in the field. As many rations will be taken as can be carried, but no wagons.