HDQRS. DISTRICT OF THE FRONTIER, Numbers 214.
Fort Smith, Ark., December 15, 1864.
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By command of Brigadier General J. M. Thayer:
T. J. ANDERSON,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, December 15, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: As there has been some day in forwarding the troops to Major-General Thomas, ordered by you, I desire to explain the reason. For three days we were blocked by ice, preventing our crossing the river, and part of the cavalry ordered before I took command were caught below the city, and had to be unloaded, brought back, and reshipped by rail, one boat blowing up and killing 20 men, wounding 30 others, with loss of all stock, arms, and equipments belonging to troops on the boat. The cavalry here, three regiments, subject to go out of the State, are mostly dismounted, but I have Merrills' Horse, Second Missouri, about ready to forward, by General Thomas' request, to Paducah, to help General Meredith out. I find only nine regiments of infantry subject to orders to leave the State, and only five of these organized. They are all new regiments and in process of organization. I sent every regiment that was organized and within reach. General Thomas notified me he did not wish any artillery, and I sent none. The infantry regiments were scattered all over the State, hardly two companies in a place. I used all dispatch possible in getting them together, and there would have been very little delay except for the ice. I knew the necessity, and acted accordingly. There are now left in the State U. S. Volunteer Infantry as follows: Forty-first Missouri Infantry, on duty guarding, in Saint Louis: Forty-third Missouri Infantry, paroled, at Glasgow; Forty-sixth Missouri Infantry, in South Missouri, in course of formation; Fiftieth Missouri Infantry, so far four companies organized.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. M. DODGE,
Cape Girardeau, Mo., December 15, 1864.
Brigadier General THOMAS EWING,
Commanding Saint Louis District:
GENERAL: I take the liberty of writing you fully upon affairs as I find them in my sub-district. I have outposts at Dallas, Bloomfield, Commerce, Charleston, New Madrid, and Caruthersville, which is about
55 R R-VOL XLI, PT IV