thirty miles below New Madrid on the river, and although I should not have advised placing an outpost there since I cannot see what good it will accomplish, still, as we have now built a stockade, thus rendering it perfectly secure, and the inhabitants have been led, to commit themselves so as to render their lives and property unsafe, I think I would maintain it. I have there one full company of infantry and one squadron of horse. I think forage can be obtained there. I have at New Madrid one infantry company, one company of Enrolled Missouri Militia, mounted, and one squadron of my regiment. I have at Charleston one company of infantry; at Commerce, part of a company of Enrolled Militia, and the other part at Hamburg, about fifteen miles west of Commerce. I think the force of Hamburg unnecessary, but they would be of little use elsewhere, as they would be of little use elsewhere, as they are neither well officered nor disciplined. I have at Bloomfield one squadron of my horse, reliable; one company of Volunteer Enrolled Missouri Militia, reliable, and one company of Enrolled Missouri Militia proper, not at all reliable. I think it would be well to strengthen that outposts, as it is an important one and liable to attack, as Bowles is said to be at Kennett. He is more likely at Bluecum, recruiting, and has five companies already raised. I have at Dallas one company of Volunteer Missouri Militia, and Dallas is an outpost; there is no earthly use in holding if Bloomfield and Patterson are held. The Union men there are mostly in the army, and no force could come up the country without it being known at Bloomfield or Patterson. Hence, I would recommend that the outposts of Dallas be abandoned and the troops there be sent to Bloomfield-or what would be perhaps better, be brought here, where they could be the more easily foraged-and one company of infantry be sent to Bloomfield from here; the force at Commerce and Hamburg being infantry, would, perhaps, better be sent, as by that means they would be removed from here, where they will more or less "board out," and thus be more effective, while a small infantry force could be sent from here to Commerce, say one officer and twenty men, which would be sufficient, as their only duty would be to prevent smuggling and supplies reaching the rebels.
I have at this post about seventy cavalry, not enough for escort to guard trains to my numerous outposts, and three companies of infantry, two of them-the fifty raw troops and a small one-good troops. The outposts at Perryville was discontinued by the removal of the company of the Forty-seventh stationed there to Pilot Knob, but I do not think it necessary to maintain an outpost there. The outpost at Jackson was discontinued by the mustering out of the Enrolled Missouri Militia stationed there. But it was wholly unnecessary; so many outposts so much scatter my force that I find myself so busy guarding trains and "holding the post" as to be unable to spare any troops to march to disperse an enemy. Bloomfield is too weak to hold the post and march against Bowles at the same time. Another great difficulty I labor under is the want of officers of experience. The new officers here do not yet know " how to do it," and I have but two for duty. I therefore most urgently request that if you possibility can do so, you will send me at least companies D and H, or L, of my regiment. There are five of my squadron at Pilot Knob, which with the Seventh Kansas there make quite a respectable cavalry force. Could you not spare me two of them, and replace them by infantry, which would certainly be better for garrison duty, and still leave them a good cavalry force, and give me enough reliable officers and veteran cavalry to disperse Bowlers or "any other man," and patrol the border and keep clear?