War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0878 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, December 17, 1864.

General EWING:

I do not think a post at Caruthersville necessary. It was by the advice of Lieutenant-Colonel Hiller. I saw a letter he wrote General Pleasonton advising it. I tried to prevent it. I wrote you a letter by Lieutenant-Colonel Hiller giving you my views.* I only think that since it has been done it might he a breach of faith not to maintain it, since the inhabitants have been led to commit themselves. It is much exposed, and will be an object of solicitude. When Hiller arrives you will see by my letter the only reasons I have for thinking it should be maintained. They are not very strong ones. The commandant of Caruthersville is now in New Madrid. I will consult him by telegraph and give you his views.


Colonel, Commanding.


De Soto, Mo., December 17, 1864.

Lieutenant J. C. BRADEN,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:

LIEUTENANT: In compliance with Special Orders, Numbers 19, dated headquarters First Sub-District, Saint Louis District, St. Louis, Mo., December 11, 1864, I have the honor to report as follows:

The first bridge south of this point is Big River bridge, distance six miles; the next is Polite's Bridge, distance eight miles and a half; the next is Christopher's Bridge, distance nine miles; the next is Burnt Bridge, distance nine miles and one-eight; the next is Lawson's Bridge, distance ten miles; the next is White Bridge, distance ten miles and three-quarters; the next is Deck's Bridge, distance eleven miles and a half; the next is Cole's Bridge, distance fourteen miles and a half the next is Mineral Point bridge, distance fifteen miles and a quarter. The most important bridges are, first Big River bridge; second, Polite's Bridge; third, Christopher's Bridge; fourth, Deck's Bridge. The rest are either small bridges or trestle-works.

I have a guard of one corporal and six men at Big River bridge; and one sergeant, one corporal, and four men at Polite's Bridge; one corporal and four men at Deck's Bridge; and one corporal and four men at Cole's Bridge. The small bridges are guarded by patrolling from one post to another.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Seventh Kansas Cavalry, Commanding.


Rolla, Mo., December 17, 1864.

Captain W. H. FERGUSON,

Commanding Officer at Steelville;

SIR: The colonel commanding directs that you immediately cause a good substantial block-house to be built at Steelville. Its location will be made having in view the command of the objects for protection and security of the troops occupying the same. If necessary, you will order the citizens living in the vicinity to assist in its construction without


* See December 15, p. 865.