PATTERSON, April 26, 1865 - 8 a. m.
Commanding at Pilot Knob, Mo.:
I hope the excitement about M. Jeff. Thompson is over, and will be recorded with those events that never were, are not, and never will be. I am satisfied that he was not here with 400 men, and if he was we can lick him with the men at this place. Now, I wish to say that when the troops are ordered away from here on account of an enemy it is equivalent to moving every loyal man out of Southeast Missouri south of Pilot Knob. I wish to state further that I am well acquainted with the character of the rebels with which we are contending, and I do not think they can go to Fredericktown, Centerville, &c., in force without me knowing something about it. I am sure that when you hear the facts it will all turn out to be a party of thieves telling this to scare somebody until they can accomplish their object and escape. On Tuesday we heard that 200 men were within tem miles of this place, and a still larger force were going up Castor River. On yesterday we learned that there were seven men only, Vix, Peter Smith, McGee, and others. I think the thing is all premature and will only turn out to be a few guerrillas. I hope, colonel, you will put some confidence in us down here and suppose at least that we have as good an opportunity to learn something about Jeff. Thompson as you can have at Pilot Knob. It is about one-half of my business to know what is going on below. There is not a man here who feels the least uneasiness, but we all think that we are sufficient for the day and hour thereof, and if Jeff. Thompson comes let him come and be d-d to him. Our wish is not to be order away until we see him or some other elephant. In short, I think it all a very great humbug.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. T. LEEPER,
PILOT KNOB, April 26, 1865.
A force of rebels under Jeff. Thompson, 400 strong, is near Fredericktown, coming up. Keep on the alert. Advise the commanding officer at Potosi of the above by a courier.
F. M. MALONE,
CAPE GIRARDEAU, April 26, 1865.
Lieutenant P. McRAE,
Have the Seventh Kansas men remain to-day and rest their horses. Go out with your squad. If you find the enemy, push him with yours and Seventh Kansas Men. Also advise Colonel Malone in case you meet or hear of the enemy.
JOHN L. BEVERIDGE,
14 R R - VOL XLVIII, PT II