Quincy, July 27, 1861.
Major General C. FREMONT, U. S. Army.
SIR: Be orders from Brigadier-General Pope, commanding in North Missouri, I assumed charge of the line of the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad. Four regiments occupied this line-Nineteenth Illinois, at Palmyra; Sixteenth Illinois, at Hudson City; Third Iowa, at Chillicothe; Second Iowa, at Saint Joseph. Orders this day issued by General Pope have been obeyed to forward the Nineteenth Illinois and Second Iowa to Saint Louis. They are on their way.
But it becomes my duty to report to you that the present force is wholly inadequate for the duty assigned; that the two regiments removed covered the termini of the road and protected its connections; that the country north of the road is inflamed and excited, and the region immediately southwest of Hannibal, in Ralls County, is infested by strong bands of rebels threatening Hannibal in considerable numbers and with at least two pieces of iron artillery. To oppose this I hold Hannibal with one company of Palmer's Fourteenth Illinois and three ill-disciplined companies of home guards; one company of the Fourteenth at South Bridge, between Hannibal and Palmyra. There is a vacancy from these points to Salt Creek where the outposts of the Sixteenth Illinois begin. Thence to Hannibal the road is well guarded; from Hannibal to Saint Joseph no troops; at Saint Joseph about 350 raw home guards. I go to-morrow the length of the road. I desire to state expressly and officially that the feeling along the line is hostile to this road. It is owned in Boston by wealthy men and the people believe it will be repaired if injured. They call it an abolition road. There is no such feeling as to the North Missouri; that is called a State road. I will defend it to the best of my ability; but with cavalry and artillery withdrawn from me and stationary scattered guards of infantry, with an entire regiment (the Third Iowa) without cartridge-boxes, belts or scabbards, justice to myself and the men under my command compels me to notify you in advance that my means are wholly insufficient and that if the road as broken up as I think it will be in forty-eight hours I and my command are not responsible. I have extended and obeyed of course promptly all orders on this subject; but desire to say that unless as I presume is the case public necessity requires this movement it exposes our connections and leaves us with both wings cut off in the heart of an unreconciled and hostile country.
Your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Numbers 10.
Saint Louis, Mo., July 29, 1861.
Brigadier General John Pope is assigned to the command of all the troops in the State of Missouri north of the city of Saint Louis.
By order of Major-General Fremont:
J. C. KELTON,