Today in History:

9 Series I Volume XIII- Serial 19 - Missouri - Arkansas Campaign


and west of the Meramec,constituting the District of Southwestern Missouri, was left entirely without troops to protect the loyal people from the small bands of outlaws that still existed in that part of the State or from raids of rebel cavalry from Arkansas. Indeed, after the withdrawal of a portion of General Curtis army to join the forces before Corinth his line of communication with Rolla was seriously endangered and some of his trains destroyed by the enemy. Learning these facts, although the district of the country referred to was not under my command, I immediately set in motion three regiments of cavalry, my only available regiment of infantry, and a battery of artillery from the northern and central portions of the State to occupy the southern portion and protect General Curtis' lines of communication. This distributed the forces under my command over the entire State, and in such manner as best to suppress insurrection and protect the only exposed portion of the southern border. Yet the forces was everywhere too much weakened by the necessary expansion.

On June 5, 1862, I received orders from Major-General Halleck to move all my available force toward the southern border and support General Curtis as far as in my power. Although I had already reduced my force beyond the limit of safety, I sent, in answer to urgent demands from General Curtis, a regiment of Reserve Corps infantry, a battery of artillery, and about two regiments of cavalry, with orders to join him by forced marches, and inform him that I would protect his Rolla line and permit him to draw in all the force engaged in that duty. The infantry mutinied and refused to go farther on reaching duty. The infantry mutinied and refused to go farther on reaching the Arkansas line, urging the terms of their enlistment. The battery was stopped on account of information from General Curtis that he wanted no more artillery. The cavalry joined him, as ordered. Although repeatedly urged by General Curtis to send him more troops, I was compelled to say it was impossible.

On June 5, 1862, at my suggestion and at the request of General Curtis, the State of Missouri (except the three southeastern counties) was erected into a military district, called the District of Missouri, and placed under my command, the troops in the southwestern part of the State to be, nevertheless, subject to the orders of Major-General Curtis. With this latter qualification my command was thereby extended over the district of country lately vacated by the army under General Curtis and subsequently occupied by my troops.

The District of Missouri was divided into divisions, commanded as follows, viz: The Northeastern Division, under Colonel John McNeil, Missouri State Militia;the Northwestern Division, under Brigadier General Ben Loan; the Central Division, under Brigadier General James Totten; the Southwestern Division, under Brigadier General E. B. Brown; the Rolla Division, under Colonel J. M. Glover, Third Missouri Cavalry, and the Saint Louis Division, under Colonel Lewis Merrill, U. S. Volunteers Cavalry.

The effective force (both volunteers and militia) in the several divisions was as follows, viz: Northeastern, 1,250; Northwestern, 1,450; Central, 4,750; Southwestern, 3,450; Rolla, 1,500; Saint Louis, 4,960. Total, 17,360.

I had hardly made the necessary disposition of my troops to preserve the peace of the State, upon the supposition that it was to be protected from invasion by the army under General Curtis, when the movement of his force to Helena left the entire southers border unprotected and the State exposed to raids of the enemy's cavalry which it was impossible for me to meet without withdrawing protection from