Today in History:

30 Series I Volume XXXIV-III Serial 63 - Red River Campaign Part III


DARDANELLE, April 3, 1864.

General KIMBALL:

Military matters are in a dreadful condition here. The twelve-months' troops are gone-left yesterday. Guerrillas are numerous between Roseville and here. They are coming in daily. Thirty men left last night without orders from me. From the best information they were sent by officers to fire in some rebels above here. The wires are cut between here and Clarksville faster than we can fix them. We have very few mounted men here, and without relief the consequences may be serious. We cannot guard Government property outside the post.

Your most obedient servant,


Commanding Post.



As there is no military post, as such, within 30 miles of here, I take the liberty of writing you briefly of the state of this country; and I deem it the more important to do so on account of the change manifest in the last month or so, since I had the pleasure of an interview with you. For some weeks armed men (guerrillas, robbers, and rebel officers) have been coming into our county from both the South and Illinois. The evidence of their presence is abundant. They seem scattered in small squads, or single, in all parts. I hear of no attacks upon us, but only a few more robberies. All sorts of stories are set afloat of rebel prospects, invasions, and that Price is coming, &c. Sympathizers look and act bolder, and have increased confidence. It is so marked as to be talked of by Union men as obvious in all the county, and excites serious fears. To my mind it is clear that there is some mischief coming, although I cannot make it out. They are counting on an invasion or an insurrection. So very marked is the change that it is founded on something generally known to them and in which they confide.

I venture to conjecture that a raid is intended to gather horses, clothes, and money, and as it cannot well cross the Missouri River--and yet such supplies must mostly come from this side-that these loose fellows are sent in advance to prospect and prepare to meet a raid on a concerted day at a fixed point on the river, with all their supplies gathered in from this side, and that they are now making arrangements for it. Such was their course last fall, and I see no other reasonable prospect for them now.

The enlistment and enrollment of negroes and prospects of a draft have created deep a bitter feeling in this section, and prepared these people for almost anything, even for concealing bushwhackers again this year; and a draft now would drive hundreds to the bush. You will pardon me, general, for the liberty of a few suggestions. Such a raid, it appears to me, would aim to strike the center of the State, because they would not expect success in the direction of Saint Louis, where we are strong, nor could they find much plunder on the western border, already so wasted. And they are familiar with the deep dissatisfaction here about negroes, &c., and the fact that there is no force at Jefferson City, Boonville, or on this side nearer than