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[583] tidings were received of the Union disaster at Bull Run. He left that city on the evening of that day (July 22d), and reached St. Louis on the 25th.

The bad news had, of course, preceded him; and he found most of the Union soldiers in his department just ready to be mustered out of service at the close of their three months enlistment — disaffected, because unpaid; while arms, money, and nearly everything else required by the public exigency, were wanting. The Unionists were temporarily stunned and almost paralyzed by their great and unexpected disaster near Washington. The energies of the Government were absorbed in hurrying to the Potomac every available regiment and battery from whatever quarter; while the Secessionists, exultant and sanguine, were preparing on all sides to push their advantage promptly and to the utmost.

Lieut. Gov. Reynolds, in a proclamation to the people of Missouri, dated New Madrid, July 31st, with good reason assured them, that “the sun which shone in its full, midday splendor at Manassas, is about to rise upon Missouri.” Every young slaveholder instinctively snatched his rifle, mounted his horse, and started for the nearest Rebel camp. Each old one stayed at home, professed neutrality, if the Union sentiment of his neighborhood were decidedly predominant, but sent his older sons to reenforce Jackson and Price. Wherever, as in north-eastern Missouri, and along the great lines of railroad, Rebel armies could not be maintained, there guerrilla bands were organized, to operate with vigor by night, hiding in the forests, or dispersing to their homes and pretending to be peaceful citizens, by day. The bolder traitors were ready and eager for open hostilities; the more cowardly would follow their leaders in a midnight raid on a peaceful Union settlement, or aid them in burning railroad bridges. Kentucky, though hitherto closed against Union soldiers, received without objection large bodies of Rebels from Tennessee and below, and, from her thoroughly disloyal Western district, formidably threatened Cairo. Gen. Fremont's position and its difficulties are very forcibly depicted in the private letter which he addressed, five days after his arrival, to the President, as follows:

Headquarters Western Department, St. Louis, July 30th, 1861.
my dear Sir: You were kind enough to say that, as occasions of sufficient gravity arose, I might send you a private note.

I have found this command in disorder; nearly every county in an insurrectionary condition. and the enemy advancing in force by different points of the Southern frontier. Within a circle of fifty miles around Gen. Prentiss, there are about 12,000 of the Confederate forces;1 and 5,000 Tennessee and Arkansas men, under Hardee, well armed with rifles, are advancing upon Ironton. Of these, 2,000 are cavalry, which, yesterday morning, were within twenty-four hours march of Ironton. Col. Bland, who had been seduced from this post, is falling back upon it. I have already reenforced it with one regiment; sent another this morning, and fortified it. I am holding the railroad to Ironton and that to Rolla, so securing our connections with the South. Other measures, which I am taking, I will not trust to a letter; and I write this only to inform you as to our true condition, and to say that, if I can obtain the material aid I am expecting, you may feel secure that the enemy will be driven out, and the State reduced to order. I have ordered Gen. Pope back to North Missouri, of which he is now in command. I am sorely pressed for want of arms. I have arranged with Adams's Express Company to bring me everything

1 That is, in Kentucky and south-eastern Missouri, threatening Cairo, where Prentiss commanded.

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S. Prentiss (2)
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