Rebel official report.
Colonel: My absence from Missouri on business connected with our State interest prevented my receiving until to-day your report of the 28th ult. During my superintendence, under Gov. Jackson's authority, of the affairs of our suffering State in its southern quarter, nothing has occurred to give me such satisfaction as the perusal of your account of General Thompson's short but brilliant campaign in the Ozark Mountains. To have ventured to advance more than one hundred miles from the main body of our forces, pass between the strongly garrisoned fortresses of the enemy at Ironton and Cape Girardeau, distant only a few hours' travel — the former by railroad and the latter by the Mississippi River--from St. Louis, and burn an important railroad bridge within fifty miles of that city, swarming with Lincoln troops, would have been rashness in a leader less sagacious and vigilant than General Thompson, or with soldiers less hardy and daring than the “Swamp Fox Brigade” of southwest Missouri. The fight at Fredericktown justifies the high reputation of that gallant officer and his command. While deploring the loss of the brave officers and men who fell in that campaign, I console myself with the reflection that as long as Missourians can be found who, half clad and poorly armed, successfully encounter, as at Fredericktown, an army which even the accounts of the enemy admit to have been four times as large as ours engaged in that battle, the expulsion of the foe from our entire State is merely a question of time and of our means fully to arm and equip our loyal citizens. I remain, colonel, very respectfully,