Colonel J. B. Plummer, Eleventh Missouri volunteers, commanding Cape Girardean, was directed to send one regiment in the direction of Bloomfield, with a view of attracting the attention of the enemy. The forces under Colonel Oglesby were all got off on the evening of the third. On the fifth, a telegram was received from headquarters, St. Louis, stating that the enemy was reinforcing Price's army from Columbus by way of White river, and directing that the demonstration that had been ordered against Columbus be immediately made. Orders were accordingly at once given to the troops under my command that remained at Cairo, Bird's Point, and Fort Holt. A letter was also sent to Brigadier-General C. F. Smith, commanding at Paducah, requesting him to make a demonstration at the same time against Columbus. To more effectually attain the object of the demonstration against the enemy at Belmont and Columbus, I determined on the morning of the fifth to temporarily change the direction of Colonel Oglesby's column toward New Madrid, and also to send a small force under Colonel W. H. L. Wallace, Eleventh Illinois volunteers, to Charleston, Missouri, to ultimately join Colonel Oglesby. In accordance with this determination, I addressed Colonel Oglesby the following communication: accounted for in the same manner as if purchased. You are particularly enjoined to allow no foraging by your men. It is demoralizing in the extreme, and is apt to make open enemies where they would not otherwise exist.U. S. Grant, Brigadier-General
Which was sent to Colonel Wallace with the following letter:Columbus from which there is a road to that place, communicate with me at Belmont.U. S. Grant, Brigadier-General
On the evening of the sixth I left this place in steamers, with McClernand's brigade, consisting of: Twenty-seventh regiment Illinois volunteers, Colonel N. B. Buford; Thirtieth regiment Illinois volunteers, Colonel Phillip B: Fouke; Thirty-first regiment Illinois volunteers, Colonel John A. Logan; Dollins' company independent Illinois cavalry, Captain J. J. Dollins; Delano's company Adams county (Illinois) cavalry, Lieutenant J. R. Cattlin ; Dougherty's brigade, consisting of: Twenty-second regiment Illinois volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel H. E. Hart; Seventh regiment Iowa volunteers, Colonel J. G. Lauman; amounting to three thousand one hundred and fourteen men of all arms, to make the demonstration against Columbus. I proceeded down the river to a point nine miles below here, where we lay until next morning, on the Kentucky shore, which served to distract the enemy, and lead him to suppose that he was to be attacked in his strongly-fortified position at Columbus. About two o'clock on the morning of the seventh I received information from Colonel W. H. L. Wallace at Charleston (sent by a messenger on steamer W. H. B.) that he had learned from a reliable Union man that the enemy had been crossing troops from Columbus to Belmont the day before, for the purpose of following after, and cutting off the forces under Colonel Oglesby. Such a move on his part seemed to me more than probable, and gave at once a two-fold importance to my demonstration against the enemy, namely, the prevention of reinforcements to General Price, and the cutting off of the two small columns that I had sent, in pursuance of directions, from this place and Cape Girardeau in pursuit of Jeff. Thompson. This information determined me to attack vigorously his forces at Belmont, knowing that, should we be repulsed, we could re-embark without difficulty under protection of the gunboats. The following order was given:Colonel Oglesby to change the direction of his column toward New Madrid, halting to communicate with me at Belmont from the nearest point on his road. I desire you to get up the Charleston expedition ordered for to-morrow, to start to-night, taking two days rations with them. You will accompany them to Charleston and get Colonel Oglesby's instructions to him by a messenger, if practicable, and when he is near enough you may join him. For this purpose you may substitute the remainder of your regiment in place of an equal amount from Colonel Marsh's. The two days rations carried by your men in haversacks will enable you to join Colonel Oglesby's command, and there you will find rations enough for several days more, should they be necessary. You may take a limited number of tents, and at Charleston press wagons to carry them to the main column. There you will find sufficient transportation to release the pressed wagons.U. S. Grant, Brigadier-General.
on board steamer Belle Memphis, November 2, 1861, 2 o'clockThe troops composing the present expedition from this place, will move promptly at six o'clock this morning. The gunboats will take the advance and be followed by the first brigade, under command of Brigadier-General John A. McClernand, composed of all the troops from Cairo and Fort Holt. The second brigade, comprising