Headquarters. Ironton Mo|
August 16th 1861.|
|COL F. HECKER|
|24TH ILLS. VOLS|
I have information that the rebels have returned to their former position. You will therefore, to avoid the possibility of being cut off at Brunot, by reenforcements from Hardee, take across to Marble creek 1 or some point betweenand Ironton, if you can find a practicable road.
If there is no road across, return here
I will direct Col Alexander, not to advance beyond Marble creek until reenforced by you.
U. S. GRANT
Copies, DLC-USG, V, 1, 2, 3; DNA, RG 393, USG Letters Sent. See General Orders No. 12, Aug. 10, 1861, note 2. On Aug. 17, 1861, Col. Friedrich Hecker sent USG a report of his expedition to Fredericktown, Mo. "To effect the junction with Col. Alexander whom I supposed to be actually in Burton [Brunot], I pushed for ward and was determined to be there and have effected the junction to night. I received your dispatch just now half way from fredrictown to Coldwater. I inquired about the roads due west from this road to marble creek. One of them is impracticable for baggagemile from the place where I am. The other is the State road who leads direct to Ironton; and a third is six miles from here and six from Coldwater. This latter is said to be a narrow defile largly populated by secessionist, the forth road brings me back to Frederictown. Now I ascertained partly be eyewittnesses that at Coldwater (Belchers place) is a force of over 2000 secession rebels taking position there infantry and cavalry, most with the exception of 600 poorly armed. I [f] Colonel Alexander had been actually at Brunot, or in the neighbourhood I would have sent him word and entered the defile. But as probably besides the road from Coldwater to Brunot, the other road (the narrow defile 6 miles from here and the same distance from Coldwater is occupied by the rebels, and Col. Alexander could not support our forward movement to that defile I rather will hold fredrictown than fall back directly from here to Ironton, on the old State road a mile from here and expect there your further orders P. S. after some reflection I will and can not retire, I shall enter the defile 6 miles above Coldwater and try to come to marble creek." ALS, DNA, RG 393, District of Southeast Mo., Letters Received. Hecker's safe arrival at Marble Creek was reported in a letter from Ironton, Aug. 18, 1861, in Chicago Tribune, Aug. 21, 1861.