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    Jefferson City Sept. 29th, 1861

    My dear father,

    I am in the
    very midst of the great
    warlike preparations of
    the West. Genl Fremont
    is here & is said to have
    within call, though very
    much scattered,from
    30.000 to 280.000 men.
    He will start forth from
    here to recapture Lexington
    & annihilate Price & McCulloch

    I have great faith that
    the object will be accomplished

    Gen Fremont has been
    in command of the Western
    Department but 65 days,
    & during that time has
    had to create & equip his
    army and that too under
    the most disadvantageous
    circumstances. Regiments
    which should have come
    to him have been ordered
    to Washington, & it has
    been almost impossible
    for him to obtain arms
    and clothing for his troops.
    He has for instance an
    entire regiment of cavalry
    which he has been obliged to arm with pikes and
    lances, a la John Brown,
    because he could get no
    sabres. For whatever he
    accomplishes he should
    receive a double share
    of praise, for never man
    had so much to contend
    with. The total force
    which Price is said to
    be able to bring against
    him is variously estimated
    at from 35.000 to 50.000 men.
    It is said that the late
    affair at Lexington has
    caused a perfect uprising
    of secesh and that men
    are flocking to join Price. Should the two armies
    meet in the field, and of
    this little doubt is expressed,
    there will be at last a
    great battle on as nearly as
    possible equal terms.

    On my arrival last
    evening I sought out Major
    Dorsheimer [Fremont’s aid-de-camp ] and through his
    kindness got my letters
    placed before Genl Fremont
    -- no small favour at this
    busy time. He only said then
    that he did not know about
    his own staff, but might
    perhaps do something for
    me on a brigade.
    Dorsheimer says he will
    do his best to get me on

    [The following text is written perpendicularly across the text on page one:] on the General’s own staff, and I indulge
    hopes accordingly.
    I shall probably
    get a definite
    answer today.

    Love to all at
    home & believe
    me affectionately
    Howard Dwight