CAMP HURLBUT, Mo., Aug. 4, 1861.
EDITORS JOURNAL: — Headquarters of the Sixteenth is now at the above named place, Macon, Mo., seventy miles west of Hannibal, on the line of the H. & St. Jo. R. R., and at the junction of the North Missouri road. But two companies, however, are here at present — B and K — the remaining eight being scattered up and down at different bridges and stations — one company at one given point besides this. The scoundrels wont give us any chance to smell "southern powder" or feel "southern steel," as yet; and therefore (with the exception of an occasional false night alarm) we have peace — although not in the full sense of the term, enjoying all the blessings of this useful and much to be desired commodity, a few reasons for thinking this state of things will not be of long standing, and I will not trouble you any more at this time.
Since that sad affair at Bull Run, it would seem the disunionist here in Missouri have taken — imbibed, or in some other way unknown to this deponent — become possessed of a more bombastic spirit (this was useless), and have been gathering in the counties north, northeast and east of us, in considerable numbers, driving all the Union men before them and taking all prisoners they can get hold of Thursday last, late in the day, about 150 Union men came in from Edina, the county seat of Knox county, — some were in wagons, some on horseback, and some on footback, having made a forced march of some forty miles, hungry and foot-weary enough — their arms being common shotguns, old rifles and large knives. Their statement was to the effect that the secessionists were overrunning the country up there, threatening the lives of all citizens who were not willing to swear by Jeff. Davis and the Southern Confederacy, and were gathering from all the northern counties under command of Harris, Greene, Owen & Co., and advancing on Edina, intending to subjugate that place "a la Lawrence, Kansas," and made that their stamping ground, the rendezvous to which all traitors could come and find rest. Therefore the Union men in that section feeling that they would be overpowered in point of numbers, and having great faith in the ability of us regulars to succor them, beat a hasty retreat, leaving their wives, children, property and all to the tender mercy of these vagabonds, as also a great many of their friends in arms who were not lucky enough to get the same start they did. Since then numbers have been stragling in, a few at a time, bringing the intelligence that the rebels were in possession of Edina, and had taken a great many prisoner whom they had confined in the jail and other buildings, and if attacked by the U. S. forces intended to put their prisoners and the women and children of the Union men in the front of the battle. — Whether this be true or not, I can't affirm.
On Friday, about ninety Home Guards from Shelbina, Shelby county, also came in, they having received information that they were about to be attacked, and having quite a number of U. S. arms in their possession, and also not feeling strong enough to come with their enemy, concluded to fly to Macon for safety. Thus you see we have reason for expecting something in the way of —— soon. Another thing which portends something: A few days since our General issued orders for us to commence a system of drilling to the tune of seven or eight hours per day, and saying we have but a very short time for instruction, etc., which in my very humble opinion means, in a very short time some us perhaps may not be able to receive instruction.
But I see I am getting tedious, and will only say in conclusion, as near as I can read the signs of the times, there will have to be some fighting done here, and that fight speedily, for the border-ruffians are growing arrogant and saucy, in consequence of being used too well; and should it become necessary for a lesson to be administered you may expect a good account from the Sixteenth, under command of Col. Smith, Lieut. Col. Wilson and Maj. Sam. Hays.
Your very valuable paper reaches us occasionally, and is always hailed with delight by the boys, and especially by your humble servant. May she prosper; and long may she wave o'er the graves of those contemptible sheets who have lent their aid in foisting this damnable heresy of secession upon this glorious Republican, Democratic Government.
When the ball gets fairly to rolling here in Missouri, this will indeed be a fight of father against son, brother vs. brother, and friend versus friend.
One instance to illustrate this: A few days since it became my duty to go out through the country several miles on some business. In the course of conversation with a lady at whose house I was taking dinner, she commenced deploring the state of the country, and said she had a brother in Virginia whom she thought was a secessionist, also some relatives in a country north of this whom she knew were Union men, and somewhere else in this State a brother whom she heard was strongly impregnated with traitor principles. Thus, as she termed it, there would be kin fighting against kin, and so it is in innumerable instances.
Should anything of interest occur you may expect to hear again from. QUIETUS.