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A Big Scare at Charleston, Mo.


September 1864

From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, September 23, 1864.



Shelby’s Force Said to be Moving in that Direction.

Inhabitants Preparing to Skedaddle.



[Special Dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

CAIRO, September 23.—The Cairo News publishes the following in an Extra this morning: We learn from a citizen just arrived from Charleston, Mo., that great excitement prevails in that locality. News was received there by telegraph on Wednesday night of the evacuation of Bloomfield, thirty-eight miles from Cape Girardeau.

Captain Sells, who was in command with a force of two hundred men of the 2d Missouri militia, fearing that an attack from a large force of Shelby’s men, variously estimated at from eight hundred to eight thousand, would be made, evacuated the place, retreating towards Whitewater, between Bloomfield and Cape Girardeau, where he was overtaken. The news was received by telegraph from Charleston. Fighting is said to have been going on at Whitewater Wednesday night, and the cavalry under Captains Diehl and Ewing was to report at Cape Girardeau, as an attack was expected.

Great excitement prevails at Charleston, on account of the Federal forces being withdrawn, as the county is infested with various small squads of rebels under the leadership of the notorious Jim Fugate and Harry Fugate, both former residents of the county.

Most of the citizens are packing up their goods, and getting ready to skedaddle. Among merchants who are getting ready to leave, may be mentioned Messrs. Stratton, Newman, Danforth, and Kennick. We will keep our readers posted as fast as facts develop themselves.


CAIRO, September 23.—The steamer Belle Memphis, which just arrived from below, reports the rebels, in small force, were seen at New Madrid to-day. The gunboat which was there delayed the steamer until a reconnaissance could be made, when the force was found to be small, and she was allowed to come on. An attack was expected.

The pickets at Paducah were fired on yesterday.

No later news from Charleston, Missouri.

[To the Associated Press.]

CAIRO, Sept. 23.—Citizens just from Charleston, Missouri, state that the 2d Missouri Militia at Bloomfield, fearing an attack from a superior force of Shelby’s men, evacuated Bloomfield and retreated in the direction of White Water. It was reported at Charleston that the enemy, several thousand strong, had overtaken and attacked the militia, and that fighting was going on at White Water last night.

Great excitement prevails at Charleston, as the militia force at that place had been ordered to Cape Girardeau, where an attack was expected. That there has been fighting or any considerable number of Shelby’s men in the vicinity needs confirmation, but that there exists a huge scare is beyond a doubt.