Dec 16 1861 Wrote Capt. Kelton, “A Gentleman of Charleston, Mo., one of the very few Union men there, came up from Columbus last night and reports that four Infantry regiments and three Gun boats left there Saturday night, for New Orleans, where a battle was being fought and the city severely threatened by Federal troops.
“This I think reliable so far as the leaving of troops and Gunboats is concerned.”
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3 p 294
A footnote to this entry in ‘The Papers’ reads “All the information was wrong.”