escaped prisoners, and spies do not agree in their statements. But taking the reports of these in connection with those of our scouting parties, it is probable that their design is to interrupt our communications between Little Rock and the mouth of White River. Skirmishes are of almost daily occurrence, and sometimes attended with considerable loss. A reconnoitering party was attacked at Searcy, with a loss of near 100 men. Sometimes the rebels are served in the same way. It is said that Shelby has crossed to this side of White River with about 8,000. My scouting parties are expected to report soon. The rebels keep our troops in constant motion by tearing up the railroad, cutting the telegraph wires, and firing on trains. The position of Fagan and Marmaduke are from best information same as when I last reported. The reason that I do not communicate with you oftener is that communications on White River are interrupted, and no steamer is allowed to ply on that river without convoy. Price is reported to have two divisions near Camden on the road to Washington.
Very respectfully, general,
P. S.-A pontoon bridge has been brought from Shreveport and has passed Camden bound for Arkansas.
HDQRS. 2nd DIV., 7TH ARMY CORPS, AND U. S. FORCES,
Devall's Bluff, Ark., July 17, 1864.
Major General F. STEELE:
DEAR GENERAL: From a man I think reliable, who has come here for protection from reporting as a conscript (and who was for some time in the Engineer Department of the Confederate service), I learn that a conscript agent told him on the 11th instant that Marmaduke was at Gaines' Landing; Price's headquarters at Camden; Fagan on Arkansas River, fifteen miles above Arkansas Post; Cabell on Arkansas River, near Fagan; Churchill, with infantry at Lisbon, ninety miles southwest of Camden in Louisiana; Dockery at Hamburg, seventy miles south of Fagan; that the engineers were reconnoitering and repairing roads from Camden to Gaines' Landing, Monticello to Pine Bluff, and Monticello to Fagan. Lieutenant-Colonel Stephens, Eleventh Missouri Cavalry, came in from Hickory Plains last night, and thinks Shelby is not on this side of White River, but thinks there is a large force of the enemy at West Point. Some of the officers here think they hear the gun-boats shelling the woods below here, and infer that boats are coming up. I expect to send you 200 head of beef-cattle to-morrow morning. There are a good many cattle a short distance from Little Rock in the Maumelle Bottom or Valley. The rails were torn up nine miles out from here last night and the train has come back, but will soon go out again. Have sent out a patrol to guard against these attacks on the road. We must have a system of patrols.
In haste, yours, &c.,
C. C. ANDREWS,
P. S.-There is an overwhelming amount of work to be done here.
C. C. A.