War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0232 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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that General Taylor was marching to Monticello with 15,000 troops. About 1,500 of Shelby's men are in the neighborhood of Searcy, on this side of White River. The rebels have established depots of supplies between Camden and Monticello. I have abandoned all posts except those which it is absolutely necessary to occupy in order to keep open my lines of communication with the mouth of White River and Fort Smith. My forces are barely strong enough to hold these points. If I draw off sufficient force to attack the rebels in one direction, they are so located that they can destroy the railroad and depots; besides if I attack them in force they always run, drawing us as far from our base of supplies as possible. If the re-enforcements which have been ordered to report to me had not been diverted, I should have had force enough to have kept the rebels south of the Washita. Colonel Clayton, with 800 cavalry from Pine Bluff, found the enemy sixteen miles from his post down the river in force too strong for him to attack. Cabell is said to be on the north bank of the river, building a log bridge just below the mouth of Bayou Metoe. The First Indiana Cavalry, also Fifth Kansas Cavalry, will go out of service soon by expiration of term. I must send the rest of my veteran regiments on furlough or they will go out too. The Forty-third* and Twenty-second Ohio, and Fiftieth Indiana, all infantry and excellent, must go very soon. If my veterans contrary to the promise of General Halleck, are to be taken away from me as heretofore, I shall not be able to maintain myself here much longer. The rebels are now conscripting all the men in the country outside of our lines. Arms and ammunition are smuggled to them through Memphis and Cape Girardeau and paid for in cotton; there is no doubt of this. Two thousand well mounted cavalry could go down from here to Tyler and liberate our prisoners, destroy their depots, powder mills, &c.

F. STEELE,

Major-General.

LITTLE ROCK, ARK., July 18, 1864-9.13 a.m.

Captain J. R. GRACE,

Commanding Gun-boat Fleet, Devall's Bluff:

CAPTAIN: I know of no force of the enemy threatening Devall's Bluff at present. I think it best for you to convoy the transports out of the river and return as soon as practicable. Please let me know when you will start. There are rumors of General Taylor's approaching Monticello with 15,000 of Shelby's men are on this side of White River in the neighborhood of Searcy. The rest of his forces are principally at Jacksonport and Augusta, a few miles back from the river.

FRED. STEELE,

Major-General.

CAMP TEN MILES WEST OF BROWNSVILLE,

July 18, 1864.

Brigadier General E. A. CARR,

Commanding District of Little Rock:

The enemy was at Gum Spring, four miles this side of Searcy, on the Searcy and Little Rock road, and about four miles from the bridge

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*Probably Indiana or Illinois, each of these States having a Forty-third Regiment in the Department of Arkansas. The Forty-third Ohio served in the Army of the Tennessee.

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