War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0500 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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or the principal part of them crossed Cache on last Friday, and that the men said they were going down White River to stop navigation. His force is so large that he has deceived our reconnoitering parties by keeping out detachments to meet them and making feints on different points at the same time. If General Washburn would send a force to co-operate with me on the north side of White River, as he has several times promised to do, we could easily break up and disperse Shelby's whole command. I cannot send out force enough to divide into detachments without endangering the railroad and depots. If we go in a body he runs out of the way. The position of the rest of Price's forces are about the same as when I last wrote. I received a letter from General Washburn informing me that he would send cavalry across the country to White River as soon as A. J. Smith's command was rested, but General West, just from Memphis, says Washburn told him that he could not do it now as he had received other orders. I am very anxious to see you. If you cannot visit my department and circumstances will admit of my leaving, I would like to meet you at Vicksburg or Memphis, if you are to be at either place.

Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

F. STEELE,

Major-General.

[Indorsement.]

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,

New Orleans, August 8, 1864.

Respectfully referred to Major-General Washburn, commanding District of West Tennessee. Shelby's force could readily be broken up by a combined cooperation with a part off General Steele's force. This operation should be subordinate to replacing Gordon's force on White River.

I think both can be done.

ED. R. S. CANBY,

Major-General, &c.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS,

Little Rock, August 1, 1864.

Major General C. C. WASHBURN:

GENERAL: From information received through General Buford and other sources it appears quite certain that Shelby is now within striking distance of both Helena and Clarendon. Please inform me when you can send me a force to co-operate with our force here against this ubiquitous rebel. I cannot spare troops enough to divide and rout him without endangering my depots and the railroad.

Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

F. STEELE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN ARKANSAS,

Helena, August 1, 1864.

Brigadier General G. H. GORDON, or

COMMANDING OFFICER MOUTH OF WHITE RIVER:

SIR: By General Canby's order I reduced the force of 230 men at the mouth of White River to fifty men, which was placed in command of Captain J. R. Hunter, of the Twelfth Iowa Infantry. At a late period