concerning the road, deferring your movement till the 31st ultimo, are duly received.
The roads are indeed very bad, but they are worse for the enemy than for us if he attempts to retreat. I hope the teams will keep moving forward and the troops can easily keep up. Trains are arriving quite as well as I expected. I am very glad to have the troops come by different routes, if they can, but my fear of high water induces me to rely mainly on the north route. By coming on different routes the enemy will not so readily count and determine our force and the roads are not so much injured by wheels.
The men should help the teams out of difficulty when necessary, and all must understand that the elements are to be considered serious obstacles, which we have to encounter and overcome in this campaign.
Your approach will now be better, since the hard freezing of the last two nights must have dried up the mud and to some extent made it solid. We must, however, soon expect another thaw, and constant bad roads will be the rule and a change for the better a rare exception.
I am, general, very truly, yours,
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS, Numbers 14.
Fort Leavenworth, Kans., February 1, 1862.
I. Colonel G. W. Deitzler, commanding First Kansas Regiment, who so nobly distinguished himself in the battle of Wilson's Creek, fought last August, is hereby appointed acting brigadier-general.
II. On his arrival at Fort Scott he will assume command of his brigade, embracing the First, Fifth, and Sixth Kansas Regiment, and such other troops as may hereafter be assigned to him.
By order of Major-General Hunter:
CHAS. G. HALPINE,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. SOUTHWESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI,
Lebanon, February 2, 1862.
J. C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General:
CAPTAIN: Although I get very accurate reports of the location of the enemy, it is not easy to estimate his force. Colonel Wright, whose men were in and out, according to his account, estimates the force from 10,000 to 15,000. Colonel Phelps, who reported to me yesterday, estimates it at from 20,000 to 25,000, and both these men have similar opportunities of judging. His available force, in my judgment, is 15,000.
Of course I interrogate scouts, deserters, and all kinds of witnesses.
Price has called for fifteen-day volunteers. A large train, 80 or 90 wagons, reached him with supplies from the south last week. A large lot of mules, which were a few miles out, have been drawn in; yet Price and all are quiet in Springfield. This is a summary of my latest news from the front. My trains and troops are coming forward slowly.
The stormy weather continues and waters have been high. Some hesitation and delay in starting from Rolla has occurred, but at last