HEADQUARTERS CAMP HALLECK, March 1, 1862.
Captain N. H. McLEAN,
The enemy's cavalry is crowding my flanks and attacking my for aging parties. A lieutenant and 6 men of Carlin's battery were captured about 9 miles west of me by Texan Rangers yesterday, although I had two cavalry patrols as far forward as Fayetteville. My cavalry seems weary and worn down. I need 1,000 cavalry horses and double my cavalry force. The quartermasters should constantly furnish a supply for natural depletion of stock in the field, which is estimated at 1 per cent. per month. Foraging here needs cavalry protection. The main force of enemy is at last stated. I have lost no train. My express comes in regularly, but rebel bands are numerous in the country.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE SOUTHWEST, Camp Halleck, Ark., March 1, 1862.
I have received a private communication from an intelligent writer, a citizen of Arkansas, who says:
We, as citizens, have left our homes and firesides for the purpose, as we supposed, of having to defend ourselves against a brutal soldiery, that would lay waste our humble homes and outrage the chastity of our wives and daughters and place our own lives in jeopardy. We have organized what is called Home Guard companies, partly of Union men and partly of Southern men, all of whom are anxious to return to their homes. We are happy to find you and your men are not composed of that class of persons commonly called jayhawkers, who do not regard the rights of citizens and property, but confine the war to its "legitimate object."
The falsehoods circulated concerning us have driven thousands from their homes, and I take the liberty of responding publicly to the sentiments expressed by the writer, because these falsehoods have involved the whole community in the troubles which he seeks to mitigate.
The only legitimate object of the war is peace, and the writer only does me justice when he says I adhere to this legitimate object. Peaceable citizens shall be protected as far as possible. I act under strict orders of Major-General Halleck. The flight of our foes from their camps, and the imitation of their conduct by the citizens, if fleeing from their homes, leaving their effects abandoned as it were for their victors, has much embarrassed me in my efforts to preserve discipline in my command, as these circumstances offered extraordinary temptations.
The burning of farms and field s of grain in Missouri and extensive barracks and valuable mills in Arkansas by the enemy has induced some resentments on the part of my troops, which I have severely punished. Necessary supplies for my command could not keep up with my rapid movements, and peaceable citizens not being at home to sell them to my quartermasters, I am compelled to take them without purchase, making settlement difficult and doubtful, occasioning irregularities which I labored to counteract. If peaceably-disposed citizens will stay at home or return home and check the clandestine, stealthy warfare that is carried on under the cover and cloak of peaceable citizens, much of the havoc of war will be avoided and many poor families can be protected from distress and misery. I have followed the war-path
37 R R-VOL VIII