War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0714 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK.,KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

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of Oak Hills. My election of colonel was confirmed by the Department. Since the battle of Oak Hills I have for a great part of the time commanded the advance guard of our little army, and I am happy to say at least won the confidence of the people of this State. I do not think any battle of importance will be fought during the next year west of the Mississippi River. Probably none other than a guerrilla war will be kept up. I therefore desire and respectfully apply for service where the tug of war will be, and where I can be of more service than here. Moreover, I desire to be nearer the Department, where, if I am fortunate, I may at least be heard, and have the same chances that many of the regular officers of the Army, younger in rank than myself, have had, and rise at least to their level. I hope my request will be granted.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding.


Camp near Osceola, December 16, 1861.


SIR: The Honorable William A. Harris will present this letter to you, and will also make known to Your Excellency the present condition of affairs in this State. I have particularly instructed him to endeavor to impress upon you the importance of the instant and active co-operation of the Confederate forces in Northwestern Arkansas with this army. I have repeatedly assured your Government that such co-operation would enable me to take and maintain possession of three fourths of the State and to gather around me at least 50,000 recruits These cannot come to me in the present condition of the State. Most of them are compelled to stay at home to give whatever protection they can to their families against the armies and marauding gangs which are laying waste and desolating the State; and thousands who would gladly join the army, if they could get to it, are prevented from doing so by the extension of the enemy's lines across the State and their occupation of every approach to the army. All that I can do under the circumstances is to occupy the most threatening position which I can dare to assume, so as to hold in check the greatest possible number of the enemy and so prevent them from being employed against us elsewhere. It is this consideration which leads me to hold my present position, which is one of the greatest peril.

I hope that Your Excellency will be pleased to order the Confederate forces in Northwestern Arkansas to co-operative with me, and to do it immediately. I fear that our cause in Missouri may otherwise become desperate. The enemy are not only laying waste those parts of the State which are liable to fall into our possession or which are occupied by our friends, but they openly declare that no crops shall be sown which can possibly fall into our hands. It is altogether important that this work of ruin and devastation should be speedily arrested. The present winter is the most favorable season for operations, and I assure you that nothing stands in the way of complete success but the want of co-operation between the Confederate and State forces.

Mr. Harris will present my views and wishes more fully and particu-