While you are preparing your command for this expedition you will take post at or near Horse Head. Send your baggage to Jacksonport, to join you at Pocahontas, sending a proper guard with i t. It is expected that you will be ready to march on this expedition by the 23rd instant.
You will please take every pains to insure absolute secrecy as to the object and destination of your command.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, yours,
D. H. MAURY,
HEADQUARTERS MISSOURI STATE GUARD,
Camp, Van Buren, Ark., March 19, 1862.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your valued communication of the 5th ultimo. It would have met with earlier attention but that circumstances surrounding me since its reception, ere this well known to you, have forced the delay.
In accordance with your request I herewith give the names of officers in the State Guard competent to command brigades; they are named in order of their merit, as estimated by me:
1. Colonel Henry Little, commanding brigade, reported.
2. Brigadier General Martin E. Green, commanding Second Division.
3. Brigadier General A. E. Steen, commanding Fifth Division.
4. Brigadier General M. M. Parsons, commanding Sixth Division.
5. Brigadier General D. M. Frost, commanding Seventh Division.
Brigadier General William Y. Slack and Edwin W. Price I prefer not to classify. The first, because severely wounded in the engagement of the 7th and 8th instant; the second, because now a prisoner of war, having been captured some weeks since when on his return to the army from North Missouri with recruits. Besides, he is my son. Both are officers of marked gallantry and energy. I commenced to your consideration, as chief of artillery in this division, Brigadier General M. Lewis Clark.
The larger part of the State Guard, I think, will enlist in the Confederate service, and to the promotion of this subject I shall direct every practicable energy. My men, numbers of them, would have entered that service before, but were determined first to know who was to command them. From a telegram from a friend of the 6th I learn that my nomination as a major-general in the Confederate service was that day confirmed by the senate. I have no official knowledge of the fact. About 5,000 of my command have been sworn into the Confederate service, and I now feel assured that the bulk of the remainder will follow their example when they know my appointment has been made.
With such additions to my force as I am led to believe will shortly be made, although not officially advised of them, I do not question my ability to penetrate aggressively the heart of Missouri.
My report of the battle of the 6th, 7th, and 8th instant will be made up at the earliest moment and submitted to Major General Earl Van Dorn, through whom the Government will receive all needful information.
I have the honor, sir, to remain, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding Mo. S. G.