far south as Clinton, was directed to continue, with the force then under his command in the field, to Springfield, and assume command of the Southwestern Division. General Loan was assigned to the command of the Central Division, taking with him the two regiments of cavalry which had been under his command north of the river, while the Northwestern Division was turned over to the enrolled militia under Brigadier-General Hall. These changes were ordered on August 25, since which time no serious difficulty has occurred in the central portion of the State. Under the wise and vigorous administration of General Loan peace has been gradually restored, and, it is hoped, firmly established.
In the eastern and southeastern portions of the State no very serious difficulty occurred, although no part of it, not even Saint Louis County, was entirely exempt from the depredations of small bodies of guerrillas. About April 15 the Wisconsin cavalry, under Colonel Edward Daniels, was sent to Cape Girardeau, with orders to drive out the rebels from the southeastern counties, and hold the few passes through the swamps by which inroads could be made. This officer, in violation of his instructions, abandoned the district of country placed under his special care, and, with nearly his entire regiment, marched into Arkansas, and joined the command of General Curtis at Helena. These facts were reported to General Curtis, and he was requested to send Colonel Daniels and his regiment back to their duty, but the request was not complies with. This left Cape Girardeau and the country in its vicinity exposed to serious danger, from which they were rescued only by the determined action of the few troops left and timely re-enforcements from Pilot Knob and Saint Louis.
It now became necessary to seriously turn attention to the condition of the southern border of Missouri and the enemy's forces in Arkansas. Notwithstanding the destruction of the rebel bands in Northern Missouri and the capture of large numbers south of the river, it was evident that large re-enforcements from the central and southern portions of the State had reached the enemy in Arkansas, while in the latter State a rigid conscription had swelled the enemy's ranks to large proportions. Reliable information also showed that a considerable force (fourteen or fifteen regiments) was on the way from Texas. On September 10 the strength of the enemy in Arkansas was estimated at from 40,000 to 70,000 men, much the greater weight of testimony being in favor of the larger number. Subsequent events have shown the number to have been probably about 50,000.
The plan of the enemy was also sufficiently ascertained. A vigorous attempt was to be made to re-enter Southwestern Missouri, while strong demonstration were to be made on Pilot Knob and Rolla, for the purpose of diverting attention from the southwest, and, if possible to cut off supplies of re-enforcements from the army at Springfield. A cavalry and artillery force (about 7,000 strong), under Cooper, was sent as far north as Newtonia, while Rains, with about 6,000 infantry and some artillery, occupied the country about Pea Ridge and Cross Hollow. In addition to this there were several thousand unarmed conscripts, from whom arms were expected daily. This entire force was under the command of Hindman, who had, however, at this time gone to Little Rock to bring forward the required arms and other supplies. McBride and Parsons, with about 4,000 men, were near the Arkansas line, south of Pilot Knob and Rolla, and were reported to be the advance of the main body of the enemy's force intended to march on Pilot Knob or Rolla. The enemy was pressing our troops at all points, and