Halleck knew that General Steele was at Helena. If he can move on Little Rock immediately it will undoubtedly be the best diversion, if it is not already too late.
If Hindman, by a bold move, can get into Missouri he will not hesitate on account of a force in his rear. Desperate measures are the only ones left to the rebels west of the Mississippi. However, I have sufficiently anticipated their movements in this direction. I have fortified Springfield so that I can hold it against all the rebels in Arkansas, with 10,000 or 15,000 men. My only fear is that a move may be made upon some point east of here to cut my Rolla line and stop re-enforcements. If you can prevent this by the use of General Steele's forces or otherwise, and send me a few more regiments of infantry, I can hold this point in any event. But, I desire if possible, to push into Arkansas soon. Missouri is full of subsistence, while there is but little in Arkansas. If pushed vigorously they will be starved out. I will send detailed reports of spies and scouts this evening. They are correct beyond doubt.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
SEPTEMBER 25, 1862.
Brigadier-General SCHOFIELD, Springfield, Mo.:
Dispatch received. You are so far from Helena immediate co-operation by Steele is impossible. General Halleck must have supposed Steele was at or near his old point,"Reeves' Station." A move on Little Rock would be the best diversion by Steele. Give me reports of spies and refugees. I do not see how Hindman could raise so large a force and subsist it when I stripped the country.
Hindman is sharp in deceit and pretenses; his army was in a wretched condition at last accounts. Spies direct from his lines gave me full, reliable reports up to the time of my leaving Arkansas. But be on the alert; the wants of the rebels make them desperate. Can you communicate with the forces in Kansas? I want to get dispatches through to General Blunt, who I suppose is at Fort Scott. See that your force is not known to the enemy. Caution commissary officers not to report or speak of numbers of ration. Telegraph in cipher, and keep me posted fully.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
DECEMBER 22, 1862.
Brigadier General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD:
I find some errors in your report, which are not very important, but for the sake of history should be corrected.
For instance, you say you sent me two cavalry regiments. You only sent me a part of two.
In regard to Colonel Daniels' regiment, you are mistaken in saying it found me at Helena. It arrived after I left there, although, apprehending danger to it, I had sent out re-enforcements to bring it in. It was nevertheless attacked and much injured. I ordered it back to Missouri on my return to the command.