War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0025 Chapter XXV. GENERAL REPORTS, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

if when my message reached him he had (as he said he would in his letter of the 23rd) moved toward Little Rock, he should go ahead and try to take it. If, however, he had not moved (falling in with your repeated expression as to time, as being too late to move on Little Rock), he was to adopt your preferred plan of co-operation by coming up to Cape Girardeau. As you were going farther west, the move on Little Rock obviously became less use to you; and when, about the 1st of September, Governor Phelps came to Cairo and telegraphed General Halleck urging the move on Little Rock, and General Halleck expressed views in favor of that move, but still left it to me, I declined the order, as several more days would have been lost, when you considered time the essence of the movement.

I therefore allowed the orders to be carried out, and do not perceive any material danger growing out of it. Mc Bride and Parsons, seeing troops re-enforcing Pilot Knob, moved back and went to retrieve the repulse given by the Army of the Frontier at Prairie Grove. I have a right to ask a statement of all the facts bearing on this subject to accompany your statement, because I acted promptly on suggestions of yours and General Halleck's, and, as I think, consistent with them, and properly in view of the circumstances.

Very truly, yours,

SAML. R. CURTIS,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,

Springfield, Mo., December 25, 1862.

Major-General CURTIS,

Commanding Department of the Missouri, Saint Louis:

GENERAL: When at Lebanon, on the 23rd instant, I had the honor to acknowledge the receipt by telegraph of your communication dated December 22, relative to my report of military operations, and to inform you that I would reply by letter from this place. I hope no inconvenience will result from the few days' delay.

In your telegram you call my attention to my error in saying that I sent you two cavalry regiments. You are partly right. There were only parts of three regiments.

I am glad to make the correction for the sake of accuracy. It is entirely unimportant in any other view. That part of my report is important only as showing what efforts I made to give you the re-enforcements you asked for,and how very little, rather than how much, I was able to do; my force having already been too march reduced for the service required of it. The force actually sent was sixteen companies of cavalry and about two companies of infantry-six companies less than two maximum regiments and two companies more than two minimum regiments.

In regard to Colonel Daniel's regiment, my report does not say it "found" you at Helena, but that it "joined" you or your command at Helena. I presume from your dispatch that the copying clerk mistook joined for found. I recollect that my dispatch to you requesting the return of Colonel Daniels' command was answered by you from Cairo, you having left Helena before his arrival there. But, if I am not greatly misinformed,you soon after returned to Helena, and remained there in command quite a long time before going north.

It is also true that after you finally left Helena I received a dispatch from General Steele informing me that he, in compliance with my re-