large force strong enough to maintain itself would depend on the bridge, which is a very precarious institution.
The quantity of forage in the immediate vicinity of Searcy has been exaggerated. We have by this raid not made more than two days' forage, if that much. I think of sending another expedition to-morrow, purely for forage for cavalry, but it will not do to continue sending small expeditions after that time.
I would again ask the general to cause money to be distributed to regimental quartermasters, to avoid the system of vouchers, which, among its other inconveniences, was that it in nearly all cases requires the vender to come into camp-a convenient excuse for spies.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. A. CARR,
Major H. Z. CURTIS,
A. A. G., Hdqrs. Army of the Southwest, Batesville, Ark.
No. 2. Report of Colonel Peter J. Osterhaus, Twelfth Missouri Infantry, commanding Third Division, Army of the Southwest.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION,
Searcy Landing, Ark., May 27, 1862.
GENERAL: Pursuant to your order I ordered Colonel Hassendeubel to proceed with the following command-ten companies of infantry, one section of mountain howitzers, and four companies of cavalry-to West Point, on the south side of Red River, in order to protect a foraging party sent out to follow men. Simultaneously General Car made a similar movement toward Searcy and Des Arc Bayou. Both expeditions started from my camp at 5 a.m., and Colonel Hassendeubel having just returned, I have the honor to report that all the country to West Point and beyond was thoroughly scoured and forage procured for about four days. All teams we could send were loaded.
Near West Point our skirmishers fell in with a picket composed of a lieutenant and some men, who fired at the men. Immediately our mounted skirmishers dashed on them and drove them about 2 miles beyond West Point, where we lost sight of the party. The commanding lieutenant (Hale, of Captain Moodey's company) was taken prisoner by Benton Hussar. The rebel troops do no seem to have permanent camps; they are rather of the vagrant description, depending on the stimulus of their stomachs. No information could be had as to their number. I shall send the prisoner by an earl opportunity.
The expedition of General Carr and myself were kept informed of each other by a system of cavalry patrols, with a view to impress on the rebels the idea of a general advance on them of our whole line. To give such a supposition more probability Major Hawkins left West Point which several boats, ostensibly endeavoring a crossing of the river below. I hope that the stratagem puzzled our enemy to some degree and prevented him from concentrating his forces.
Yesterday my infantry patrol up the river met with a scouting party of Hicks' men and shot 1 man.
Outside of the forage the division quartermaster took from deserted