The quartermaster is notified from Saint Louis that the supply of forage is exhausted. I hope that you will see that they supply us, as it makes a great deal of difference in our efficiency.
The fort drags very slowly. I am doing everything I can to hurry it up, but it cannot be finished in less than a week. It seems to me that it should have been finished long before I came in command. I have all the valuable men of the command at work every day. I hope you will be able to send more men here soon; even a few would be called re-enforcements, and would produce an effect both on our own men and on the enemy. I would be glad to have new troops. I think I can handle them, and I think that our organization had better be changed. I retain command of my division for reasons which you will appreciate; but with a few more troops I could give Washburn, Wyman, and Vandever a division each, or at least give Washburn and Wyman a division each, and put Vandever under Washburn. I think it would be well to change before long the designation of this force, particularly if Schofield should advance. Colonel Vandever reports that his pickets were skirmishing with those of the enemy last night in every direction. I propose to send way as fast as possible all unnecessary animals, but hope that forage will be supplied, as our cavalry are likely to be busy with the enemy.
On conversing with Lieutenant-Colonel Giddings, Twenty-first Texas, who is a prisoner, and his companions also prisoners, and by taking other means besides personal conversation to ascertain what they know, they all give the idea that Holmes, Hindman, and McCullough [McCulloch?] are on White River with their main force, not far from Devall's Bluff. I even think that Parsons has been withdrawn from the direction of Pilot Knob, where the scout Shaw reported him last week. As the enemy in no doubt informed of Steele's movements, his presence within three days' march of us can indicate nothing less than his intention to attack. If we should be attacked by an overwhelming force coming through the hills and should try to hold the hills the gunboats could be of no assistance to us, and the carnage would be great.
My return is not yet ready, but you know about the strength of the command, and can act as you deem best.
All the soldiers that are available are constantly at work on the fort, but there is no prospect of finishing it in a week.
The Ninth Illinois Cavalry last night captured an enemy's picket of 12 men. All other indications besides those obtained from the Texans point in the same way.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
E. A. CARR,
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,
Commanding Dept. of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.
OCTOBER 11, 1862.- Operations in Lewis, Clarke, Scotland, and Schuyler Counties, Mo.
Report of Brigadier General John McNeil, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS McNEIL'S COLUMN, October 11, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report the surrender of Gabriel Kendrick, captain of a guerrilla company under Porter, with nearly every