and will be ready for orders and transportation to-morrow. Strength of command, 2,627.
JEFF. C. DAVIS,
SAINT LOUIS, May 23, 1862.
Colonel J. C. KELTON:
The commander at Houston telegraphs that General Curtis directs that the Kansas Fifth, at Springfield, go to Houston. Colonel Wood has had a fight with Coleman in Texas County; his force being shall, he retired. News from Springfield is that McBride, with 2,500 men, with artillery, has attacked Forsyth and Kansas Fifth has been ordered to Forsyth. Not official. Colonel Boyd has several train-burners prisoners.
S. M. PRESTON,
HEADQUARTERS JACKSONPORT, ARK.,
May 24, 1862.
Brigadier General FRED. STEELE,
Commanding Division, Batesville, Ark.:
GENERAL: On the 21st instant Private Philander W. Pringle, of Company G, Ninth Regiment Illinois Cavalry, was murdered in cold blood and his body left lying int he swamp until yesterday, when it was buried by a party of soldiers, under command of Lieutenant Arza F. Brow. Eight companies of my regiment will be on the west side of Black River this evening. The section of the Ohio battery is stationed near the junction of the White and Black Rivers. Two companies of my regiment will be left here to guard the stores, hospital, &c., in this place. This force is too small to perform the duty required of it.
My object in writing this letter to you is to say that an example must be made in some way here, or soldiers and expressmen will be assassinated on every occasion. A most bitter and malignant spirit is manifested by some ruffians ion the southern portion of Jackson Country, which spirit I believe is fostered and upheld by the citizens of Jacksonport, or by a portion of them at least.
This morning a small party was seen in the timber having arms in their hands. These people will conceal their weapons and appear as good Union men. I wish to know what course to pursue with regard to the guerrillas in this county, and hope you will issue a proclamation telling the guerrillas in this county, and hope you will issue a proclamation telling the people hereabouts what they may expect in case they continue to commit murders as heretofore. Two Indiana soldiers and two soldiers of the Ninth Illinois Cavalry have been murdered already in this country and one soldier of the Ninth Illinois Cavalry wounded. I believe that no secession or rebel blood has been shed by our troops.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ALBERT G. BRACKETT,
Colonel Ninth Illinois Cavalry, Commanding.
P. S.-The people here believe that our army is retreating, and on this account they are becoming bold and clamorous. Moving the troops out of this place has had a very bed effect. I hope you will recommend to Major-General Curtis the reoccupation of Jacksonport.