HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, ARMY OF THE SOUTHWEST,
Searcy Landing, Ark., May 31, 1862.
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,
Commanding Army of the Southwest, Batesville, Ark.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose copies of reports on expeditions made toward mouth of Red River and to Grand Glaze. From my spies I have no further news yet, but a deserter from Johnson's company of Texan Rangers, whom I shall send to your headquarters tomorrow morning, brought me some intelligence. His company left Little Rock on Monday last as a scouting party. The man says that there were about 5,000 men, mostly Texans,at the capital. Large re-enforcements from his State were expected, as 15, OOO men were recently called out for the defense of Arkansas. My informer was present when on last Saturday the rebel gunboat arrived at Little Rock and fired into the supposed Federals. They killed 1 horse and crippled some men. Of the rebel forces on the Red River he says that about 500 men were encamped 4 miles west of Searcy. Of troops east of Searcy or near Des Are he did not know anything, but reports of arrival of the Texas regiment (Colonel Stone), WITH WHOM OUR MEN HAD THE FIGHT ON THE 19th and who left the same day south, was hourly expected. Colonel Taylor has command of the forces over the river. No general news could be learned from the deserter except the threatened arrival of rebel gunboats on White and Red Rivers. We must take that cum grano salis. Anyhow, they will find us prepared for their reception.
Before closing, my scout (Wheeler) comes back from Des Are. He left there this morning. The gunboat there is, according to different statements, either hidden out of the reach of the Union boats or waiting for further orders. It has six guns. All the other forces at Des Are do not exceed 200 men, among them Captain Williams, of Polk Country, Missouri. My informant found another camp of about 100 men in the rear of West Point; also he reported that Sunday last a small packet arrived at Des Are, but only with a few sick aboard.
I certainly believe that the mouth of Arkansas and White Rivers is blockaded.
Awaiting your order, I remain, general,with great respect, your most obedient servant,
P. J. OSTERHAUS,
Commanding Third Division.
GRAND GLAZE, May 31, 1862-8 a. m.
I came here all safe with the company, after taking all necessary precautions in case of meeting guerrilla bands.
Along the roads different reports were current about the landing of troops at Des Are. Price was said to have landed there two weeks, ten days, a week ago, &c.; but a farmer on the road (Union man) told me, and assured me that this report came from a man (Bill Stone, legislator, store-keeper, and now guerrilla marauder) on Red River. The same man heard that report at a house raising, where a letter was read from the above Bill Stone, announcing Price's landing with so and so many thousand of his Pea Ridge fellows (10 or 15). Since April 1 last no steamer has passed here. People here assure me that these reports are spread in order to keep the troops from marching any farther