War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0416 MO., ARK., KANS,IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXV.

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June 4, 1862.

Major H. Z. CURTIS,

A. A. G., Hdqrs. Army of the Southwest, Batesville, Ark.:

MAJOR: General Steele will no doubt have arrived and communicated to the general the determination arrived at by General Osterhaus and myself (with General Steele's concurrence) yesterday.

I inclose paper received from Captain B. Lewis, First Missouri Cavalry.* The bearer of Captain Lewis' letter says that shortly after leaving Captain Lewis he and the men with him (7 in all) were obliged to turn themselves into secesh as the only way they could get through. He reports 8 or 10 men at every house and a strong expectation of a force to assist them from Little Rock.

The picket which was attacked yesterday lost 3 men wounded and 1 capture; all 4 remained in the hands of the enemy. They also lost a wagon and 5 mules. They were fired on by the enemy from across the river in the afternoon and killed 1 of the enemy in return. In the morning an attempt was made by the enemy to cross the river, in which he was driven back, but he crossed a mile below and surrounded them, when they retreated down the river to the next picket, which point has been held, our force there having been increased to eight companies. They, however, were ordered to retire at 9 or 10 o'clock this morning, and our advanced picket will be about 6 miles from here.

Red River is fordable in so many places that it is an embarrassment rather than a cover.

As soon as General Steele arrived and became acquainted with the state of affairs, he agreed with the views of General Osterhaus and myself. Colonel Vandever, who has just arrived, joined me. Says he thinks we now ought to recross the White River.

I lost 3 wagons of the Third Illinois Cavalry yesterday foraging in the forks of the White and Red. I do not think there is any probability that the general can take Little Rock with his present force by this route; therefore see no use in placing us in a position where certain arrangements could prevent us from recrossing and make us fight a retreating battle at great disadvantage.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Camp near Fairview, Ark., June 4, 1862.

Major H. Z. CURTIS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Batesville, Ark.:

MAJOR: After the consultation with General Steele and the receipt of the information from the enemy's quarters, which exhibited his intention to shift all his forces to the Upper Red River, outflanking us thus completely, General Carr and myself became persuaded that a corresponding move on our part was necessary. The complete exhaustion of the vicinity of our Red River camp in the way of forage and beef cattle was an additional reason for a change. General Carr and Second Division moved yesterday afternoon to the military road. I followed this morning on the State od, and we are


* Not found