scarce and the country is devastated, but with supplies from this point and one barrel of water to the company we can cross the prairie and with two good divisions scatter their forces or capture them. The conscripts will desert in hundreds, and to save themselves be compelled to enroll themselves on our side.
On Friday, the 8th instant, I sent Lieutenant-Colonel Wood, First Indiana Cavalry, on a scouting expedition to Harris' Ferry, 12 miles below this place. On arriving he discovered the boat, with pickets or guards watching it on the opposite bank. He commanded them to bring it over, but they refused. He then threw a few shells from his small guns, whilst two men swam over, took the boat, brought it to this side, and cut it in pieces. At this ferry last week about 60 Texas Rangers crossed with about 40 prisoners of the First Wisconsin Cavalry.
A contraband from the west bank of the White River has just come in, after riding two days, and reports the people as living in great terror at our anticipated approach. He says the troops on the line are running back to Little Rock. The river here is about one foot higher now than it was when Colonel Fitch was here several weeks ago, and a small gunboat might easily come up with transports and provisions. I have heard nothing from you since I left, and this is my third dispatch.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
ALVIN P. HOVEY,
WASHINGTON, D. C., August 12, 1862.
Saint Louis, Mo.:
Would the completion of the railroad some distance farther in the direction of Springfield, Mo., be of any military advantage to you? Please answer.
MEMPHIS, TENN., August 12, 1862.
Your telegraph of yesterday, saying my presence is deemed very important, is received. I still think Missouri is over-anxious. I stopped on Arkansas shore to inquire after force in Northeast Arkansas. There is none. My Fourth Division (General Hovey) has advanced west, near to Clarendon. The enemy retired precipitately after his attack on Colonel Daniels' detachment near Madison. My river cavalry, in conjunction with navy force, extended to mouth of White River. All was quiet at Helena last night. All quiet here at Memphis.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, Mo., August 12, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Commanding U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I received your telegram of the 10th yesterday. I had