Springfield from the south. General Brown's force is not strong enough to operate against both with success. If you will send such force as you can spare against Rains and Coffee and prevent their junction with the bands of rebel recruits in Central Missouri, or, if Rains and Coffee pass north of you, cut off their retreat into Arkansas, we can soon either drive them all out or destroy them. I make these suggestions by direction of the general-in-chief, and hope you will find it in your power to act upon them. I am concentrating several strong columns of cavalry upon Quantrill in Jackson County, which will break him up or drive him south, and continue the pursuit should he elude them. In the latter case I must depend upon you to assist me in cutting him off. Please inform me what you can do.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
HELENA, ARK., August 15, 1862.
My advance-the Fourth Division-went to Clarendon. The enemy retreated across White River. General Hovey sent cavalry, which pressed toward Little Rock. No conflict. Enemy in force above Little Rock. Letters of Hindman, intercepted, report about 25,000, well armed and equipped. I would not allow main force to advance beyond White River, as I have not as yet a proper command for that river. Navy and Army expedition start down Mississippi to-night to scour and ascertain as to crossing of force; also to verify reports as to the loss of the Arkansas.* Hindman was in Little Rock on the 7th awaiting my approach. His force is numerous, but poorly fed and dissatisfied. His numbers exceed mine, and I hope you will send me some of the new levy. Health of my troops good.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
Johnson, Mo., August 15, 1862.
Second Kansas Volunteers:
SIR: You will occupy such position south of the Osage River as will give security to Fort Scott, and enable you at the same time to operate against Rains, if he should be advancing north. His is the only force now in Southwest Missouri that will require looking after.
I arrived here about 7 o'clock this morning and shall move again at 9. The forces of Coffee, Hunter, and others, numbering between 3,000 and 4,000, are pushing rapidly to Lexington, where they expect to meet Porter and others from the north of the Missouri River with a force equal to theirs; also to unite with the force of Quantrill and Hays. They then propose going south in a body. They are also receiving large accessions daily as they pass through the country. I shall move on as rapidly as possible, and hope to come up with them at the Missouri River.
JAS. G. BLUNT,
*Destroyed August 6 near Baton Rouge. See Series I, Vol. XV.