Scout Numbers 1 informs me that Holmes, of North Carolina, has been promoted to a major-generalship, and takes command of Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas, over Brigadier-Generals Barrow [?], who commanded Louisiana and Texas, and Hindman, of Arkansas.
A few weeks since the Governors of the three above States, and Jackson, of Missouri, met in convention at Tyler, Tex., and resolved that their only alternative was to invade Missouri for subsistence, and that a death struggle must ensue or gain the point. The troops could not live south, and they must now fight for bread. Texas is e exhausted; her supplies of bread and beef now not sufficient to winter their citizens, and Texas is now moving north 25,000 troops.
There are at this time at Fort Gibson, Park Hill, and Tahlequah, in the Nation, 9,000 under Cooper, and they calculate on making it up to 20,000. Hindman has at Little Rock and Arkansas Valley, now drilling, 25,000 men. Rains and Carroll have at Cross Hollows and Phantom Hill 2,000. Coffee, Cockrell, and company will add 3,500 more, making an aggregate of 75,000 that are now moving north with a view to invading Missouri and wintering on the river. They are all ragged, hungry, and desperate, and are coming here to live, and will approach by the southwest corner of the State.
If the forces at Fort Gibson and Park Hill could be struck successfully and promptly my impression is that it would greatly retard the movement and demoralize their forces. If permitted to remain, they will be a nucleus to form on and the whole force become emboldened.
Scout Numbers 2 confirms the above statement, and says that they are preparing for a bold movement into Missouri in a short time, and that it will require the most prompt and energetic measures to meet it successfully. There is no doubt but the rebel troops west of the Mississippi will be compelled to come north for subsistence. Texas and Arkansas cannot feed an army, and it will require a heavy force to keep them out.
I am, sir, with very high respect, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding in the Field.
HEADQUARTERS SAINT LOUIS DISTRICT,
Saint Louis, Mo., August 28, 1862.
Brigadier-General LOAN, Commanding Central Div., Sedalia, Mo.:
GENERAL: There are strong indications of the concentration of a large force of rebels in Northwestern Arkansas for the purpose of invading Missouri. They will make a desperate effort to accomplish this as the only means of obtaining subsistence. I shall have plenty of force to meet them in a few weeks without drawing from other parts of the State, but while the new troops are being prepared for the field I must rely upon your division to re-enforce Springfield, should it become necessary.
To be prepared for this emergency your regular troops should be disposed as far as practicable along the southern part of your division, always in condition to move at once and rapidly, while the Enrolled Militia are relied upon mainly to take care of the northern and western portions. If you can send the remaining portions of Catherwood's and McClurg's regiments to Springfield at once it should be done.
I am making arrangements to supply additional arms, also clothing and subsistence, for the Enrolled Militia, and as large a number of them as may be necessary must be kept in active service.