HEADQUARTERS SAINT LOUIS DISTRICT,
September 1, 1862.
Brigadier General FRED. STEELE,
Commanding District of Arkansas:
GENERAL: I am informed (unofficially of course) that General Curtis has leave of absence, and consequently that you are in command in Arkansas. If this is true (which may God grant) I know that I may now look for the long-expected "diversion in my favor," which I have been told for the last month or two was about to be made.
Let me ask you, general, to keep me posted as to your movements, and to keep me informed of everything in Arkansas which may be of interest or importance as affecting my operations in Missouri, and also in what way, if any, I can co-operate with you. I presume we will have a department commander before long through whom we will learn whatever is important for us to know. Meanwhile let us do the best we can without the aid of that important, but as yet unknown, individual.
General Totten, who is now in command at Springfield, has information which he considers reliable that the enemy is advancing in large force from Texas and Louisiana via Fort Smith, with intent to invade Missouri. It is said that they are driven to this by the necessity of looking northward for subsistence. It does not appear how far advanced this force is nor what its strength. The latter is said to be fabulous, and Totten thinks a large part of them are now north of the Arkansas River. Possibly you may have information of a more definite character. If so, it would afford me much pleasure to receive it, be it favorable or unfavorable.
McBride, I am told, is at Batesville with a few thousand half-armed men, mostly fugitive Missourians. I shall have very little difficulty in taking care of him should he come this way.
I expect to have a force ready to move into Arkansas, either northeast or west or both, whenever your movements shall render it proper.
Please let me hear from you often, and accept my sincere wishes for your brilliant success.
Very truly, yours,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
SPRINGFIELD, September 1, 1862.
Brigadier General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,
Headquarters Southwestern Division:
Information from Colonel Wright, dated yesterday, reiterates information sent you before this. The enemy slowly coming north from Texas with a force fabulously large. They are starving in Texas, and invade Missouri for food. It is a desperate game of life or death with them, Wright says. I have information that the rebels are still moving forward and concentrating in force at Elm Springs, Pineville, Maysville, and Centreville. Four regiments of Texas troops arrived at Pineville and Maysville Tuesday. I repeat this as often as it comes to me to keep you posted. I believe it myself, and desire to be fully prepared. I am not alarmed, but believe it my duty to do all in my power to meet coming events of no ordinary magnitude certainly.
39 R R-VOL XIII