WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJT. GEN 'S OFFICE, Numbers 135.
Washington, September 19, 1862.
I. By direction of the President the States of Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and the bordering Indian Territory will constitute the Department of the Missouri, and will be commanded by Major General S. R. Curtis; headquarters at Saint Louis.
Alton, Ill., is attached to the Department of the Missouri.
II. Western Virginia is attached to the Department of the Ohio; headquarters at Cincinnati.
By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE SOUTHWEST, Helena, Ark., September 20, via Cairo, Ill., September 24, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK:
GENERAL: General Sherman wrote me that he thought you wished me to remain in statu quo for the present. He is threatened by Breckinridge and Villepigue, and Price is marching toward Corinth. I have been sending out large scouting parties toward Cotton Plant, Clarendon, and Saint Charles. The rebels are fortifying at Saint Charles. I have sent expeditions down the river to break up depots, &c. They have brought back five fine wharf-boats, &c. A force under General Benton is now back of Taconia, near White River, to break up the camp of instruction for conscripts and to examine road from the Mississippi to the White. I think the principal part of Holmes's force is me to destroy the railroad bridge at Panola, Miss. I could take Vicksburg. The rebels have about 10,000 along the road to Jackson, but about half are sick. They have taken away part of the guns and are strengthening their works. I could easily take Little Rock, but at present the question of supplies is a very serious one. The water is low in the Arkansas and White Rivers, and transportation by land would require large escorts. Helena would require a garrison. Fort Curtis is a humbug. One gunboats would answer the purpose better. Shall make a dash either on the other side of the river or after Holmes.
WASHINGTON, D. C., September 20, 1862.
I will write you to-day about the organization of the Department of Missouri.
H. W. HALLECK.
SAINT LOUIS, MO., September 20, 1862.
Dispatch to-day is just received, and your letter of the 16th was received yesterday. I wrote to General Steele, and started at once for