amenities of civilized warfare is a question which I think you would settle very quickly in the abstract. In practice we will promptly acknowledge the well-established rights of war to parties in uniform, but many gentlemen of the South have beseeched me to protect me to protect the people against the acts and inevitable result of this war of uniformed bands, who, when dispersed, mingle with the people and draw on them the consequence of their individual acts.
You know full well that it is to the interest of the people of the South that we should not disperse our troops as guerrillas; but at that game your guerrillas would meet their equals, and the world would be shocked by the act of atrocity resulting from such warfare. We endeavor to act in large masses, and must insist that the troops of the Confederacy, who claim the peculiar rights of belligerents, should be known by their dress, so as to be distinguished from the inhabitants. I refer you to the proclamation of your Kirby Smith in Kentucky on this very point.
I will refer your letters to General Curtis, at Saint Louis, with whom I beg you will hereafter confer on all matters under a flag of truce. He commands our forces west of the Mississippi, and I am not aware as yet that any question has arisen under my command at Memphis that concerns your command.
The idea of your comments on the failure of "your efforts to induce our army to conform to the usages of civilized warfare" excites a smile. Indeed, you should not indulge in such language in official letters.
I am, &c., your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN,
HELENA, ARK., September 28, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Commanding Army of the United States:
GENERAL: For more than three weeks I have been sick and unable to attend to business. When our army was at Batesville or lower down on White River then was the time to have seized the capital of this State. It could then have been taken with but little difficulty and held. The force at Little Rock and vicinity was inconsiderable. At that time, or about the 1st of July, the conscription law was being enforced; the people were opposed to it, and many have been forced into the ranks of the rebel army. At that time there were but few troops in the State, and those poorly armed. Since that time re-enforcements have been received from Texas and arms have been procured. The conscripts are becoming wonted to the service, with reluctance are now performing service willingly.
From Saint Louis, under date of August 17, I wrote you, stating the rumors in relation to the seizure of cotton and the speculations in that article, in which it was said officers of the conduct of some of the officers, and the late commander of this Army of the Southwest is not exempt from such charges. I have not investigated these rumors. The army was much demoralized in its march from Batesville to this point and whilst lying here. In my letter I suggested the course I deemed expedient in relation to cotton, and time has satisfied me I was right in those suggestions.
Much property has been taken from the citizens in this vicinity and but little little of it has been accounted for the Government. Horses and