parcel containing two letters from General S. R. Curtis, dated Saint Louis, October 14,* and one from myself of this date, all addressed to General Hindman, at Little Rock, with a flag of truce. I have heard from that place up to last Friday, at which time General Holmes was there, but Hindman had gone, some thought, to Des Arc, others to the west. From all information I think their forces are scattered and in no shape to attempt the invasion of the Mississippi, nor do I think they will attack you, although they may infest the whole country with their detached bands of guerrillas. Yesterday a party fired on the boats Continental and Dickey at a point near the boundary line of Missouri from the Arkansas shore, firing a 12-pounder howitzer. Two shots struck both boats in dangerous places, but by extraordinary luck missed the boiler and passengers. According to my rule, made know some weeks ago, I shall expel ten families for each boat, and will see that a fair proportion of secesh travel in each boat. I have also sent up in the Eugene three companies of infantry, two 6-pounders and one 20-pounder rifle, to dislodge the party, but the same gun unless captured will be used again. A gunboat lies at Pillow and will go to the same point, for this practice of firing on boats must be punished with terrible severity. As the reaching the guerrillas, we cannot undertake to chase them through the country, but must hold the neighborhood responsible.
If I have anything here you want let me know and I will send it if possible, but remember that you have more men than I have, and the armies of Price, Van Dorn, Villepigue, and Lovell, the wrecks of the late battle at Corinth, re-enforced by Ruggles and the exchanged prisoners, are all near Holly Springs, within two days' march of me.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION,
Memphis, October 17, 1862.
Major General T. C. HINDMAN,
Commanding Confederate Forces, Little Rock, Ark.:
SIR: I had the honor to write you on the 28th ultimo on partial answer to your communication of the 23rd ultimo, and now inclose you General Curtis' full reply to the matters contained in yours.
It should not be that men of enlarged intelligence should make civil war more desperate than it is sure to be made by the acts of a class of soldiers who all their lives have been used to the largest amount of liberty to do their will, good and bad. You know full well that on your side guerrillas or partisan rangers commit acts which you would not sanction, and that small detachments of our men commit acts of individual revenge, leaving no evidence or trace whereby we can fix the responsibility. Instead of yielding to this tendency we ought gradually to improve discipline so that each general in command can trace all acts and then assume the full responsibility. If we allow the passions of our men to get full command then indeed will this war become a reproach to the names of liberty and civilization.
No later than yesterday some guerrillas in the State of Arkansas, near Needham's Cut-off, fired 12-pounder howitzer shells at the steam-