Knob, in Missouri. I proceeded to Cairo and sought to have this order countermanded by General Curtis, who had been placed in command of the Department of Missouri, and informed Major-General Halleck of the order and condition of affairs in this State. That order was not countermanded and there were sent from this place fifteen or twenty steamboats laden with troops and their transportation. This army, shortly after General Curtis arrived at the place, amounted this army was greatly reduced. The force now here is about 10,000, of whom 8,000 are effective. This is too large a force to coop up in this place, and too small to move anywhere if Helena is to be held by us. Indeed it has been very unfortunate for the army to have remained here. This town is unhealthy, and in my opinion the troops have suffered more sickness and mortality at this point that if the army had been in motion.
Exaggerated reports of the force of the enemy have been put forth. It was reported that General Hindman was in the northwest part of this State, ready to advance into Missouri with 20,000 to 25,000. First, he has not been there; second, no such number of troops have been in Northwest Arkansas. The senior officer in that part of the State is General James S. Rains, one of my constituents, whom I know well, and in my opinion is not fit to command a regiment. His reputation is well known in this State, and it is that of drunkard, with but little education, and no military education except his experience for the last fifteen months.
Let us review the operations of the Army of the Southwest since it was organized, nine months ago.
it marched via Springfield to Northwest Arkansas, fought the battle of Pea Ridge; the enemy retired to the Arkansas River, and from thence General Price was ordered to the army at Corinth. General Curtis then withdrew to Missouri; marched 100 miles on the southern border of that State, and came to this point via Batesville, having been re-enforced by General Steele, who was at Greenville. He was repeatedly urged before he came to this place and after his arrival here by some of his officers to advance on Little Rock. He persistently refused to permit his army or a portion of it to go to Little Rock to occupy that point. Several gunboats have been lying here; not patrolling the river to prevent supplies being sent from either side of the river to the other. Thus arms have been sent from the east side of the Mississippi River to the west side, and supplies, such as cattle and horses, from the west side to the east side of the river for the rebel horses, from the west side to the east side of the river for the rebel armies. The acts of the army at this place can be expressed by saying it has been demoralized, and it has aided officers and cotton traders in making fortunes with the blood of our brave men. The results of the operations of the Army of the Southwest were:
First. That we fought and gained the battle of Pea Ridge.
Second. That it has been demoralized and requires energy to put it in fighting order. General Carr, now in command, is doing all which can be done to remedy this evil, and I trust proper discipline and tone will soon prevail.
Third. That it occupies no more territory than it occupied in March last, with the exception of the ground in actual occupancy at this post.
Such have been the accomplishments of the Army of the Southwest.
What ought to be done? If we had an active and energetic commander of this department, with 20,000 under command of Gen-