shall be ready to move as you direct immediately; but I would like to leave a sufficient force in Northwest Arkansas to protect the Union people until they can be organized and armed; otherwise much that I have gained will be lost. The conscripts are returning in great numbers. I believe they can soon be placed in condition to take care of the country. Weather warm.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
DEPARTMENT OF MISSOURI,
October 26, 1862.
Brigadier General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD, Elkhorn, Ark.:
Dispatch received. If General Blunt should go and remain at or near Fort Smith it will be necessary to have an outpost somewhere near Newtonia; but of this hereafter. If your news is corroborated, your main force better fall back before roads get bad. Snow-storm last night. All quiet on the Potomac.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,
Fort Wayne, October 26, 1862.
Brigadier General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,
Commanding Army of the Frontier:
GENERAL: Your dispatch of the 25th instant was received early this morning. I have information from scouts returned from Indian Territory that Cooper and Stand Watie have fled by way of Fort Gibson across the Arkansas River to Fort Davis - Cooper's old camp of last summer. They retreated in great haste, their advance reaching Fort Gibson, 70 miles distant, in thirty hours after the battle here. It will be impossible for them to remain there long for want of subsistence and forage; they must either retire into Texas or go down the valley of the Arkansas in the direction of Fort Smith. I think they will do the latter. My spies sent to Fort Smith have not yet returned. I have to-day sent a scouting party on the Fayetteville road. I heartily concur with you in your views and suggestions relative to future movements. Our movements to a great extent must now depend upon the movements of General Steele. If he should be successful in his advance upon Little Rock, there is no good reason why we should not make the Arkansas River our south line and hold and protect all the country in our rear. There is no doubt that the enemy in Arkansas are much demoralized and disheartened in consequence of being driven by our forces, and we should lose as little time as possible in following up our advantages. I shall keep you advised of any important information I may obtain. Most of my command here are cut of bread, and I am thrashing out and grinding wheat; a game we can play at as well as the rebels.
I have the honor to be, general, your most obedient servant,
JAS. G. BLUNT,