in charge of a flag of truce party, bearing dispatches to Major-General Hindman, commanding Confederate forces at Little Rock, consisting of two letters from General Curtis, at Saint Louis, Mo., and one from General Sherman, at Memphis, Tenn.
I took the route to Rock Roe Ferry, over White River, which I crossed on the evening of the second at 10 miles below Clarendon, and on the third day I arrived at Brownsville. Here I found Captain Nolan, assistant quartermaster, C. S. Army, commanding post.
Captain Nolan detained me and telegraphed to General Holmes, who sent Lieutenant Colonel S. S. Anderson, with train on the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad, who escorted me to Little Rock, where I arrived at 8 a. m., and delivered my dispatches at 9.30 a. m. to Major-General Holmes in person, and had a conversation with him until near 12 m.
I left the north bank of the Arkansas River at 3 p. m. on the train and arrived at Brownsville at 4 p. m., and starting next day pursued the same route homeward, arriving this p. m.
General Holmes said that he desired me to say to you that it was his desire to conduct this war upon honorable principles and upon the rules of warfare among civilized nations - yes, upon Christian principles; that he was filled with horror at the state of woe, desolation, and destruction brought to him by his people, which he was sorry to say he was forced to believe. For instance, a Mr. Moore, living near Helena, reported to his provost-marshal-general that a party of Federal soldiers, had entered his house, and finding a feeble daughter and enceinte wife, did threaten and intimidate them and snap caps upon their revolvers, causing Mrs. Moore to produce an abortion and thereby endanger her life. I replied that the general commanding had no knowledge of such an occurrence, and that if it had happened and if the parties could be found they would be brought to punishment. He went on to say that a deserter had come to him and he asked him why he had deserted. He, the deserter, replied that "their conduct could not be borne; for," says he, "general, I have seen a party of these soldiers rape a mother and daughter with my own eyes." I replied that I was fully satisfied that it was a base fabrication, for if such an occurrence had taken place it would have been known among us, and i had never known to it, and that a man who would desert would tell a false-hood. He, the general, said he did not place implicit confidence in what a deserter might say; "but," said the general, "it is true that in the route of General Curtis' army houses were ransacked, women's and children's apparel taken without provocation, and al kinds of damage done to the property of citizens." I replied that I had not seen it, but that I was led to believe that it might in some instances by true to a certain extent, but that I was satisfied it was not with the consent of commanding officers, but contrary to their positive orders, and that I had learned from the people of Arkansas that in some instances the Texans in his army had stolen the people's meat and chickens, and that I was sorry to say there were some bad in both armies, whom in some instances it appeared almost impossible to control. General Holmes said that he knew General Curtis in his youth, and had expected him to pursue a fair and honorable warfare; that he, for his part, was determined to resist organized forces with organized forces as long as it could be done, but that they would fight until exterminated unless their independence was acknowledged. While they fought with organized force he expected scrupulously to observe the rules of warfare, and had repressed the patriotic ardor of his people in the neighborhood
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