of Helena for guerrilla warfare; "but," said the general, "should we be beaten, and our army under Lee in Virginia and Bragg in Kentucky be crushed, we would rise as individuals and each man take upon himself the task of expelling the invaders." I replied that I did not think his people felt as desperate as he did. "Yes," said the general, "we hate you with a cordial hatred. You may conquer us and parcel out our lands among your soldiers, but you must remember that one incident of history, to wit, that of all the Russians who settled in Poland not one died a natural death." I replied I could not, and knew our people did not, reciprocate the hatred he expressed. The general then entertained me with his former love for our flag and his present hatred at the sight of it, but fell into a pleasant vein in regard to his old acquaintances in the Federal Army whom he knew. When we parted he asked me but one question, If we had not re-enforced our army at Corinth from Helena. I thought it was no harm in saying that it had not been to my knowledge. He replied, evidently well pleased, "Yes, yes; just as I said." He said during our conversation that he had been looking for us up every day. I made no reply, but smiled, which might be taken for yes or Numbers He said that the had sent a flag-of-truce boat with a reply to General Curtis' previous letter by way of the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers on the 22nd, the day before I arrived, having all the prisoners in charge. He said he liked the spirit of General Carr's letter, and immediately sent all the persons, nearly 100 in number, and his reply, and that the cotton dealers taken by his men had been or would be released. He thought it strange that General Curtis had not answered his more recent dispatches sent by Colonel Randal. I replied that sufficient time had not elapsed.
With regard to roads, water-courses, forage, and means of subsisting the men and horses of an army, I have the honor to report that leading to White River there are three distinct and separate roads from Helena, all well watered and well supplied with forage.
Beyond White River the roads running west are through the prairie and soon will be impassable. The supply of forage between this place and White River is excellent, but beyond White River the drought has destroyed the crops and forage is very scarce indeed.
The Confederates are cutting and stacking prairie hay on the railroad near Brownsville, and are procuring corn from the bottom-lands on the lower bank of the Arkansas river, bringing it up by boats to Little Rock; so scarce is subsistence for horses that they have dismounted a large part of their cavalry force, including the Twenty-fourth Texas, Colonel Wilkes, and the Twenty-fifth Texas, Colonel Gillespie. What little forage they have is saved in a great measure by camping their cavalry on this side of White and Cache Rivers. The Arkansas River is so low as to be impassable, except for the lightest-draught boats, while White River has risen 12 1/2 feet since its lowest stage in August, and now 15 feet at the lowest part up to Clarendon.
The Confederates have no force at Saint Charles, Rock Roe, or Clarendon, on White River. They have four regiments (Texans) under General McCulloch, at Devall's Bluff, and three regiments, under Colonel Carter (Twenty-first Texas), at Des Arc; some 7,000 at Austin, 13 miles from Brownsville, on the road to Des Arc; two regiments and a battalion of three companies, about 1,000 effective cavalry, at Cotton Plant, and one regiment at Little Rock. They have the further information that Galveston, Sabine, Troy, and Houston are taken by the Federals, which may check the march of Texas troops now en route for Little Rock. They have a 24-pounder for reconnoitering "a la Schenck