man should not be moved away from the Mississippi River until it should be ascertained what turn affairs would take in Maryland. Schofield requested me to co-operate with him in Missouri. I informed him that there was no large force threatening Missouri from Arkansas and posted him pretty correctly as to the numbers and whereabouts of Holmes' forces. The principal part of them were in the vicinity of Little Rock, and the only way that I could assist Schofield was to move in that direction, which I prepared to do at once. General curtis took command of the Department of the Missouri and immediately ordered me by telegram with the minor part of the command to Pilot Knob by way of Sulphur Springs. He sent me instructions by mail to retrace my steps in case the movement on Little Rock had been commenced and obey the telegram. It would take several weeks to get the whole command by railroad from Sulphur springs to Pilot Knob; whereas it could march from Saint Genevieve in two days, through a country well supplied with forage, &c. At the request of Colonel Parsons and myself he finally consented to order Osterhaus' division that way. They arrived here more than a week ago and the last of the other division has just got here. Coming from Helena to this cold climate has developed chills and fever, and our sick report is very large. There is now a force of near 12,000 here. What necessity can there be for such a force here, unless we are to march through Arkansas again? There is no enemy to meet us. McBride and company stampeded from Pocahontas on the approach of a scouring party and would run again before we could reach them. Two regiments of cavalry and two small guns could run them out of the country. They retreated to Yellville. I have this from a boy whom they impressed into their service and who drove a team for me last summer. He deserted during their stampede and reported himself to me here. The roads from here to Pitman's Ferry are bad, and the fall rains will soon set in, when they will be almost impassable. Last year my artillery horses were ruined and my transportation nearly so in passing over this route. We have not transportation sufficient to carry supplies, and I apprehend that very little will be found on this road.
If our operations are to be directed against Arkansas it strikes me that Helena would be a much better place to start from than this. It is much nearer the enemy. The road to Clarendon is good, and passes through a rich country. White River is navigable, and will be until late next season. There is a railroad from Devall's Bluff, and the owners are loyal and anxious to have us get possession. They had contrived a plan to get the rolling stock into our hands in case we should advance on Little Rock. Before leaving Helena I learned it was a mistake about Saint Charles being fortified. Colonel Vandever magnified muskets into cannon. There were no guns on White River. I saw two gunboats that can run to Pocahontas now; they were at Cairo when I came up. The force that Schofield's command met never amounted to over 7,000 men, and only 5,000 of them were armed. I get this from Dr. Meador, who deserted them. he formerly edited the Douglas paper in Little Rock, which was suppressed. The troops that compose the Army of the Southwest have become perfectly disgusted with being trifled with. they were used all last season to no purpose, and those who are with me see no prospect ahead but that of enacting the farce over again. If we had been allowed to go ahead we could have driven the rebels off and have prevented the conscription act from being enforced. There was no time last summer when my division alone could not have beaten any force they could have brought against it. The