War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0775 Chapter XXV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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fight at Cotton Plant is a proof of this. A party of my division - 500 infantry, a battalion of cavalry, and two small guns - defeated a force of seven regiments and a battery. The rebels did not stop running until they had gone 8 miles south of Little Rock. At that time one regiment could have taken possession of the place without resistance. What I telegraphed you in regard to Holmes' forces was substantially correct, except that the numbers were exaggerated. They could muster in the State about 25,000, most of them badly armed and badly appointed in every respect. Twelve thousand such as I had selected from the Army of the Southwest could have beaten them all easily. It is reported now that Joe Johnston has arrived with large re-enforcements, but I do not believe it. I will inclose an order which I issued after General Curtis left Helena, which i am told gave him great offense. If there is anything wrong in it please tell me so.* It is my intention to act in accordance with law and orders. General Curtis, in my opinion, violated both law and orders, and instituted a policy entirely different from that indicated by the President in regard to slaves. The interests of a political party seem to be the first thing to be consulted in military movements in this department now.

Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

FRED'K STEELE,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,

Camp Ewing, November 2, 1862.

Brigadier General F. SALOMON,

Commanding First Brigade:

GENERAL: You will move your brigade to-morrow morning at 7 o'clock, taking the route for Prairie Creek and encamping on the east side, near Barnes' farm, about 5 miles from Bentonville. The entire command will move in the same order in which they are encamped, each brigade commander receiving his orders direct from General Blunt. You will choose a suitable locality for forage and water, posting strong pickets eastward and southward of your camp in addition to the usual picket. The bearer of this (Powell) will guide you to the place designated, and you will remain there until further orders.

By order of Brigadier-General Blunt:

LYMAN SCOTT, JR.,

Captain, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,

Camp Ewing, November 2, 1862.

Colonel WILLIAM WEER,

Commanding Second Brigade:

COLONEL: You will move your brigade to-morrow morning at 7 o'clock, taking the same route and following the First Brigade, commanded by General Salomon. You will encamp on the west side of Prairie Creek, near Lambeth's farm. General Salomon encamps on the east side. You will post strong pickets southward in addition to

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*Not found.

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