Island Numbers 10 has fallen. the river to Vicksburg must very soon and inevitably also be taken. The fortifications at Helena are too late for this campaign. The probability of this condition of affairs has long since been pointed out. The States of Arkansas, Missouri, and the Territories are now bound to be the theater of a separate war, beyond the reach and cut off from all aid by the Confederacy, whether of men, arms, or ammunition.
So far from those preparations [being] dictated by a wise foresight on the part of those who have heretofore had command, we submit respectfully that we have been brought to the verge of ruin by their action and orders. General Van Dorn commenced a retreat down the Arkansas orders. General Van Dorn commenced a retreat down the Arkansas River with all his forces except General Pike's division of Indians (which he declines to have anything to do with), broke up the military depot at Fort Smith, causing the material, much of it General Pike's, to be shipped down the Arkansas River, leaving General Pike unsupported with either men or supplies at the usual depot and base of operations. All this was done at much loss and cost, to the alarm and terror of all that section of country, and without excuse of real danger, as the enemy were in no condition to pursue and have actually retreated for the interior of Missouri, thus evidently abandoning the valley of the Arkansas River and the heart of the State of Arkansas, although leaving behind him Pike's division, which our treaties compel us to sustain and strengthen for the Indian protection.
General Van Dorn ordered the telegraph line from Fort Smith to Little Rock, then just completed at great cost, to be torn down, which order was obeyed, and is now in progress of execution, if not already executed.
We further understand, prosecuting his retreat, he received orders from the commander of the department east of the Mississippi to march all his forces for Memphis and Corinth, which he is doing effectually, and thereupon ordered Little Rock to be abandoned as a depot and all the public works at the arsenal to be torn down, and everything, carried to Napoleon, at great cost, loss, and public damage, which is done; and all this upon the ground that he did not and does no consider Little Rock safe, though it is over 300 miles of land travel from the enemy's base of operations and is full 250 miles from their nearest present position, and all this property is carried to Napoleon, where it is in daily danger of capture or destruction by the enemy.
Arkansas has with unparalleled spirit answered every call for men and arms; almost all her fighting men, full 30,000, all her public arms, and nearly all the private arms of her people gone into this war, and by the orders of the commanders east of the Mississippi almost every regiment has been drawn off, with Texans, Louisianians, and even Missourians, to defend the boundaries of old States, by the side of whom we are as nothing in wealth, numbers, and resources.
Our State is thoroughly disarmed by this policy; our fighting men are carried away and will soon be cut off from us permanently; our women and children are left defenseless; our Indian treaties are disregarded and broken, and our borders north and west thrown utterly open to the invasion of Yankees and the bloody incursions of savages and Kansians so completely that 10,000 men could actually march from one end of the State to the other in the midst of plenty and wholly unopposed.
1st. We do respectfully ask the department west of the Mississippi to be at once established.
2nd. We request that General Bragg, or a man of our own region,