reaching the White River, opposite. To defend the fortifications I have between 4,000 and 5,000 men, under General Churchill, and to cover Little Rock. I have three brigades at Brownsville, near General McCulloch, and a brigade of cavalry, under General Hawes, on White River, with heavy pickets always near Helena to watch the enemy's movements. The distance to the Post from Brownsville is about 80 miles, and my hope is by keeping a close watch near Helena that I will be able to concentrate the two commands to resist an advance. If I leave here there is little doubt the valley of Arkansas will be taken possession of, and with it goes Arkansas and Louisiana, for there is nothing to subsist an army on between the Arkansas and Red Rivers, the intermediate region having been depleted by the drought of last year. The only thing that I have felt myself justified in doing is to order General Scurry, with Sibley's brigade, strengthened by two regiments from Texas, to proceed to Vicksburg as rapidly as possible. As I wrote to you, General Rains, for his drunkenness when the enemy advanced from Missouri, has been directed to resign. I hope his resignation may be accepted, as the shortest way of getting rid of him. If the witnesses can be had General Cooper will be brought before a court of inquiry under Orders, Numbers 38, through he denies the charges made against him by Captain Mackey, C. S. Engineers, emphatically. Mr. Boudinot writes to me that our Indian relations will soon be in a satisfactory condition and the Indians satisfied. I have ordered them paid and clothed, and hereafter they shall be used by only as Home Guards and treated in every respect as to pay and clothing like our own troops. The clothing diverted from them a month ago was divided between them and the white troops pro rate. Both were naked, and I wanted no grumbling. The clothing for the white troops has arrived and is now being distributed in the same way. On the arrival of Major-General McCown I will leave him here and pay the Indians a visit. In the mean time I think all will be well with them if the Federals are kept away from their country. Captain J. W. Dunnington, C. S. Navy, was appointed a colonel in the Provisional Army by General Hindman. He has acted in that capacity ever since. All the guns in our fortifications were taken from his boas, and he is the only officer I have fit to command them. In order that he may exercise command over the very ignorant colonels who command the two regiments designated to defend the forts I earnestly request that his appointment may be confirmed, even if only by temporary rank, to take effect from June 1 last.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
TH. H. HOLMES,
[General S. COOPER],
Adjutant and Inspector General:
Assign Captain J. W. Dunnington to the command, with temporary rank as colonel.
J. A. SEDDON,