duty, have been sent to re-enforce your army, with the understanding that, as soon as Vicksburg should fall, they, or a sufficient portion of them, would be sent back into my department. It occurs to me that the concentration of the rebel forces near the river, in the vicinity of Vicksburg, may force you to keep all your present forces on or near the river for some time to come. I do not desire to ask anything which will, in any way, embarrass your operations, but simply to inform you what I am prepared and desire to do, and to gain similar information from you so far as your operations affect mine, and thus be prepared to act promptly in harmony with you. It is very important, with reference to my department, to occupy the line of the Arkansas River as soon as possible. This can be done by the use of the Arkansas River, if it be navigable at this season, or, if not, then the White River as far as Devall's Bluff, and the railroad or even wagon road from that place to Little Rock. The force which will be required for this purpose will depend upon operations up the Ouachita and Red Rivers, but I presume will be in no case very large.
I have a cavalry division, full 5,00 strong, now operating in Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas, which is ready to move across the country and join a force of infantry and artillery at any point on the Arkansas or White Rivers, as soon as you can send such force. I have also small bodies of troops in Southwest Missouri and the Indian country, ready to advance and occupy the country south of them as soon as we get possession of the Arkansas River.
I have directed the quartermaster in Saint Louis to send you 500 wagons and teams for your own operations, and will probably have enough left to supply the forces which are to operate in Arkansas.
Please inform me, general, what you will be able to do, and give me details as to time, &c., as far as possible.
I would like to suggest Major-General Steele as a suitable officer to command the force to be sent into Arkansas.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
[Inclosure Numbers 3.] HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Vicksburg, Miss., July 15, 1863.
Major General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 8th instant just received. In answer, I will give you a brief statement of the position of affairs here.
During the siege of Vicksburg, I had a large surplus of troops over what was required to make the investment complete. These troops occupied a line from Haynes' Bluff to Black River, across which Johnston would have to move to reach Vicksburg, or the rear of the investing army. Sherman commanded all these forces, and held them in readiness to move the moment Vicksburg should fall into our hands. Accordingly, on the 4th instant, he started. As soon as the city capitulated, I ordered the whole of Sherman's and Ord's corps, forming about two-thirds of the investing army, to move out and join Sherman. They started the night of the 4th. A portion of McPherson's corps was already with Sherman. This left me at this place but six small brigades. Hearing that the enemy was fortifying Yazoo City most vigorously, I sent two of them to that place. They captured it, with considerable stores, five or six pieces of artillery, and several hundred prisoners; but