FEBRUARY 17-19, 1863.-Attack on the steamer Hercules and burning of Hopefield, Ark.
Numbers 1.-Major General Stephen A. Hurlbut, U. S. Army, commanding Sixteenth Army Corps.
Numbers 2.-Brigadier General James C. Veatch, U. S. Army, commanding District of Memphis.
Numbers 3.-Captain Joseph K. Lemon, Sixty-third Illinois Infantry.
Numbers 4.-Captain J. H. McGehee, Arkansas Cavalry, including destruction of the Steamers Jacob Musselman and Grampus Numbers 2.
Numbers 1. Report of Major General Stephen A. Hurlbut, U. S. Army, commanding Sixteenth Army Corps.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tenn., February 20, 1863.
SIR: There days since the rebel guerrillas at Hopefield surprised the tow-steamer Hercules, which had gone into the Arkansas shore in a dense fog, killed 1 of the crew, and burned the boat and a barge of coal. It having been ascertained that Hopefield is a mere shelter for guerrillas, I ordered he place burned, which was done on yesterday; 16 or 17 horses were captured, which no person there wold own, quite a number of cavalry saddles, and other evidences of the haunts of the guerrillas. One barn blew up, in burning, with a quantity of concealed powder.
I have stopped all communication with Arkansas for the present. I have consulted with General Veatch as to the possibility of barricading the streets and roads leading into Memphis, and we unite that it can only be effectually done by cutting the bridges across Gayoso Bayou on such road as may be selected. This, however, will leave outside of barricades a large portion of the suburbs of Memphis. With the immense depots and hospitals here, both for the Army and the Navy, and the certainty that this point is to be a base of supplies, it will require, in my judgment, and entire division to cover this city so as to prevent the terrible smuggling which is now going on. The effects of it are perfectly demoralizing; bribery and corruption seem to go into every branch of service, and the actual cases of which proof can be made are only, I am afraid, symptoms of a widespread disease.
I have sure information that [R. V.] Richardson's guerrillas have been supplied with revolvers from this city. I propose, to-day, to forbid any arms whatever being exposed or kept for sale in the command.
Major Mudd, supported by two regiments of General Quinby's command, made a dash of Blythe, and captured 12 [guerrillas], and ran the rest off to Coldwater; but they come back as fast as our troops are withdrawn.
As soon as the road become decent, I think of putting a brigade in near Horn Lake, in the country infested by the guerrillas, and let them eat them out. The country is rich in forage and provisions.
Colonel Webster informs me that the railroad will be completed to-day or to-morrow. It will soon be broken up again, somewhere in