War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0481 Chapter XXXIV. ADVANCE UPON LITTLE ROCK, ARK., ETC.

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ging for arms and ammunition. Marmaduke's men have been going about the country south of this, disguised as Federal soldiers, hanging Union men, and committing depredations upon their property. I have in some instances assumed captured arms and ammunition to the Union men on their producing the most undoubted proof in regard to their character. It is my opinion that several regiments of good troops could be raised in Arkansas within a short time, for the purpose of putting down guerrillas and operating against the rebel army, if it should be required of them. Near Batesville the Union men have organized, and are sending out scouts to disarm the deserters from Price's army. Mr. Padgett, a member of the Legislature, who has been a fugitive for over a year, is about to return to his home in Independence County, and wishes authority to raise a regiment. There are about 50 of his people here now. Raising regiments, of course, involves the necessity of arming and equipping them. The people in this State have been driven to desperation, and thousands who have been in the rebel army are now represented as being anxious to take up arms in favor of the Federal Government. I have been informed that there were many thousand captured arms at Memphis. There was a large amount of powder captured in the arsenal here. Price intended to have blown it up, but did not have time. The penitentiary escaped for the same reason. I have disposed of my cavalry force in such a manner as to keep the rebels at some distance south of the Arkansas. Very seldom that any of Marmaduke's cavalry, who stick to their cause with more tenacity than any of the rest of Price's army, are seen north of Saline River. Two regiments are posted at Pine Bluff, two at Benton, and at Brownsville. Of the latter, three battalions are required to guard the railroad bridges on Bayou Meto, and one is posted at Austin. This disposition prevents a deal of scouting, and gives the horses a chance to recuperate, which is very necessary, as they were nearly broken down. In fact, most of our cavalry to be remounted. I have ordered one regiment to reconnoiter as close as possible to Arkadelphia, were Price's army is supposed to be. Part of Marmaduke's cavalry is reported at Rockport, 22 miles from Benton. The people who have committed themselves in favor of the Federal Government here are quite alarmed at a report that Kirby Smith and Price have united their forces and are coming back on us. Stevenson and Crocker withdrew their divisions from Ouachita and Red Rivers at the very time they were most needed to make a demonstration. It was known at Little Rock that they had retired several days before I reached here. McPherson sent me a division under supposition that I was very much in need of re-enforcements. About the time they reached Helena, Hurlbut heard of the fall of Little Rock, and stopped them there, subject to my orders. I presume it is not expected that I will order this division forward, except in a case of emergency. I do not know whether it is intended that I shall follow up Price now, or whether it is expected that I will only hold the line of the Arkansas for the present. I shall soon have supplies enough here to enable me to make a forward movement. The railroad is now in operation to Devall's Bluff, and there is an abundance of corn in the valley of the Arkansas. There are three good grist-mills in operation at this place, and several more in the vicinity. It has been reported to me that there is considerable wheat in the country, and beef enough for some time to come. There is, from all accounts, a vast amount of cotton on Ouachita, Red, and Arkansas Rivers. A delegation of citizens from Pine Bluff waited on me and expressed a great desire that trade should be opened soon, that they might save their cotton from the