about 18 miles south of west of Camden; has with him, or in that vicinity, McRae's, Parsons', Frost's, and probably Tappan's brigades, with the same artillery that he had at Little Rock. Fagan and "Texas" [W. H.] Parsons are at Camden, with about 1,000 infantry, 800 cavalry, and several pieces of artillery. A number of conscripts, returned deserters, and State troops are under his command, but widely scattered through the country, on outpost and foraging service. "Texas" Parsons was at Mount Elba, on the Saline, a few days before I reached Princeton, but had returned with his command to Camden.
On the 4th, General Fagan came up to the camp below Princeton, and thence to Tulip, where he staid about half an hour. I could not discover the object of his visit. He returned next day to Camden.
The country is full of rumors of an advance in the direction of Benton and Little Rock, but I did not discover any signs of any serious intention to do so.
The enemy are engaged in building one or more pontoon bridges at Camden, but this is probably simply a precaution against the rise of the Washita.
Marmaduke's headquarters were said to be at Clear Spring, 17 miles west of Arkadelphia, and 6 miles south of the road from Arkadelphia to Washington. His command was reported to be at various points in that section of country; nothing, so far as I could learn reliably (except a small outpost on the Caddo and one at Arkadelphia), nearer than the body with him at headquarters.
The Washita was rising slowly and the sky threatening rain when I reached Rockport, on my return, and I feared, if I crossed, the stream would become impassable before I could get back.
The whole force of the enemy, from what I could gather, I take to be about 13,000 to 15,000 effective men, including Marmaduke's command, and all armed. Many of them are conscripts and raw State troops, which can hardly be called effective, and little likely to become so.
I have prepared a careful sketch of the road, from notes taken while on the march. This is taken without instruments, and with only such appliances and facilities as could be used on the march; but is, as far as may be under these drawbacks, accurate. The sketch will be forwarded, and a general description of the road and country, as soon as I can procure proper paper upon which to make it.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade, Cavalry Division.
Colonel F. H. MANTER, Chief of Staff.
P. S.- List of killed and wounded: William McChesney, private Company D, First Iowa Cavalry, severely wounded in shoulder; arm amputated.
DECEMBER 9-19, 1863.- Scouts from Houston, Mo.
Report of Captain Richard Murphy, Fifth Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
HDQRS. DETACHMENT FIFTH MISSOURI S. M. CAVALRY,
Houston, Mo., December 20, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following as my report, required by General Orders, Numbers 23, from District Headquarters, dated November 24, 1863, for the week ending December 20, 1863:
December 9, 1863, Lieutenant Boyd, Company I, Sixth Provisional