Captain Brawner reports that Quantrill came within about 8 miles of Newtonia, having then about 1,000 men, with whom he intended attacking Colonel Philips, but learning of the prospect of having a greater force to contend against, he disbanded his main force, with the understanding that they should meet again on Sauk Creek, whither he had gone with some 200 of his men. I send you a messenger from Berryville, Ark., with information of an engagement between Captain Mack and Youngblood, First Arkansas Cavalry, and some 300 Home Guards (rebels). He brings the rumor that Hindman's command was ordered to Texas, the rebels anticipating work in that quarter. If this be true, it explains previous reports of that force having crossed the Arkansas River at Van Buren.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Second Division.
[NOVEMBER 27, 1862.- For Steele to Curtis, announcing departure of expedition from Helena, see Series I, Vol. XVII, Part I, p. 529.]
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST, Numbers 20.
Milwaukee, Wis., November 27, 1862.
Brigadier General W. L. Elliott, U. S. Volunteers, will repair to Madison, Wis., and assume command of the Department of the Northwest during the absence of the major-general commanding.
WASHINGTON, November 28, 1862.
Brigadier General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,
MY DEAR GENERAL: Yours from Springfield of the 18th is just received.* I am as much dissatisfied and discouraged at the non-action of our troops in Arkansas. If the campaign had been carried out as I directed, there would have ben no very serious trouble in Missouri; but it seems there were too many private axes to grind. I hope for a remedy, but when it will come is uncertain. If you could be here a few weeks you would see how difficult it is to resist political wire-pulling in miliary appointments. Every Governor, Senator, and Member of Congress has his pet generals to be provided with separate and independent commands. I am sick and tired of this political military life. The number of enemies which I have made because I would not yield my own convictions of right is already legion. If they would only follow the example of their ancestors, enter and herd of swine, run down some steep bank and drown themselves in the sea, there would be some hope of saving the country.
Rest assured, general, your services are appreciated, and will not be overlooked. I have already presented your name to the Department, and will again urge it on the first opportunity. There are, however,