DECEMBER 12, 1862.-For Sherman to Gorman, in reference to Vicksburg expedition, see Series I, Vol. XVII, Part II, p. 402.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, December 12, 1862.
Brigadier General FITZ HENRY WARREN, Houston;
GENERAL: Our movements in Southeast Missouri are still suspended to await other more important ones. The return of the rebels on General Blunt somewhat disconcerted my plans, but your position is the more important since the Army of the Frontier has moved so far away. The mutations now projected must influence my plans, and I cannot therefore determine anything for you or myself. The only was is to be always ready to move. I am procuring additional trains at Pilot Knob, which I expect to turn to your account as a supply train, for I still contemplate a junction below, perhaps at Mountain Store, as you suggested. Fredericksburg was taken yesterday, and we suppose fighting is going on to-day, but no dispatches are received when we most need them. I was glad to get the report from the Iowa deserter. I wish you had given dates of the times he was at different places. It corroborates reports of others. Send out cavalry to ascertain Burbridge's movements. Thompson is reported southeast from Pilot Knob, and Davidson, with cavalry, after him. Keep me informed of everything. I have ordered a change of regiments, so as to put an Iowa regiment in place of the Missouri troops. The down -rive move is pretty well prepared to make a demonstration on Vicksburg. I hope Burnside is pressing "on to Richmond," but we have had so many miscarriages in that direction one dare not hardly hope for good news.
I am, general, very truly, yours,
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HDQRS. 2nd AND 3rd DIVISIONS, ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,
Camp Prairie Grove, December 13, 1862.
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,
Saint Louis, Mo.:
I do not think our wounded could be carried back with safety to themselves. They are very comfortably fixed at Fayetteville in good houses, but I want sanitary goods. I have established a post there, Colonel Wickersham commanding. I have telegraphed Colonel McFarland's friends to bring a coffin that he can be removed in. The weather is too mild here to permit its being done without a metallic coffin. All of our officers have been neatly buried at Fayetteville. In my opinion the telegraph should be put at once to Fayetteville; the cost is trifling, even if for a few weeks' service. Our cavalry are now out on all the roads leading south. A portion of Hindman's force crossed the river at Van Buren, but he has a camp at Dripping Springs, 7 miles this side of Van Buren. One of my spies in last night states that he is expecting the Little Rock force to his assistance, and will give us another turn. The deserters coming in state that Hindman is terribly afraid of my command, and says I have forty Parrott guns. Hindman has been communicating with General Blunt daily since the fifth, and pitches into me severely. I can hear nothing definite in regard to the Arkansas River, except that boats are running to Little Rock.