Keep your troops well in hand, that they may not be cut off in detail, and that they may be concentrated at any given point without delay or confusion.
Major Henning, Third Wisconsin Cavalry, provost-marshal for the District of Kansas South of the Kansas River, will from time to time, issue such orders to you as he may deem necessary in relation to the disposition of your forces, &c.
You will immediately, on receipt of this order, report by letter to Major Henning, stating your force, station, &c.
By order of Brigadier-General Blunt:
Washington, December 19, 1862 - 10.10 a. m.
Major-General CURTIS, Saint Louis, Mo.:
Honorable W. A. Hall, member of Congress here, tells me, and Governor Gamble telegraphs me, that quiet can be maintained in all the counties north of the Missouri River by the Enrolled Militia. Confer with Governor Gamble and telegraph me.
SAINT LOUIS, December 19, 1862.
President ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Washington:
Only two skeleton regiments, United States troops, north of the river. The Governor is absent. Some Enrolled Militia; not so reliable. I will write you.*
SAML. R. CURTIS,
SAINT LOUIS, MO., December 19, 1862 - 1 p. m.
(Received 7 p. m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
In answer to yours of yesterday, I proposed to furnish all General Sherman calls for from Helena - 12,000 - leaving about 13,000 to operate in Arkansas. This last force I propose to move cautiously till the down-river move is accomplished. Blunt's force in Arkansas - about 18,000 - is still at the north base of Boston Mountains, scouts extending near to Arkansas River. I wish to draw these forces toward each other as fast as circumstances will permit. A move from Helena will prevent Holmes and Hindman massing forces against Blunt, if nothing more, and must go cautiously, awaiting the move and return of down-river force. Will this plan suit you?
SAML. R. CURTIS,
* See p. 853.