HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, December 22, 1862.
Brigadier General W. A. GORMAN, Helena, Ark.:
GENERAL: I suppose my former letters advise you fully of my plans. Helena must be held as my main river depot, it being the only high land below Cape Girardeau, on the west side of the river. All other points are overflowed and may be so for twenty days, for the rains, thank fortune, are beginning to fall.
I have also explained to you my objects so far as clearing out Northern Arkansas are concerned. Your interior movement is for that purpose. Little Rock may be an incident, but I want to drive the rebels from the north side first of all things, my immediate object being to prevent the Austin force joining Hindman.
General Blair's forces must go with General Sherman's force to make up the 12,000, which is all I can spare of I do anything interior, as I am trying to do. This is the more necessary, as i am now obliged to re-enforce Columbus. Twelve thousand is the whole number to go in down-river column. The remainder must hold Helena, and work west slowly and cautiously, as I wrote you recently, to wait, if need be, other re-enforcements, which I will send; or to fall back and re-enforce down-river or up-river movements, if circumstances require. The rains will probably render the roads bad, and I understand the bridges have been burned west of Helena; still, the teams and artillery will have to move by land, as I cannot get boats enough. I am sending, however, a lot of light-draught boats suitable for White and Arkansas Rivers.
I am, general, in haste, very truly yours,
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF TENNESSEE, Numbers 14.
Holly Springs, Miss., December 22, 1862.
By direction of the General-in-Chief of the Army, the troops in this department, including those of the Department of the Missouri operating on the Mississippi River, are hereby divided into four army corps, as follows:
1st. The troops composing the Ninth Division, Brigadier General G. W. Morgan commanding; the Tenth Division, Brigadier General A. J. Smith commanding, and all other troops operating on the Mississippi River below Memphis included in the Fifteen Army Corps, will constitute the Thirteenth Army Corps, under the command of Major General John A. McClernand.
2nd. The Fifth Division, Brigadier General Morgan L. Smith commanding; the division from Helena, Ark., commanded by Brigadier General F. Steele, and the forces in the District of Memphis, will constitute the Fifteen Army Corps, and be commanded by Major General W. T. Sherman.
* * * * * * *
By order of Major General U. S. Grant:
JNO. A. RAWLINES,
SAINT LOUIS, December 23, 1862.
General DAVIES, Columbus:
I started two infantry regiments and a cavalry company, with howitzers, last evening; they ought to reach you this evening. Another