infantry regiment starts to-day. These troops generally belong to General Fisk's brigade, who will follow in a day or two, and report to you for temporary duty and to care for his troops and complete their organization. How are you as to safety?
SAML. R. CURTIS,
SAINT LOUIS, December 23, 1862.
Brigadier-General BLUNT, HERRON, and SCHOFIELD:
General Gorman, now commanding at Helena, informs me that McCulloch, with about 8,000 troops, started from Little Rock about the 10th to re-enforce Hindman. Be on the alert. Do not venture too far at present. I am trying to secure a diversion or co-operation. If necessary, fall back toward Crane Creek. General Schofield will join you soon, with full information as to my purpose.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN ARKANSAS,
Helena, December 23, 1862.
GENERAL: General Sherman, with 21,000 men from Memphis, and 13,000 more from here, got off last night from here. All well fitted out, and with thirty days' rations, which made a fleet of seventy steamers. They will land in the mouth of the Yazoo, and go up a few miles before debarking, and then strike at the railroad between Vicksburg and Grenada, cut it, if possible, and holt it; while General Banks is know to be below Vicksburg and above New Orleans. The capture of Holly Springs must be embarrassing to major Grant, but it is believed to be only temporary. I have exhausted my command to fully meet General Sherman's wishes, and I am glad to say that the general has expressed his very high satisfaction at my response. I have every part of the force to be sent from here fully ready and on board when he got here.
I am so weak in forces now that it invites attack. I have only 4,000 effective men (infantry) and 3,000 effective cavalry and twenty-four field pieces; but I am specially requested by General Grant and General Sherman to send one or two regiments of infantry and 2,000 cavalry to Friar's Point; the infantry to hold the place, while the cavalry scout and scour the country from there to the Tallahatchee, and down some distance, and for the purpose of opening communication with General Grant. This I have promised to do, and, in fact, I regard it as highly important that this be done; but this force will not remain longer than a week or ten days, if successful. I hope you have anticipated my situation, and, as you said in your dispatch of the 9th instant, "will urge a supply of new forces." I can only hover on the edge of Helena, and fight guerrillas and Texas cavalry. They drove in my pickets yesterday evening, and again this evening. I have sent a large force after them, but I cannot go far off. This force ought, by all means, to be moved to Napoleon, as I have urged before.
The admiral has not left me even one gunboat, and that invites raids at least.
General Sherman told me that he expected they would attack me