here, as he knew it to be their plan ten days since, to come in behind Grant, and behind me, or attack us, and then try to get to Memphis. Therefore, as a matter of caution, and justice to this force and myself, I hope you will order more force here, say General Davidson's command, and that they come by way of Crowley's Ridge or by Saint Louis. At all events, if I am to do any more than lay here in this wonderfully muddy hole, I must have another division of infantry, when I can go to Post Arkansas and Little Rock, if ordered.
I am, general, your truly,
W. A. GORMAN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, December 23, 1862.
Brigadier General W. A. GORMAN, Helena, Ark.:
GENERAL: I am in receipt of yours of the 15th instant, giving an account of the assault on and capture of our pickets, 23 in number. I hope it will prove a warning to our pickets, although it cost us dearly. Neighborhoods should be held responsible for such rascality. The citizens must know of such incursions, and, if they conceal, deserve vengeance.
I am also in receipt of yours of the 19th, giving the movements of McCulloch to re-enforce Hindman. I have telegraphed General Blunt to put him on his guard. I understand the own-river move is starting. Celerity of movement is of great importance, but I hope precautions against assaults from the shore will also be carefully provided for. There has been so much newspaper spread-eagle talk about the down-river move, I fear it is anticipated by overwhelming forces. I have been required to re-enforce Columbus, and have, therefore, stopped some of General Blair's and other troops to take care of General Grant's rear. I am really afraid I will be too much crippled to do anything in my own department. Everybody draws on me.
I suppose you are pretty well posted as to my plans. I have now the cordial support of everybody at Washington, according to these moves, but the raid on the railroads in Tennessee may require some change or delay.
Keep me informed of everything, and I will do all in my power to strengthen and support you.
It is still raining and the streams are rising; all which I hope will prosper our down-river movements.
I have not heard from General Blunt for several days, owing to the storms having destroyed the telegraph lines.
Davidson has been delayed because of a great flood, which carried off our bridges, but I am adopting a more favorable line.
I am, general, very truly, yours,
SAML. R. CURTIS,
[DECEMBER 23, 1862.- For Gorman to Grant, in reference to expedition to the Tallahatchee River, Mississippi, see Series I, Vol. XVII, Part II, p. 464.]