FAYETTEVILLE, ARK., January 1, 1863.
Your dispatch of the 29th was received last night. I will be ready to move to-morrow,as you may direct, but will await your reply to my dispatch of yesterday, suggesting a movement eastward. It is evident that another advance of the enemy cannot be made as far west as this place. He cannot supply his army west of the Ozark and Hunstville line, and probably not there. I might move as far east as Huntsville, and then, if necessary, north from that point. The enemy would not dare to move north via Yellville or Carrollton, with my force at Huntsville. There would be some difficulty in getting supplies from Springfield, but it could be done. I have no information of Hindman's force, later than that obtained by Generals Blunt and Herron, at Van Buren. They are convinced that McCulloch had come up, but started back the day before their arrival. A retreat had been determined on before the attack by our troops. Whether the rebels are going below Little Rock or intend to advance on some line east of here remains to be determined. I propose to leave in this part of Arkansas a small brigade, composed of the Indians and the Arkansas cavalry, which will be sufficient to take care of it and the Indian Territory. The remainder of the Kansas Division can be spared for an eastward movement. General Blunt concurs with me in this opinion.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
FAYETTEVILLE, January 1, 1863.
General Blunt desires to go to Leavenworth to attend to business connected,with his district. I do not feel at liberty to withhold my consent, since, as district commanders, he is independent of me. He can, doubtless, be spared better now than a month hence. If General Blunt is to retain command of his division, it seems to me that it will be necessary to place the Kansas district under some other officers, or, if he is to retain command of the district, he should be relieved from that of the division in the field. The latter would, I believe, be the wiser arrangement of the two. The operations of the army, since I left it, have been a series of blunders, from which it narrowly escaped disaster where it should have met with complete success. At Prairie Grove Blunt and Herron were badly beaten in detail, and owed their escape to a false report of my arrival with re-enforcements. I state this simply as a fact which it is my duty to let you know, without intending to pass censure upon any officer. This it would be improper forme to do without seeing their official reports, which I have not.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
Washington, January 2, 1863.
MY DEAR SIR: Yours of December 29, by the hand of Mr. Strong, is just received. The day I telegraphed you suspending the order in relation to Dr. McPheters, he, with Mr. Bates, the Attorney General, appeared before me and left with me a copy of the order mentioned. The doctor also showed me the copy of an oath which he said