than of a division in the field, I am informed in substance that such suggestions are unnecessary and even impertinent.
I certainly desire to do my duty as an officer, and when, in my opinion, this duty requires it, I do not hesitate to state, officially, facts, however, disagreeable, concerning those officially connected with me. If,however, my views of what is required for the good of the public service, as connected with my command, are to be received with an intimation that I am meddling with the affairs of others, I must, in self-defense, hold my peace, or at least reserve the expression of my views for those who will treat them with the respect due their sincerity, whether they be wise or unwise, necessary or unnecessary.
Hereafter, general,as heretofore, I shall cheerfully endeavor to carry out to the fullest extent in my power whatever orders you may give me, but I cannot again place myself in position, by making suggestions to my superior, to have my views received with expressions of contempt. I will endeavor, general, to limit my communications to matters which cannot possibly wound the feelings, official or personal, which you may entertain toward any officer of my command.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN ARKANSAS,
Helena, January 3, 1863.
Commanding Department of Missouri, Saint Louis:
GENERAL: Yours of December 29, 1862, was received by the hands of General Vandever this day, by which I am informed that you had received my dispatch of the 23rd, also my subsequent dispatch of the 25th, by Lieutenant [William M.] Stimpson, and by the latter officer I received yours of December 30, addressed to Colonel Chipman, opened by him, and sent forward on his way to Columbus and Cairo, where he went by special dispatch boat to communicate with you by telegram, and to hasten General Fisk's brigade from Columbus to this point, if possible. The draft of General Grant upon this force has left me without force enough to attack the enemy at any vital point. The tri-monthly reports sent you show my strength in detail.
The reason I sent 13,000 instead of 12,000 men is explained by the fact that General Blair had a sort of roving commission, and insisted upon taking his entire brigade, and I would have been compelled to break up General Steele's division or General Blair's brigade to have made the number exact. As it was, perhaps, after deducting the hangers on and inefficient, there was not more than a fraction over 12,000. I felt also that it would gratify you that I had so thoroughly responded to General Grant's wishes, a desire which you had indicated in all your letters.
The stampede about Columbus and on the river above seems to have been more fussy than formidable. Before any of your guns are spiked in this section, I promise you somebody shall be hurt.
There are now lying at the wharf 25 steamers, 8 loaded with commissary stores and supplies for the army at Vicksburg; 6 traders' boats; all the rest light-draught and of small capacity; 1 ordnance boat and I commissary boat. I can use the traders' boats, as I will if necessary. I am shipping to Saint Louis all the condemned mules and horses, extra transportation and surplus quartermaster's property, and all the very