and threatened Little Rock, if you had not been so decidedly in favor of the White River for permanent occupation. General A. P. Hovey and General Washburg fully approve this plan. Were it not that the Mississippi was rising very rapidly, and White River very high, I might land at Prairie Landing, which is some 12 or 15 miles from Old Post; but the flat lands for 2 miles are entirely overflowed, making it impossible to debark there. After getting to Saint Charles, if Admiral Porter sends me gunboats enough, I may find it most desirable to push up my force and take Devall's Bluff.
I am very impatient to get off, and, but for supporting General Sherman at Vicksburg with such a heavy force, I should have been half way to Little Rock, and this would have compelled the evacuation of Saint Charles, Devall's Bluff, Cotton Plant, and, in fact, all rebel forces east of the Arkansas River.
Had you not desired to hold this post, I should have left it in care of a gunboat. Before this reaches you, Colonel Chipman will have communicated with you, and given you my views more in detail. Let me hear from you; but I shall move when I get ready without further orders, unless surrounding events prevent or counter orders are received before I get off.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. A. GORMAN,
PRIVATE.] HDQRS. DISTRICT OF EASTERN ARKANSAS,
Helena, January 3, 1863.
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS:
GENERAL: Allow me to devote one letter to cotton and commerce. This river from here to Memphis is lines with cotton speculators. The people of Mississippi and Arkansas are being supplied with salt, flour, pork, bacon, coffee, quinine, shoes, boots, hats, caps, shirts, drawers, socks, whisky, mackerel, cheese, and a thousand and one other such things, all of which are cleared and permitted by Mr. Yeatman, special agent of the Treasury Department, at Memphis, six-tenths of which pass into the hands of the public enemy.
These things don't come here by stint, but by hundreds and thousands of barrels, boxes, casks, and packages. One single boat landed here day before yesterday with 100 barrels whisky and 35 bottles of quinine. The blockade of the Atlantic coast has no terrors for rebels. From here to Memphis, guerrillas line the shore, and are as familiar with traders as if they had sent for their goods. Without a corrective is soon applied to their shipments from Memphis, the public enemy will be as well supplied with all the necessaries of life as the citizens of the loyal States. The guerrillas act as commissaries to the interior. This may be the policy of the Government, but, if so, we are feeding them with one hand and fighting them with the other.
I will copy and forward you a few of the manifest permitted and cleared from the Board of Trade and Mr. Yeatman, special agent of the Treasury Department, and in some cases permitted and cleared by the Treasury officers in Saint Louis. If these contraband articles came here only in small quantities, and to special families, it might not be so obnoxious. But until this river is clear of the public enemy, I would not allow them a pound of meat or a stitch of clothing, until the well-