War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0025 Chapter XXXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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[DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,]

January 7, 1863.

General J. W. RIPLEY, Washington:

I want one hundred and fifty light cannon, mounted on two wheels, for arming transport boats that run on Western waters. Navy howitzers and mountain howitzers, with prairie carriage, or any similar gun, will do. Can you furnish them? Where can they be had?

SAML. R. CURTIS,

Major-General.

[DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,]

January 7, 1863.

General MEIGS, Quartermaster-General:

General Halleck says,"Arm transports as well as you can." I have telegraphed General Ripley for light cannon, and desire two for every transport boat that runs on dangerous waters. The cost is considerable, but it will not exceed the cost of a loaded boat. Arming transports will help open and keep open these rivers. Will you press the matter to a determination? I will do all I can to improvise defenses for boats.

SAML. R. CURTIS,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,

Saint Louis, January 7, 1863.

Brigadier General CLINTON B. FISK,

Columbus, Ky.:

GENERAL: I telegraphed General Halleck some days ago protesting against sending my forces, which I had temporarily detailed for duty at Columbus, to the lines of General Grant below. General Halleck replied yesterday that Grant would probably get along without you. Some of the force may be needed to assist in disposing of Jeff. Thompson, who still manages to annoy the people about Bloomington and Pocahontas. If we could move interiorly from New Madrid, and move down from Van Buren at the same time, we could bag Thompson or give him a hard chase. Much depends on the feasibility of getting through toward Pocahontas from New Madrid. Scott's forces ought to go back. They have learned something of the country. Carr reports Scott as having disobeyed orders and behaved cowardly, and demands his arrest. Scott says you wrote him I would approve. The thing looks as though he sought orders conflicting with those I directed General Carr to give him, and therefore went to Columbus instead of going to New Madrid from Cape Girardeau. It is not necessary to hurry matters very much from Columbus until we hear of the final result at Vicksburg, as we can get no boats to help us move from Helena until that crisis is over. Every gunboat is employed, and we cannot go up White River or the Arkansas without gunboat assistance, or boats pretty well defended like gunboats. General Strong is here in good health and high spirits, as you always see him. He speaks often of you and Mr. Fisk, who he desires much to see, as we all do. I am trying to get the Government to adopt my urgent request, made last August, to arm all the transport boats that run on our Western waters. They are beginning to see the necessity, and General Halleck says, "Arm them as well as