announcing the defeat of Marmaduke by Brown, was received last night, and, in accordance with your order, I have sent all my cavalry to Yellville, and thence across White River, to follow up Marmaduke. A spy just in states that it was Marmaduke's intention to go from Springfield to West Plains, and thence to Pocahontas,or near there. The people here know but little about his movement, he having passe through very rapidly. Should he take the route above named we cannot intercept him, but if he should come nearer to the river they we may. It was my intention last night to have gone in command of the cavalry myself, but for the last four days I have been quite unwell, and to-day am feeling terribly. The surgeon says I will have a severe attack of fever. I have been compelled to ride in an ambulance from Huntsville to this place. Colonel Gower will command the cavalry, and will take with him about 2,000 men. I have given him full instructions, and feel confident that he will do the best that can be done.
It will take three days to march the infantry and train from here to Yellville, and I shall, therefore, hold them here until further orders.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. J. HERRON,
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,
On the road, at Black's Mill, January 12, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel MARSH, Chief of Staff:
I am just in receipt of a not from the general which satisfies me I have made a great mistake in road. I went via Bentonville, supposing that it was desired for some reason that I should go there, the Bentonville road being mentioned. I was confirmed in this construction by the fact that the same letter ordered me to send my empty wagons, intended for Springfield, to Keytesville, and Colonel Cloud's brigade would act as convoy. Colonel Cloud had previously been sent to Mudtown (under your order), and I inferred you knew his whereabouts when I received your order to march to Huntsville, because simultaneously with it I received a note from Colonel Cloud informing me that you had ordered him directly to Keytesville. Putting it all together, I concluded that for some purpose I was to go to Bentonville, and thus would meet Colonel Cloud or a detail as convoy; otherwise the trains would have had no convoy from Elm Springs. I suffer much for want of guides or a map, nor can I procure either.
Your dispatch of yesterday reached me at Bentonville, where my whole command did not arrive till midnight. I am now somewhat detained by an application from Colonel Phillips for rations out of the Fort Scott train. He says he left it pass him. He send me your letter, authorizing him to take rations out of it, and says he will suffer unless so supplied. I have, therefore, sent him twenty-two wagon-loads, with instructions to unload and send them to Elkhorn, to be turned over to the post commander there, so as to be used on the Springfield road. Should you desire a different disposition of them, Colonel Phillips will have to be informed.
I also send, as desired, some thirty wagon-loads of commissary stores to Fayetteville. All this delays me, as I have to halt and change the loads. I am, however, hurrying the batteries and wagons to White River, some 4 miles distant, in order to cross before night or morning.