numbering 600 men. The Thirty-third Missouri Infantry was also ordered to remain here when Colonel Colburn left for Saint Louis. General Fisk on his arrival here ordered the Thirty-third Missouri to go with the expedition,and left an order for the Twenty-first Missouri to remain here. The Thirty-third Iowa arrived last night, and report the Twenty-first Missouri not on the way. Colonel Rice thinks they are not ordered down the river. I cannot hold this post with the force left, and have detained the Thirty-third Iowa until the Twenty-first Missouri arrives.
There are 5,000 horses and mules, several large warehouses filled with Government property, and other valuable stores here to be guarded. The force now here is too small for the duty.
Lieutenant Bradford, of the Second Wisconsin Cavalry, was sent back from Big Creek yesterday by Colonel Clayton, Fifth Kansas Cavalry, who, with 1,200 men, was ordered to Saint Charles. Lieutenant Bradford, with 25 men, was attacked at Lick Creek, 12 miles from here, and lost 20 men. The lieutenant and 4 men arrived about 7 p.m. last night. They report 200 rebels.
There are a great many negro men, women, and children coming into our lines since the proclamation; many are leaving their homes. I am at a loss to know what to do with them, and would be pleased to receive some instructions from you. I am also at a loss to know how much authority I have here. Can I appoint courts of inquiry to examine absent officers, general courts-martial, grant leaves of absence on surgeon's certificate, &c.; have I the power conferred on a division commander? I am left without any instructions,and have not had time, owing to a great press of business, to examine the orders I have.
I have information direct from Saint Charles there were only 600 men there on Sunday. General Gorman will find the town evacuated. I will comply with any instructions you may give me.
Mr. Yeatman, the agent of the Treasury Department, claims the exclusive control of the commerce below Memphis. He desires me to deliver to him certain lots of cotton left in wharf-boat by General Gorman, belonging to parties now up the river. I have declined to do so, on the ground that Mr. Yeatman has no power to take property in charge of the military authorities.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Twenty-five miles from the mouth of White River, January 13, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to report that, on the night of the 11th instant, I left Helena, Ark., with the army under General Gorman, and took with me the books and papers of the office of the Military Governor of this State. If General Gorman is successful in his present undertaking of which there seems to be no reasonable doubt, Devall's Bluff, on the White River, the terminus of the railroad to Little Rock, will be in possession of our army in, at farthest, a few days. The railroad to Little Rock, if obstructed, can easily be put in running order, and then the Government will have at all times of the year a sure and safe means of transportation of supplies to Little Rock during nine months of the year by the White River and railroad, from Devall's Bluff, and during