HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Saint Louis, January 21, 1863.
Commanding Army of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: Arkadelphia, at the head of navigation on the Washita River, 70 or 80 miles southwest from Little-Rock, and 65 miles north of Monroe, Ark., is the great store-house and arsenal of the rebels in the west. They have the manufactories for guns, ammunition,and clothing, besides large supplies of various sorts. It generally has but a small garrison. That point, it is said, can be reached by a good road from Gaines' Landing, on the Mississippi, in 87 miles, a point 21 miles below Napoleon. If a dash could be made on Arkadelphia, it would terribly disconcert and cripple the rebels of the Trans-Mississippi. If you should have time, I recommend the matter to your favorable consideration. A strong force, to prevent flank movements, should go out 40 or 50 miles, and a force of cavalry and light artillery should do the rest in about eight days. I fear the swamps in the eastern part of the route may embarrass this undertaking. As I have ordered General Gorman, so I recommend to you: We must dafter everything to the opening of the Mississippi.
I am, general, very truly, your obedient servant,
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF THE FRONTIER, Camp on White River, January 21, 1863.
Colonel WILLIAM R. JUDSON,
Commanding First Brigade:
COLONEL: We are crossing White River very slowly, but it is falling very fast. As you have plenty of forage at War Eagle, I think you had better stay there to-morrow, though cross over on this side. Start very early next day, as I think we will get completely over to-morrow. Please have the commissary train on the other side of War Eagle, as I want to get out of it some rations for Colonel Huston, who is in your rear. When the rations are taken out,then bring it across to your camp. I send a letter to Colonel Huston, which please forward to him to-night, if possible. He is back at our old camp. I have asked him to send his own wagons up to War Eagle to get the supplies he wants. Mr. Bissell, who represents the commissary, leaves in the morning for your camp to superintend the issue.
Colonel, Commanding Division.
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 22, 1863.
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,
Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: The order relating to provost-marshal was transmitted by me precisely as I received it from the Secretary of War. I shall lay before him your protests of the 14th and 15th,* with inclosed papers, and
*Probably reference is to communications of 15th and 17th.