out of the difficulty. It is of no use to have Pilot Knob as a base for this army any longer. The roads are absolutely impassable. The train which left my camp at Van Buren, on the 2nd of January, has not, the greater part of it, gotten up to Thomasville yet. I have ordered packsaddles to Rolla. I shall send back, say 100 of the worst wagons to be repaired, and pack the mules of them with coffee, sugar, salt, bacon, and some bread. The country is poor, but I will get what beef and pork and mean can be got out of it. I have sent for portable corn mills and shellers and sieves and bags. The capacity of these mills is such (so I am informed) that two of them will grind for every 8,000 months.
General Warren writes me he could not move before the 28th. I have given him that much grace.
I am sending an expedition to Pocahontas from here, under Colonel Waring, with orders to sweep the lower settlements of Eleven Point River, and if any troops are in Pocahontas to shell the town, and make it unsatisfactory as a nest of traitors again.
Major Pomeroy returned from his scout on Marmaduke's rear, bringing in some prisoners, and destroyed a mill and a tannery on Bennett's River, Arkansas. The prisoners all say Marmaduke has gone to Oil Through Bottom, where Hindman is said to be also. The roads here have no bottom, and it is raining now heavily. I would rather fight quadruple my number (for I have good regiments) every day than this mud one day's march.
I am, general, most truly and respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. W. DAVIDSON,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE FRONTIER, Springfield, January 27, 1863.
Colonel J. O. GOWER,
Commanding Third Division, Forsyth, Mo.:
COLONEL: You will please move your division toward Vera Cruz, by the Ozark and Vera Cruz road, without delay. I am informed that the usual route is north on the Ozark road, nearly to the latter place, and thence northeast until you strike the road leading east from Ozark. You may find a practicable road running northeast from Forsyth either east or west of Swan Creek and intersecting the Ozark and Vera Cruz road. If so, you will save a day's march by taking such road. Take whichever you learn to be most practicable. Inform me every day of your location and movements and whatever else may be of importance. Your movements should be as rapid as consistent with keeping your animals in serviceable condition.
Colonel Huston's division will follow you from Ozark, one or two days' march in your rear. Keep him informed of everything you may learn which will facilitate his movements, such as the places where forage can be obtained, &c.
A train will be sent you on the 29th containing breadstuffs, clothing, &c. It will be directed to meet you at the point where you strike the Ozark and Vera Cruz road. The chief quartermaster and commissary will give directions as to the disposition of this and other trains. Send forward a messenger to direct the train where to meet you.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,