SAINT LOUIS, January 29, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded to headquarters. I have great fears that we will be troubled more after the large payments now being made to troops, and it would, indeed, be well if any new vigilance versus desertions could be invented.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HEADQUARTERS POST, Fayetteville, Ark., January 27, 1863.
Honorable JOHN S. PHELPS,
Military Governor of Arkansas, Planter's House, Saint Louis, Mo.:
An enthusiastic Union meeting was held here to-day; 1,000 Arkansas Union men present, exclusive of Arkansas troops stationed at this post. Patriotic speeches were made by Dr. Johnson,of Huntsville, Lieutenant Colonel A. W. Bishop, First Arkansas Cavalry, and Captain Searle, of the Tenth Illinois Cavalry. The people are signing a petition, asking Congress to order an election for member of Congress in Western Arkansas. Fifteen Home Guard companies ask to be organized as militia for home defense. Dr. Johnson can raise his infantry regiment from these organizations. All who have arms have turned them over to the ordnance officer at this post, for use in case they are needed. I have six hundred stand of Government arms here. I most earnestly ask you to petition General Curtis to allow Dr. Johnson to take command of these men and use them an auxiliaries until his command is full, and to let me issue to Dr. Johnson some arms and ammunition. These men will require no pay, and only a little sugar, salt, and coffee, and will be a bulwark here in raising volunteer regiments.
A Union meeting will be held at Huntsville on Saturday.
Dr. Johnson concurs with me,and desires you to give this request your consideration.
M. LA RUE HARRISON,
Colonel, Commanding Post
HEADQUARTERS CENTRAL DISTRICT OF MISSOURI, Jefferson City, Mo., January 27, 1863.
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS:
GENERAL: The letter addressed to Honorable Thomas Price, of date 4th instant, and indorsed by the President to you, under date of the 16th instant, and by you referred to me for a statement of facts, is just received.
In assuming command of this district, in September last, I found many disloyalists, with passes from the provost-marshal, and sometimes from other military officials in Saint Louis, engaged in trade, generally purchasing stock for the Government, as they said. These men were found in all parts of the district. I have reason to believe that they visited the camps of Quantrill and of other guerilla chieftains to purchase the stock their bands had stolen from loyal citizens. These traders hung around the post where Federal soldiers were stationed, and purchased stock from which should have been either returned to the owners thereof or been reported to the proper officers as contraband. In a word, I found the country being ruined by the contraband