checked, supporters of the Government, without regard to previous political opinions, will be down-trodden and driven from the county by secessionists under the garb of democracy.
Again we pray your honor to give us a brigadier of the type of Ben. Loan, and under officers to suit, that we may serve our country without being unjustly oppressive to any; otherwise our future is dark.
Believing that you have information from others also how matters have been going in this district, I subscribe myself, with much respect, your obedient servant,
T. H. COLLINS,
SAINT LOUIS, February 23, 1863.
This is a specimen letter coming in from all corners of the State. I consider it necessary to have some reliable United States troops in every district to keep the peace in States that have been infested with rebel forces.
This is respectfully forwarded, for the information of the Commanding General, Washington.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HDQRS. 12TH DIV., 13TH A. C., DEPT. OF THE TENNESSEE,
Helena, February 13, 1863.
Major- General CURTIS,
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of an order issued by Major- General Grant, commanding the Department of the Tennessee, reorganizing into divisions and brigades the troops in your department at Helena.*
I have the honor also to inform you that Brigadier- General Prentiss, of the Department of the Tennessee, has been assigned by General Grant to the command of this district.
Since the arrival of General Prentiss, he has assigned me to the command of all three divisions for all military purposes. General Halleck's order directed General Grant (a copy of which I herewith inclose+) to assume command of all your forces within the reach of orders temporarily.
Now, the question which I desire to present to you is whether any one but General Halleck can reorganize the troops in your department, and assign a general belonging to another department to command those in yours!
General Prentiss was ordered to report to the general commanding the Department of the Tennessee; I was ordered to report to the general commanding the Department of the Missouri. I learn that there are doubts at headquarters as to the authority to make this change. By making the organization, and placing it in General McClernand's army corps, it evidently looks to permanency.
In addition to this, General Ross, of the Department of the Tennessee, has been sent here to take command of a division, and, as he ranks General Hovey some three days, it compels Hovey to go back to the command of a brigade, while General Washburn, who is junior to General Hovey by nearly one year, is placed in command of a division of
*See Series I, Vol. XXXIV, Part II, p.- +See p.65.