troops. Colonel Weer's command is a few miles west of Mount Vernon, and will probably remain in that vicinity as long as forage can be obtained. The Second Division is near Hartville, and the Third has gone east to about the limit of your district. I have still a considerable force at Forsyth and a battalion of cavalry at Cassville. I would much like to have the latter relieved by some of your troops, if practicable, so as to avoid too great separation of the battalion from the division to which it belongs. I would also ask you to relieve the force at Forsyth, but I presume you have not the subject of your letter as soon as I obtain it.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
[DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,]
March 7, 1863.
Colonel PHILLIPS, Fayetteville:
Fort Smith is no account to us till we get the entire commerce of the river. If you get boats, destroy them, as the enemy is probably too strong on the south side for your force to hold the navigation. No force could have crossed into Arkansas at Vicksburg. It is not certain that Price has come over. Marmaduke is near Batesville, or was a few days since. He has 3,000 or 4,000 troops.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, March 9, 1863.
Brigadier General B. M. PRENTISS,
Commanding Eastern Arkansas, Helena:
DEAR GENERAL: Yours of the 28th, with a boat- load of contraband negroes, is duly received. I have more of these, unfortunately, than I know what to do with. The State of Missouri must not be made the depot for the paupers of Arkansas, and it is not a safe way of disposing of free negroes, because the laws of this State are such as to endanger the freedom of persons of African descent. I know the subject is troublesome and perplexing, but I respectfully suggest that you only transfer it by sending the negroes to my command. I would be glad to relieve you of difficulty, but it is out of my power. I will have to send back if you repeat the shipments.
I am, general, very respectfully, and truly, your friend and obedient servant,
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF KANSAS,
In the Field, Fort Scott, March 9, 1863.
Colonel WILLIAM A. PHILLIPS, Commanding Indian Brigade:
DEAR COLONEL: On my arrival here, I found several dispatches from you, relating to affairs in Western Arkansas and the Indian Territory, and also obtained information from Dr. Gillpatrick, corroborating your statements.
I am highly gratified at the result of your efforts to hold your ad