ROLLA, April 7, 1863.
Major-General CURTIS, Saint Louis, Mo.:
My idea was not for Cloud to leave Springfield, but to co-operate with Weer to such extent that he will not have to abandon Forsyth without it is absolutely necessary. Should they leave Forsyth out troops at Fayetteville would have to abandon that point. Had Weer retained the whole division with him all would have been well. My accounts represent Marmaduke's force at from 2,500 to 3,000 cavalry and five pieces of artillery. This is corroborated every day. Colonel Cloud telegraphs to-day that Marmaduke is not on the north side of the river. I will bring Weer back to Forsyth at once. What is to be done about the First Division? Colonel Ewing will explain the condition of affairs to you.
F. J. HERRON,
HEADQUARTERS IN THE FIELD,
Camp Lane, 10 miles southwest of Evansville, April 8, 1863.
I am 33 miles from Van Buren. The enemy were crossing the river to take off stock. I have sent a large scout, under Major Foreman, to drive the stock in the valley up the Gibson. We drove their scouts back yesterday. The train of refugees is at Park Hill. I shall go there and put matters in shape immediately; shall then drive the enemy from the south bank of the river, as that will be the only way to keep them from scouting in. No forage. Refuges all need to be fed. Department of the Interior should send some food. The part of Arkansas adjoining is exhausted of wheat or corn. The enemy are evidently determined to contest for Fort Smith. The Arkansas troops, until equipped, are unable to furnish me a man to go outside of Fayetteville. Would like to have them in shape, and a white regiment to garrison Fort Smith, and I can take it myself. It will be slow recruiting among the Cochtaws until I take it. Curtis telegraphed me not to cross the river. I must cross to raise the two regiments, if it should be but to drive them away from Fort Smith and Canadian and recross. The enemy about Fort Smith are reported 6,000 strong.
WM. A. PHILLIPS,
[DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,]
April 8, 1863.
General HERRON, Rolla:
I am not particular how you arrange your force about Forsyth, so it is not liable to be overpowered. I would like to hold Forsyth, but if that point cannot be held safely, it will be necessary to bring the First Division orth and near enough to Springfield to support that point. Probably Linn Creek would be a good place. We must be where feed can be had, and at the same time we must try to check raids and protect people as well as we can. I am informed Price is on this side of the Mississippi, trying to recruit an army. Kirby Smith was at Little Rock