ROLLA, MO., April 20, 1863.
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,
Saint Louis, Mo.:
Would it not be best to advance the cavalry of both divisions as far as Centreville? I can send 3,000 cavalry and one battery, under General Vandever, to that place, leaving the infantry here. There is no forage about Salem, and the command cannot subsist there until spring is further advanced. Your latest telegram is just received. Orders all issued to move at once. General Vandever goes in command. If you think the infantry had better move, please telegraph.
F. J. HERRON,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION,
Springfield, Mo., April 20, 1863.
Major General F. J. HERRON:
I rode last night from Forsyth, to get in closer communication with you. My last forage train arrived before I left. I became convinced that I could not subsist my animals any longer at Forsyth. I was compelled to make trips for forage which consumed ten to twelve days. South of the region I foraged in subsistence could be had, but it was too far; the danger of starvation was imminent. I therefore started all the transportation and the battery to Springfield last evening. They will be here to-morrow. The cavalry and two mountain howitzers I have sent south, with such instructions as will not only effectually ascertain the approach of an enemy to Forsyth or Springfield, but will insure the destruction of the guerrilla bands that inhabit the region at yellville. Two of my men taken prisoners were inhumanly butchered. The place will probably be destroyed. This matter demands and explanation from marmaduke. I will write, by mail, particulars. I have left at Forsyth two regiments of infantry (Nineteenth Iowa and Ninth Wisconsin), but without transportation or camp and garrison equipage. I can subsist my command at Springfield much easier than at Forsyth, and would respectfully ask permission to move the whole here. I will undertake, with my cavalry, to scour the country into Arkansas from this point, so as to protect it. White River can be crossed anywhere. These operations of the cavalry will assist Union men out of the bushes, where they are secreted, and arm them. I dislike to have the infantry encamped without tents, &c., for fear of sickness, yet to keep their transportation would insure its loss. I have hastened ahead, so that if you disapprove this action of mine, I will promptly return, and remain at Forsyth, as heretofore. I hear that you have issued some order to the troops near Fort Scott as to their movements. May I ask the favor of being informed as to its nature, that I may prepare accordingly?
Colonel, Commanding Division.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,
April 20, 1863.
Colonel WILLIAM WEER, Springfield, Mo.:
You will bring your infantry from Forsyth to Springfield, and move in the direction of Houston, selecting some good foraging country near