War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0269 Chapter XXXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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SAINT LOUIS, May 5, 1863.

Major-General HALLECK,

Can spare no more force at present. Will write.

SAML. R. CURTIS.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,

Saint Louis, Mo., May 5, 1863

Brigadier General BEN. LOAN, Jefferson City:

GENERAL: Yours of the 23rd,* on the subject of the African, I have referred to Judge-Advocate Major Dunn, who will, doubtless, give you the benefit of his views. He was in Congress when the confiscation act passed. The question as to "our lines" is very difficult to answer.

Yours of the 24th,* concerning the exchange of Colonel Lazear's regiment, is rather evasive and sarcastic on him. You must recollect the colonel was writing to the Governor, who, he supposed, was exercised on the subject of the negro in Merrill's regiment, and Lazear was advocating his own cause. The letters of McFerran are in the same temper. It will be well to look after the men that are so tender of the constitutional rights of rebel sympathizers, but let us be charitable to our proslavery Union friends, who are sorely tried. But yet the question returns upon us, Would he not recruit his regiment sooner and do better in Northeastern Missouri? Lazear has done some good service in Southeastern Missouri, and that would be a good place for him. Yet I do not think he could fill up his regiment in that quarter, and it is not so easy as you think to fill it up where it now is. If he can fill up, there is no need of shifting him.

I telegraphed to-day, asking if you have spare troops. I do this to fortify myself against complaints that I am keeping troops here that are not needed. I have driven Marmaduke out of the State, but may be attacked by another force coming from Arkansas. We must make the very best use we can of our material. I am unable to send you more force. I am obliged to send away troops that are much needed. If we ever get Vicksburg, I hope to have some relief from these demands, but at present we must depend on vigilance and celerity of movement.

Have your troops generally on the move. Some complain that the troops at Lexington are rather disorderly, and that Colonel King is not able to control them. Perhaps it will be best to change or shift them. Lexington deserves more trouble than any other place.

I am general, very truly, your obedient servant,

[SAML. R. CURTIS,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,

Saint Louis, Mo., May 6, 1863.

General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

GENERAL: Your telegram and letters, urging me to send troops to General Rosecrans, have been received, and I have responded that I can spare none.

The Marmaduke attack required me to concentrate and move most of the force denominated the Army of the Frontier by long and rapid marches, which has, no doubt, much impaired the mules and horses. It is now returning to Pilot Knob, when I will refurnish it as soon as

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*Not found.

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