HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tenn., July 5, 1863.
Major General B. M. PRENTISS,
Commanding District of Eastern Arkansas, Helena, Ark.:
GENERAL: I received this morning, at 6 a.m., your letters of yesterday.
I have ordered guards, and will send up the prisoners. Lieutenant-Commander Phelps, U. S. Navy, left here with the Eastport on the 3rd instant, and our navy officers are so tenacious of orders that I question if any gunboat would leave her station without formal orders from proper authority. The Conestoga should have been near Helena yesterday.
I congratulate you very sincerely on the brilliant defense you have made with inadequate force. Would to Heaven I were not so reduced as to be unable to send you proper re-enforcements. I have 4,000 men to hold Memphis with. A large guard is required constantly for hospitals with 4,000 sick, and the immense Government supplies as well as the lines around the city.
I send you to-day the One hundred and seventeenth Illinois, and will see if any others can be drawn in.
The whole front below me is heavily picketed by the enemy, and their extreme quietness along my line, with the closeness of their guards, induces me to believe in a movement of magnitude. I can spare no more men from the city.
The gunboat Hastings is dropping down to-day,and I have sent dispatch boat for the Eastport.
The ammunition you ask for will come down on the General Anderson, along with the One hundred and seventeenth.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE FRONTIER,
Fort Scott, July 6, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel C. W. MARSH,
Asst. Adjt. General, Dept. of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.:
COLONEL: General Blunt moved last night, with four companies of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry, one section of the Second Kansas Battery, one company of the Fourteenth Kansas Cavalry, and one company of the Third Wisconsin Cavalry for Fort Gibson, by forced marches. He leaves me here in charge of the office and general business. Forces here are six companies of the Third Wisconsin Cavalry, which arrived yesterday morning, and of which General Blunt assumed command, ordering four companies to take station at Drywood, where guerrillas are troublesome, and two companies to report to Major Blair, commanding this post. Also at this post, three companies of the Twelfth Kansas Infantry and four companies of the Thirteenth Kansas Infantry. Please send me a cipher for telegrams.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. Z. CURTIS,