I have sent forward. Part of our supply train has gone with this division,and the rest, I think, will be ready to go with the other division,which is ordered to march on the 13th instant. A gunboat will wait at the mouth of White River to convoy the supply boats now being loaded at Memphis, until noon on the 13th instant. I send up an officer this evening to expedite matters. It has been reported to me that an unusual number of rebels have been about Napoleon lately,and that they have pickets all the way to Little Rock. This came from a lady whom I know to be reliable, and a priest. I do not believe they could get across White if they had force enough to attack this place. It is my opinion that the officer who comes in command here by seniority, Colonel Montgomery, Twenty-fifth Wisconsin Infantry,is not competent for the position. The lieutenant-colonel of the Thirty-third Missouri, who has charge of the fortifications, is said to be a very capable officer. Colonel Montgomery's health and the service would both be benefitted if he could have a leave of absence. As soon as the troops of the expedition have all left here, the guerrillas and rebel cavalry will hang on our line of communication, and be a source of constant annoyance to this post. If there could be a cavalry force here of sufficient strength to act as pickets and scouts, it would be a great benefit to us.
Over 200 cavalry, with 2 officers, arrived here this morning without horses, arms, or equipments. I have ordered them to remain here until further orders, and to supply their deficiencies by requisitions. They belong to Davidson's command. The One hundred and sixth Illinois Infantry have arms of uniform caliber, and mostly excellent arms. They do not care to change them. I have ordered an officer with requisition to Memphis for Enfield rifles for another and better regiment, which is poorly armed.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
UNITED STATES STEAMER LEXINGTON, August 7, 1863.
Major General FRED. STEELE:
SIR: I will move up Whiter River to-morrow morning with me entire force,and, if not delayed to fight or by other unforeseen circumstances, will reach Clarendon on the afternoon of the 9th. Having arrived there, I will send down a boat or boats, according to circumstances, to convoy your supply boats. The river shall also be patrolled by all dangerous points, to prevent the enemy from erecting batteries.
I received a letter from General Davidson yesterday, saying that he intended throwing a bridge across at Clarendon, and wished our protection while doing so. Your communication of yesterday has also been received.
G. M. BACHE,
UNITED STATES STEAMER CRICKET, Clarendon, August 9, 1863.
Major General FRED. STEELE:
SIR: I arrived here this morning with four light-draught boats, finding the river entirely clear of guerrillas, an bank full, coming up. At