Kirby Smith in person is at Little Rock. Davidson is crossing part of his force in coal barges near Clarendon. The enemy is reported fortifying the roads into Little Rock. Smith's troops are said to be marching for Little Rock, abandoning Louisiana. I ought to send Steele another brigade, but can hardly spare them. If he finds he needs them, I, of course, will send them at any hazard. If General Rosecrans could clear the valley of the Tennessee by a cavalry division, and then unite with a column from Corinth and drive in Joe Johnson's right flank as far down as Columbus, Miss., I could spare 5,000 men to Arkansas with safety to the command. I think Steele should have at least 10,000 infantry, if there be any serious intent to stand at Little Rock. Steele still thinks that there will be no stand until reach Arkadelphia. The planters are running off their negroes southwest of Little Rock.
S. A. HURLBUT,
(Duplicate to Schofield.)
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tenn., August 15, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Asst. Adjt. General, Department of the Tennessee, Vicksburg, Miss.:
SIR: General Steele has started from Helena. It is doubtful whether the enemy will stand at Little Rock. Kirby Smith is reported there in person and his troops on the way up, abandoning Louisiana. If they do, and concentrate about Little Rock, Steele will need re-enforcements. I can send him a brigade, but do not wish to, as my line of infantry is weak. He should have 5,000 good men to make it absolutely secure. If Rosecrans will move vigorously on my left, I can spare the men from Corinth, and will spare them if it be necessary. Kimball's division, now with Steele, is not in good order nor very reliable troops. Sickness has reduced them, and when Steele unites with Davidson he will have not more than 11,000 to 12,000, which are enough for the Arkansas army, hard one, from the poverty of the country and the scarcity of water.
Everything quiet here.
Your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA,
Saint Paul, August 15, 1863-10 a.m.
Major General JOHN POPE,
General Sibley's point on the Missouri River was 40 miles by land below Fort Clark. Says if General Sully comes up soon, he will entirely destroy the Indians. For three nights he fired artillery and sent up signal rockets, but received no response from General Sully. Major Selfridge starts with your dispatch to-day.