who will furnish their own horses, without any expense to the General Government whatever. But the greatest thing needed is arms to do with, and but a small amount of provisions, if needed. Knowing the country from this point to Fort Pillow, also the feelings and dispositions of the inhabitants as well as can possibly be known, and as there is no Federal force in this part of Arkansas to which I allude, to check these rebels, I will agree to clean them out between these points, namely, Saint Francis and Little River and the Mississippi, a distance of about 40 miles, which is difficult, on account of the nature of the country, for any large force to penetrate, and as few men know this part of country well enough to effect these marauders, and as I have been a resident of Mississippi County for the last twelve years, having dealt in land and stock during that time, which has given me an opportunity of knowing the country and people as well as can be known by any man. We have been connected with the Federal army as scouts under General Dodge, at Trenton, Tenn., for six months; also under Colonel [E. H.] Wolfe, commanding station of Fort Pillow, for the last three months. We think we have been of some service of our country. We now wish to clear out our homesteads, that our families may have some peace and a place to stay in this our country. The rebel forces lie from 50 to 100 miles west of this place, and are continually spying out the habitants and conscripting them, and smuggling through supplies.
Hoping this will meet your favorable consideration, I am very respectfully, your obedient servant,
NEW MADRID, August 19, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded to the assistant adjutant-general of the department. Such a corps as that referred to within would be of use in this region and below.
CHESTER HARDING, Jr.,
Colonel, Commanding Post.
UNITED STATES GUNBOAT FAWN,
Off New Madrid, August 17, 1863.
Commanding Military Post, New Madrid:
SIR: I take pleasure in recommending to your notice Mr. Lanies as a man worthy of confidence. He is intelligent and reliable, and I believe him capable of fulfilling whatever he proposes.
Very respectfully, &c.,
JOHN R. GRACE,
HEADQUARTERS ARKANSAS EXPEDITION,
Clarendon, Ark., August 18, 1863.
Major General STEPHEN A. HURLBUT,
Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: Nothing has occurred since my arrival here to change the opinion expressed in my letter from Big Cypress.*
Our scouts have had several skirmishers on the other side of the river
*Of August 16. See p.454.