The Second Kansas and two sections of Rabb's battery arrived here yesterday, and all my available force, about 4,000, are now crossing the Arkansas.
I shall leave in a few hours, and forty-eight hours hence, if the enemy remain in their present position, will settle the contest in the Indian country. The enemy's force is about 8,000, yet, with the odds against me, I have no fears of the result. I should have moved against them several days ago, but the condition of my health prevented it. They evidently contemplate the possibility of their having to abandon the entire country south of the Arkansas and north of Red River. For the last two weeks they have been moving the rebel families to Texas. General [William] Steele moved his family south from Fort Smith a few days since. If defeated now, it is my opinion they will not make another stand this side of Red River. I will write you more fully in a few days.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. G. BLUNT,
Fort Blunt, August 22, 1863.
Commanding District of Southwestern Missouri:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that my command arrived, part of it yesterday, and a part are just near at this time. I learn that Colonel Catherwood is to be in to-night.
We are now crossing the river, with the intention of attacking the enemy at or near Honey Springs; results uncertain; distance, 30 miles perhaps 40 or 50; numbers uncertain, but we have a good force of mixed troops.
I received such information from General Blunt as required me to come. I will report from time to time, as opportunity occurs.
I went to Bentonville, Fayetteville, Cane Hill, Cincinnati, and Rhea's Mills, then to Park Hill and Fork Blunt. I chased Colonel Scott, with five companies, across the Boston Mountains, south of Prairie Grove, which place I visited. There are about 250 men in various parts of Northern Arkansas, exclusive of Coffee. I learn that Cartherwood had a good chase after Coffee, and took his ammunition. My command took a team and 5,000 rounds of ammunition from Scott's command.
The people along the line of Arkansas and the Nation are in a dangerous situation as to defense against the Indians, who kill and plunder at will.
I am desirous to finish this campaign and return. It is the intention of the general to go to Fort Smith, and I expect to enter your district at Van Buren when the campaign is closed.
My earliest opportunity to communicate with you will be improved.
W. F. CLOUD,
[P. S.]-Inclosed please find copies of order under which I moved to this place. When they were received, Colonel Catherwood had not reported; and concluding that he had missed me, or from some other reason had concluded not to report to me, and being loth to leave the