stockade should be made for temporary defense. I should suppose that the most favorable line would be the one occupied last year. It might be well to post 100 of the mounted men at Alexandria, so as to keep up the communication with Abercrombie by escort, &c. Contracts for hay and the necessary arrangements for supplying grain and subsistence at these various posts should be made in time. If this plan is adopted, you had best select the infantry regiment to be kept in the State, and have it posted by the 1st of October, and encamp the remainder of your force at some convenient point not remote from the Minnesota River.
Furloughs can be given them till the end of September, not to exceed one-fourth of the number to be absent at a time, and all arms and equipments of the men while on furlough to be left in the hands of the company commander, who will be responsible for them.
I will keep your whole force in Minnesota till October 1.
Please write me your views on the whole subject fully, and also give me the name of the best officer to be made lieutenant-colonel and authorized to enlist 500 of the Mounted Rangers.
Your earliest attention to these matters is desirable.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Washington, August 29, 1863.
The Secretary of War directs me to inform you that five thousand stand of arms, which equipments and ammunition, have been ordered from Saint Louis to Fort Leavenworth, to be delivered on your requisition, for arming any troops that may be raised by you. If other supplies are wanted, you will please notify the Department.
JAS. A. HARDIE,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, Mo., August 30, 1863.
Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps, Memphis, Tenn.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 24th is received. I am under as much embarrassment as yourself relative to the expedition under General Steele's command. I was informed that a force had been sent from Vicksburg to Helena, to move against Price, in conjunction with that sent by me from Missouri, and that the combined force was to act under my "general orders." I was directed to send my plan of operations to you, as General Steele was at the time under your immediate command. Consequently, I have sent no orders directly to General Steele. I have regarded General Davidson's command in much the same light as you regard that of General Steele, viz, temporarily detached.
I believe the boundary line between General Grant's department and mine in Arkansas is entirely undefined. Yet I have no doubt that Steele's command may now be regarded as unquestionably within my department, and consequently under my immediate command, as you understand to be the case. General Steele has never reported to me