War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0535 Chapter XXXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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citizens will effectually keep down bushwhacking. It makes the war against those people necessary more sanguinary and cruel; but for that very reason it will be sooner brought to a conclusion. Cruelty to the bushwhacker will be mercy to the loyal and peaceful citizen.

I am not advised of the real force under General Blunt, or of his ability to hold Forts Smith, Gibson, and Van Buren, and keep his communication open to the rear. I should regard the defection of the Indian tribes, now, I suppose, well ascertained, as a guarantee of an open road by Fort Scott, while the occupation of Fayetteville and the small towns between the river and the Missouri line would guard his rear, and the troops so occupied would be of more service to him than though actually in his camp. The distance from Rolla to Fort Smith being some 75 miles shorter than from Leavenworth, I submit whether this be not the best point to furnish supplies from, until the occupation of Little Rock and the rising of the Arkansas River. The burning of Fayetteville interferes materially with its importance as a miliary point, and I think when the loyal men of Northern Arkansas have guns put in their hands, they will be able to take care of themselves, and no depot of supplies will be needed north of Fort Smith. I have no apprehensions of losing any ground that we have now occupied in Northwestern Arkansas, nor of keeping comparative peace in the Missouri part of the district; but there are many things in regard to the policy to be pursued in Arkansas that I would like to confer with you about as soon as I can spare time from this post.

I have already signified that in case the health of the gallant General Blunt shall render his longer stay in the field impossible, that I should like to be trusted with that command. I trust what I lack in accurate military knowledge I may be able to make up in energy and determination to perform my duties.

Hoping this brief statement of the state of the district may be satisfactory, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

JOHN MCNEIL,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

SAINT LOUIS, MO., September 16, 1863.

Major-General HURLBUT, Memphis:

Your dispatch of the 13th is received. I have a cavalry force now in the extreme southeastern portion of Missouri, which I will send against the guerrillas under Clark.

J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Major-General.

SAINT LOUIS, MO., September 16, 1863.

Brigadier-General FISK, Pilot Knob:

General Hurlbut reports a considerable force of guerrillas, with five pieces of artillery, near Osceola, on the Mississippi. Their object is to interrupt navigation. I desire you to send a force against them, if possible. Please report what force you can send, and how soon.

J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Major-General.