with you, and therefore make the request that you send Kimball's division to Memphis by land, using the railroad to Devall's Bluff as auxiliary, so that these troops may reach the river at as early a day as practicable, for I may be compelled to strip this country too much on the faith that this division is to rejoin its proper corps.
I have watched your progress with great interest, and really congratulate you on the marked success. I have no doubt you have made more progress in Arkansas toward a reconstruction of Government than we have in any part of the country east of the Mississippi. General Blair is with me, but at this moment is toward Tuscumbia.
As ever, your friend,
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF ARKANSAS,
Little Rock, Ark., October 24, 1863.
Major General STEPHEN A. HURLBUT,
Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps, Memphis, Tenn.:
GENERAL: It is not practicable to send True's brigade to you at once, as one regiment, the Fiftieth Indian, is stationed at Lewisburg, about 50 miles up the Arkansas. This is at present an important station, being on one of the principal routes that lead through the mountain passes, and at one of the best fords on the river. There are many loyal people in that part of the State, and they are now raising a regiment, which they could not do without protection. General Schofield has sent me a copy of a letter from the General-in-Chief, showing that he regards this command as belonging to the Department of the Missouri, and indicating a disposition of troops which could not be made with a less force than that which I have now. You responded so promptly to my requisitions that it will afford me great pleasure to comply with any request that you may make, but under existing instructions it is my opinion that I would not be justifiable in sending troops to you without authority from General Schofield or the Commander-in-Chief. This is a state of affairs which I never desired, but to which I must submit. I hope you will submit this matter to General Halleck or to Grant, and write me as soon as you get an answer.
Schofield writes to me in regard to occupying and fortifying a line of posts, and both he and Halleck speak of my driving the enemy beyond Red River, &c. My cavalry has been kept busy breaking up rebel recruiting stations and pursuing marauding bands of Marmaduke's men and guerrillas.
Some of our expeditions have been very successful. One under Colonel [John F.] Ritter drove Marmaduke to within a few miles of Arkadelphia; one under Colonel Clayton surprised [A. S.] Dobbin at Tulip, and captured all his camp and garrison equipage and transportation, and took a number of prisoners and horses. This affair created great consternation at Arkadelphia. Price had fallen back to Little Missouri, but Holmes was there, and ordered guns to be spiked, and kept Marmaduke's cavalry in line of battle for twenty-four hours. I intended making a demonstration on Arkadelphia with all the cavalry that could be spared for the purpose, and sending a regiment of infantry to occupy Benton in the mean time. This expedition has been deferred until the horses could be shod, as the country to be passed over is very rocky.
General Schofield wishes me to send cavalry to intercept Shelby on his retreat south. The best way to do that, perhaps, will be to drive