men in all, under Colonel Clayton, Fifth Kansas. All my available cavalry are now in pursuit of Marmaduke, who, it is supposed, is falling back toward Arkadelphia. Two brigades of infantry and two batteries are marching on that place direct from here, and are at Rockport to-night.
The reports in regard to Price are conflicting, but his headquarters are probably at Magnolia. My troops have orders to break up the post of Arkadelphia, if anything remains there. I have been told by Union men that Cabell's command and part of [J. G.] Walker's division, from Shreveport, were with Marmaduke, and that a detachment was sent across the Arkansas for the purpose of destroying our depot at Devall's Bluff. Precautions have been taken to prevent anything of the kind, suspicion having been aroused by preparations at Des Arc, Batesville, and on the opposite side of White River from Devall's Bluff. If I could be let alone here for a few weeks, I think Arkansas could be reclaimed; but if the troops begin to leave, people will imagine that the country is to be abandoned again, and they will have no confidence in our promises of protection. I will write you again by the first mail. One of my staff officers will go to Memphis on business connected with the Arkansas troops. He can give you any information in regard to the position of things which you may desire. I hope that the requisitions for arms and ammunition for the Arkansas troops can be filled at Memphis.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
SPRINGFIELD, MO., October 28, 1863.
Captain Laurant, assistant adjutant-general, has arrived. He left Huntsville on Saturday last. He reports that Brooks' and Shelby's forces had made a junction, and had together about 3,000 men. General McNail was in Huntsville with 900 effective men and four pieces of artillery, and was advancing on the enemy daily, and the enemy was constantly falling back. It was General McNeil's intention, when the captain left, to drive the enemy across the Arkansas River, and cross himself, and pursue beyond. A large portion of my command is south of here, with General McNeil, and will remain until he closes his campaign or pursuit. Then I will establish a garrison at Cross Hollows and Elkhorn,and try to get the troops as well in hand as possible. It is reported that General Ewing has returned to Kansas City. I hear of but few guerrillas, and a very little disturbance in the district. Fayetteville is the farthest point south that I shall garrison at present, unless otherwise ordered by you. This point should be held strongly.
I am in great need of some infantry for duty at posts, but can do better when the Eighteenth Iowa returns from the field to Fayetteville.
JOHN B. SANBORN,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE FRONTIER,
Fort Scott, Kans., October 28, 1863.
Major General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD:
GENERAL: I am in receipt of General Orders, Numbers 118, Department of the Missouri, October 19 (received on the 24th), and am somewhat in