force, for the reason that supplies must be drawn from Little Rock for the troops in Western Arkansas and the Indian country. This will, however, lead to economy of force rather than the reverse, since it will secure Missouri and Northern Arkansas against raids, and thus diminish the force necessary to be kept north of the river.
Missouri is now entirely free from guerrillas, and I am gradually diminishing the force in the State by moving troops into Arkansas. The only guerrillas in Arkansas north of the river are 400 or 500 about Yellville and a few east of Batesville. I can dispose of these in a short time, and organize home guards in Northern Arkansas sufficient to prevent the formation of guerrilla bands by the deserters from Price's army. I hope to get along in Missouri and Kansas with nor more than half the force I have had in these States during the summer.
I have not yet learned what force General Steele has sent to Memphis. I asked him to send all he could spare, even temporarily, and I would gradually re-enforce him from Missouri. So long as General Banks is operating toward Texas, Steele will have but little to do. If, however, Banks' forces be withdrawn, the enemy may turn may turn upon Steele. My last reports from Fort Smith, November 4, indicate the last of the rebel forces going beyond Red River.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF ARKANSAS,
Little Rock, Ark., October 19, 1863.
Major General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
GENERAL: Your communications and the extract from General Halleck's letter were received about a week ago. Since that time there has been no mail either way until to-night. General Davidson will start for Saint Louis to-morrow morning. He will be able to give you any information you may require in regard to matters here. We have had many conflicting reports in regard to the position and movements of the enemy during the last ten days. Price is probably at Little Missouri [River], 20 miles this side of Washington. It is said that he is moving his stores to Red River, below Jonesport. Marmaduke's headquarters were at Arkadelphia a few days since. His cavalry is opening in our front, and hanging Union men in obscure places. Our scouting parties have been very successful in capturing prisoners and transportation from them. Our cavalry has made incursions into Independence, Conway, and Van Buren Counties, and broken up bands of guerrillas and recruiting parties, destroying arms and taking prisoners. A majority of the prisoners whom we captured have taken the oath of allegiance to the United States, and some have enlisted in our service, all of their own accord.
It is my opinion that the following-named posts should be occupied as a line of defense of the Arkansas: Napoleon, Pine Bluff, Little Rock, Lewisburg, Dardanelle, and Fort Smith; Benton is advance, Brownsville for the protection of the railroad, with an outpost at Austin, Jacksonport, and Devall's Bluff. Napoleon and Jacksonport are the only places named which are not occupied by our troops now. I have no doubt but that with our present force we could drive the rebels beyond Red River, but the question is, are we now prepared to hold the line of Red River? I cannot see that we are. There may be some military