operations going on which I know not of,and there may be some base of supplies besides White or Arkansas Rivers which an army on Red River could depend upon. If we should disperse the rebels on Red River they would soon make their appearance behind us, as they are trying to do already.
The Arkansas troops all wish to be cavalry, but I presume we shall be able to raise a regiment or two of infantry.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
Little Rock, Ark., November 9, 1863.
Major General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
GENERAL: Sherman writes me, at the suggestion of General Grant, to send him Kimball's division, of the Sixteenth Army Corps. This would take all my infantry, except Salomon's division. Kimball reports a total of 4,478 for duty. Salomon's total for duty is 3,364. My best artillery belongs to Kimball's division. I have declined acceding to Sherman's request, for reasons the same as those given for not sending True's brigade, on Hurlbut's application.
Holmes contemplated an attack on this place, but was restrained by Kirby Smith. If Marmaduke had succeeded in taking Pine Bluff, they would no doubt have attacked us here before this time. Price moved to Camden, to be in supporting distance of Marmaduke. Their combined force is reported to be now at Ten Springs, near Camden, on the road to Washington. The latter place is evacuated, as well as Arkadelphia. I have sent a section of 3-inch guns and a regiment of infantry to re-enforce Pine Bluff, and directed Colonel Clayton to strengthen his defenses. This is an important post, and, in my opinion, the only one necessary between here and Napoleon. With infantry to hold the place, and cavalry to scout 25 miles out, the rich valley of the Arkansas can be kept free from rebels. They cannot go in toward Napoleon without getting into a pocket. Large amounts of corn, cotton, &c., are reported to be there now. I have sent an infantry regiment to the outpost at Benton, and an engineer officer to construct some defenses there. I thought these precautions necessary to guard against raids from the rebel army at Camden.
Shelby crossed the Arkansas at Roseville on the 28th ultimo, and, when last heard from,was at Waldron. I have ordered out about 600 cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Caldwell, Third Iowa, for the double purpose of heading him off and bringing some 500 Union men, who wish to enlist in our service.
I sent two full companies of Arkansas troops to Dardanelle several days ago. It is a recruiting station, and most of the inhabitants are loyal. The Fiftieth Indiana Infantry are building winter quarters at Lewisburg. This is also an important recruiting station. General Hurlbut authorized me to muster in cavalry as well as infantry. When your order requiring infantry only was received, several companies that were ready to be mustered in as cavalry disbanded, and many of them have enlisted in the old cavalry regiments. As these mounted men can be made very useful, I have received some of them as cavalry, conditionally, provided the War Department will receive them as cavalry; otherwise they are to be infantry.