I respectfully submit the foregoing facts for the advice and consideration of the commander of the department.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN B. SANBORN,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI,
Pilot Knob, Mo., November 12, 1863.
Commanding Department of Missouri:
A flag of truce arrived at our lines this day with dispatches dated Batesville, Ark., November 5, and signed by Colonel R. G. Shaver, C. S. Army, commanding District of Northeastern Arkansas. The ostensible object of the flag is to remonstrate against the detention of one Halliburton, recently captured by our scout at Evening Shade, as a guerrilla, and claiming for him the rights and privileges of a prisoner of war.
The Federal force which was at Batesville has retired to Little Rock, leaving all the country between my lines and Devall's Bluff open to the enemy.
Shaver is at Batesville with about 700 rebel cavalry. General McRae arrived at Jacksonport on the 5th instant, with orders from Price to take command of Northern Arkansas, gather up the deserters, enforce the conscription, and organize as best he could against the Federals.
I regard it as very necessary for the prevention of rebel organizations in Arkansas, the protection of navigation on the Mississippi, and the security and quiet of Southeast Missouri, that a regiment of cavalry, under the command of a vigorous and discreet officer, should be stationed at Batesville or Jacksonport without delay.
CLINTON B. FISK,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, November 13, 1863.
Brigadier General THOMAS EWING, Jr.,
Commanding District of the Border, Kansas City, Mo.:
GENERAL: I approve the conditions you name relative to the return of the people to their homes in the border counties, at least for the present. If found unnecessarily strict, they can be modified hereafter without injury, while, if made too liberal at the beginning, they cannot be changed without much trouble. Your suggestion that proof of loyalty should be made in your district exclusively is perfectly correct, and is approved. It will be difficult to cure the evil in La Fayette County by any means short of that adopted for the border. But it is too late for that now. The most we can now do is to banish known friends of the guerrillas. I regard the return of the border people as only an experiment, yet one I feel bound to make. They may have to leave their homes next summer. At all events, they will be able to winter there in comparative comfort and security. In this connection I deem it important that all who return be armed and taught to rely upon themselves as far as possible. I will suggest one modification in your propositions, viz, that the punishment for violation of obligation by any member of a family be banishment of the family, rather than destruction of property.