to the command of Fort Snelling, Minn., and will report to Major-General Pope, commanding the Department of the Northwest, accordingly.
* * * *
By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tenn., November 15, 1863.
Major General FRED. STEELE:
GENERAL: I am quietly waiting for such portion of infantry as you can consistently spare from your command. Meanwhile I hold Tuttle's division (about 3,300) on this line of railroad. I daily expect to hear that either you or I have been translated to Missouri, as Colonel Holt has very properly decided that Schofield has not rank enough to command either yourself or Blunt. I take the liberty or recommending that you send a pretty strong cavalry force into Southern Arkansas, through the heavy planting counties, sweeping down to some of our posts on the river. These counties have been undisturbed, and are the headquarters of rebeldom. Forage, supplies, cotton, mules, and negroes can be obtained there, and the secession element of Arkansas thoroughly broken. I send Carr to you, by the order of General Grant. Assign him to some proper command. I learn that Kimball has been ordered to Indiana, but have not the order. The rebels are rather impertinent here, and I shall probably have a brush.
Your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT,
WASHINGTON, November 16, 1863.
Major-General SCHOFIELD, Saint Louis:
GENERAL: I have delayed answering yours of the 9th, in hopes that I might learn something more definitely about General Steele's movements. General Hurlbut's dispatches indicate that Steele does not intend to send any re-enforcements to Memphis, but to keep all his troops in Arkansas. It is to be regretted that he did not carry out his instructions at the time, as it is now probably too late for him to give Hurlbut much assistance.
I think he proposes to occupy too many points in Arkansas. To garrison so many places will completely paralyze his army, and render it useless for future operations. The main force of the enemy has, in all probability, gone south, to form a junction with the rebel army in Texas. Only guerrilla bands will be left in Arkansas. Steele's army should not be parceled out merely to protect the country from these robbers. It is wanted to operate against the main forces of the enemy. A very few points on the river will be sufficient to hold it as his new base of operations, and these should be mainly held by recruits and the forces which your can now send him from Missouri.
General Banks' main force, when last heard from, was at Opelousas, moving up the Red River. Whether he will go to Alexandria and Shreveport, or turn off from Opelousas, I do not know. His plans have been so frequently changed that it is not certain what course he may pursue.