There have been no applications here for permits to settle on the western side of Bates of Vernon Counties. About 100 negroes arrived here last night from Missouri; the most of the men will enlist.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Ninth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS SAINT LOUIS DISTRICT,
Saint Louis, Mo., December 6, 1863.
Colonel R. R. LIVINGSTON,
Commanding District of Northeastern Arkansas, Rolla, Mo.:
My information from your district locates McRae at Smithville, Ark., with about 1,800 Confederate rascals. You will probably demoralize him somewhat within a few days. The carnage at Bloomfield has ceased; dead are buried, and wounded properly cared for.
CLINTON B. FISK,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, Mo., December 7, 1863.
General FRED. STEELE:
GENERAL: General McNeil informs me that it will be difficult for him to furnish escort for his trains from Fort Smith to Little Rock without leaving his force too weak for defense. perhaps you may be able to assist him by furnishing escort for his trains a party of the way-say, from Little Rock to Dardanelle, thus leaving the force sent out by him near enough to be called in in case of danger. Please do so, if you can. Also, if you have transportation not otherwise employed, I would be glad if you would send a train of commissary stores to Fort Smith. McNeil's transportation is hardly sufficient. When the river rises, I want to send up supplies enough to last several months. I will start a boat from here as soon as I learn that the river is high enough. If you can send one from Little Rock, do so on the first rise of the river. I have heard nothing further of Banks' movements, except newspaper reports, which indicate that Franklin has returned down the river. If this is true, it will, of course, force you to remain on the Arkansas.
In one of your late letters you ask if there is any authority to conscripts negroes. I am not aware of any such authority, except the general law of military necessity. Whether such necessity exists in Arkansas, you alone are the judge. The administration desires to enlist all the negro troops that can be obtained but, as I understand, by voluntary enlistment only. You ask also, "Am I in two departments?" This I can't answer. The authority given to General Grant a year ago "to assume command of any troops in Arkansas within reach of his orders" still exists. So I suppose he may at any time send you an order, if he chooses to do so. Some time ago I wrote to General Halleck asking for a more definite division of departments. He said it was not practicable at that time.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,