HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SOUTHWESTERN MISSOURI,
Springfield, Mo., December 29, 1863.
Brigadier General C. B. HOLLAND,
Enrolled Missouri Militia, Commanding Fourth District:
GENERAL: I desire the officers in command of troops at Neosho and on that line [to be informed] upon the following general ideas and instructions, viz:
The object to be accomplished is to prevent the rebel force from making a raid into the State. This must be done by meeting him and fighting him on the borders of the State, as soon as possible after he enters. Officers, therefore, without regard to holding particular points, unless for the purpose of preventing a farther advance into the State, will use every exertion to meet the same body of the enemy with sufficient force to fight him successfully, and, whenever he is so met, no effort will be spared to defeat and destroy him.
You will please communicate this to the officers commanding detachments of your command in the field.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN B. SANBORN,
SAINT LOUIS, MO., December 31, 1863.
West Point, N. Y.:
The following dispatches just received. The Ninth Iowa Cavalry and Second Colorado Cavalry can be ready for the field in two or three days:
LITTLE ROCK, ARK., December 24, 1863.
I have just received the following dispatch:
PINE BLUFF, December 24, 1863-3 p. m.
I have the following information from Tulip, which I think reliable:
Kirby Smith, Price, and Chalmers met in consultation at Camden, about three days ago. They have united their forces, amounting to about 22,000 men in all. The intention is to make an advance when the roads and streams will permit. Marmaduke has been relieved by Chalmers. Pegram's headquarters are at Camden. About 800 cavalry are near Princeton. A force is reported at Arkadelphia. It is reported that some 1,700 of the Vicksburg and Port Hudson prisoners have reported to Price for duty. Pegram advanced as far as the Saline, with a view of attacking this post on the 13th of this month, but was diverted from his intention by the expedition under Colonel Merrill. They are conscripting everybody who is able to bear arms, and are pressing all the horses and mules in the country. The Saline is full to its banks.
FORT SMITH, ARK., December 13, 1863.
I ordered the remainder of my cavalry at this post (two battalions of the Fourteenth Kansas) to move up on the Canadian and attack Stand Watie, but find the enemy are making strong demonstrations on my Waldron outposts, and, to keep in hand sufficient force to attend to them, I have to countermand the order. General Gano left Lanesport about seventeen days ago, with an infantry force of 1,200 men and one six-gun battery. Brooks was to co-operate, with 800 cavalry. Gano has been taken sick, and returned. I will send more infantry to Waldron to make that point safe. If I had more effective cavalry, I could trap the infantry part of that expedition.
OLIVER D. GREENE,