I ought to have another battalion of cavalry to do effective work with the guerrillas, but will do all that can be done with what I have.
I am, colonel, very respectfully,
R. R. LIVINGSTON,
Colonel First Regiment Nebraska Cavalry. Commanding District.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN ARKANSAS,
Helena, Ark., December 31, 1863.
Captain T. H. HARRIS,
SIR: I feel it my duty to report to General Hurlbut that, in my opinion, General Grant's Orders, Numbers 57, in reference too speculations in cotton below Helena, is violated almost daily. A few days ago I sent a cavalry scout, with an infantry guard, on a boat, to Coahoma and Bolivar Counties, Mississippi, which succeeded in capturing 7 prisoners of war. When the boat rounded to at Miffleton's Landing, the S. B. Novelty was there, anchored about 30 yards from the shore, and when my troops were seen, about 20 men, some of them soldiers in the C. S. Army, ran, one of whom was captured. All the persons examined said the boat was trading, and the customers were rebels. One of the lots of goods was for a Mr. Parks, who is known to be a soldier in the C. S. Army. My scouts camped at his house. To-day the S. B. Hudson reports here, with thirty-one lots of goods, permitted at Saint Louis, and all purchased on the credit of J. H. Moore, who is here, and all consigned to Friar's Point. I have examined Mr. Moore, and J. H. Browne, who selected the goods for the thirty-one parties, and it appears to me, from the reluctant testimony, that these goods are sent to Friar's Point on an agreement to ship Moore at this place cotton to pay for them. Is this not in violation of General Grant's Orders, Numbers 57?
I must either do my whole duty or halt between two opinions. These thirty-one lots of goods are not permitted by any military authority. I advocate free trade in preference to such a licensed trade as this.
Your obedient servant,
N. B. BUFORD,
Washington, December 31, 1863.
Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR:
SIR: Please fix up the department to which Curtis is to go, without waiting to wind up the Missouri matter. Lane is very anxious to have Fort Smith in it, and I am willing, unless there be decided military reasons to the contrary, in which case, of course, I am not for it. It will oblige me to have the Curtis department fixed at once.
Referred to General-in-Chief, to prepare order and submit for consideration.
EDWIN M. STANTON.