HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS,
Little Rock, Ark., May 27, 1863.
Major General STERLING PRICE,
Commanding Division, &c., Little Rock, Ark.:
GENERAL: Lieutenant- General Holmes, commanding the District of Arkansas, directs that you take Parsons' and McRae's brigades, and with them proceed to a point in the vicinity of Jacksonport, at which you will establish your headquarters. On arriving there you will assume command of the troops of the Confederate States in that neighborhood and toward the borders of Missouri. You will make a careful and critical examination into the condition of the troops now there, and report to these headquarters any changes in their organization you may desire to recommend. You will take the most active measures to ascertain the localities, strength, and movements or the enemy in your front, especially in Missouri, and promptly advise these headquarters of any occurrence of consequence. You are charged with the duty of superintending service in Northern Arkansas and Missouri, and will require all officers having permits to raise troops in Missouri, or from among Missourians, to report to you, and will give such instructions regulating their actions as shall, in your discretion, seem best for the interests of the service.
By command of Lieutenant- General Holmes:
W. B. BLAIR,
Acting Assistant Adjutant- General.
CAMP NEAR DIAMOND GROVE, MO.,
May 28, 1863.
Major General STERLING PRICE, Confederate States Army:
GENERAL: Please find inclosed two letters, or true copies, the originals being retained, from General Blunt and Colonel Williams.* You will see from these letters the deplorable situation of our friends in Southwestern Missouri. We have but a small force in this part of the State. Colonel Coffee has joined me with a small force of unorganized troops, and will co-operate with me, but our combined forces are yet too small to prevent the threatened destruction of our country. A negro who have all the hellish passions belonging to their race. About 600 militia, under Colonel Crittenden, are stationed at Newtonia, and about 100 at Neosho, which constitute the entire Federal forces that are stationed in this vicinity. Can you, and will you, use your influence in sending a sufficient force to relieve the sufferings of the people of your own State, who are being subjected to outrages unparalleled in this, and unprecedented in any other, war! We make this appeal to you who can appreciate our sufferings and can plead our cause, being one of us. Colonel Warner Lewis is also here, who has just escaped from the Indians, and consequently without a force. He will make a report of the unfortunate disaster he escape. It is currently reported here that Colonel Coffee will soon be restored to the command of his regiment; if such should be the case, we hope that he will be allowed to operate in this section of the country. His knowledge of this country, and the unbounded confidence of the people in him, demand that this should be the field of his operations. T he forces at Fort Scott and Lincoln will not exceed 300.
54 R R- VOL XXII, PT II