You will send an order to the steamer Kaskaskia, at Clarendon, to proceed as rapidly as possible to Des Arc. She will bring up with her to that point all the flat-boats she can collect between Clarendon and Des Arc, on White River. The convalescents on board of her will be landed at some point on the west of White River.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN W. HINSDALE,
[JULY 7, 1863]
GENERAL: General Holmes wishes you to have the bridge over Caney repaired to-night, so that there shall be no delay in the morning.
He also wishes Major Brinker to assign the bridge quartermasters to duty in such ways as to most facilitate the crossing. I shall not cross the bayou again unless obliged to.
Yours, truly and respectfully,
THOS. L. SNEAD.
OFFICE POST QUARTERMASTER,
Jacksonport, July 7, 1863-7 p.m.
[Major THOMAS L. SNEAD:]
MAJOR: I am just in receipt of yours of 5th, 6 p.m. and hasten to reply.
You can go up Crowley's Ridge to Bolivar; from thence to Jonesborough (leaving Jonesborough 4 miles to the right), and to the intersection of the Gainesville and Jacksonport road, thence to Gorman's Ferry on Cache, and from there to Jacksonport. The distance from Bolivar to the intersection of the Gainesville and Jacksonport. The distance from Bolivar to the intersection of the Gainesville and Jacksonport road is about 25 miles, and from that point to Gorman's Ferry 30 miles; from Gorman's Ferry to Jacksonport 25 miles. This route heads all the streams except Cache River. At Gorman's Ferry there is only one small boat; the bottoms are about 2 miles wide; low post-oak land, passable for troops, but hardly practicable for a train. The whole route is fair, except this bottom. Colonel Shelby's brigade crossed at this ferry on the 1st of May, when the water was nearly as high as at present. I thin, this a better route than the one you went down. I do not know of a practicable route leaving the ridge for this place below Bolivar. Consult with Colonels Greene, Shelby, and General Marmaduke. Several officers have left here for your headquarters, of whom you could possibly get reliable information. I do not know their names, however. This is the best route I can learn of and in all probability, the best one you can adopt, although a much longer one than direct, as you went down.
I copy a letter received yesterday from Colonel Burbridge (I sent a copy of same this morning), which please lay before the major-general commanding for his information:
HEADQUARTERS BURBRIDGE'S REGIMENT:
Camp at Russell's Ferry, July 5, 1863
CAPTAIN: The latest information form the enemy which Colonel Burbridge deems reliable is that, their lines directly north of us have been withdrawn, their forces drawn together, and marched to Cape Girardeau, probably with a view to assisting Helena. Some 1,500, however, have marched into Bloomfield, Stoddard County, well