Their entire force is estimated at 12,000 with some twenty pieces of artillery and 800 infantry. They are fortifying Bloomfield, and may do the same at the Chalk Bluff.
I am falling back on Marmaduke and will cross at Lofton's Ferry, as I will be unable to get through with my train any farther up Cache River. My courier will remain with you and fall back as you do. There is considerable danger of your being attacked by a superior force from the ridge if you remain where you now are. A force of cavalry could cross by Moore's and easily get in your rear. Vicksburg is not taken, at least up to the 13th. Three brigades of Yankees were captured by Johnston near Vicksburg. Vicksburg has four months' provisions. Lee has cut the Federals to pieces in Pennsylvania. Longstreet engaged them with his corps and commenced retreating; retreated two days, occasionally throwing away a gun, saber, or wagon, thus inducing the Federals to think he was retreating precipitately, until Ewell and Hill got on each flank, and then Longstreet turned and held them at bay, and Ewell and Hill closed in and whipped them on the third day. The enemy say, through their papers,* that they lost 80,000 killed, wounded and prisoners. Forty thousand prisoners were taken by Lee and sent to Virginia, on their refusing to be paroled.
It is stated that Kirby Smith had possession of Algiers, opposite New Orleans; also that Morgan had taken Columbus, Ky.,, and evacuated it. Pillow is over in that section of Tennessee, conscripting.
I am, sir, &c.
S. G. KITCHEN,
Colonel Tenth Missouri Cavalry.
JACKSONPORT, ARK., July 21, 1863
Major-General PRICE, Commanding, &c:
GENERAL: Dr. Pearson (of Des Arc) has sent me, by courier, from Wittsburg the dispatch for you and paper. Dr. Pearson wrote this at 8 a.m. on 20th; was in Memphis on 18th or 19th.
Colonel Kitchen writes, July 20, 2 p.m., that the advance of the enemy, in force, were crossing at Chalk Bluff. Colonel Burbridge writes, July 20, from Pocahontas, that his pickets near Doniphan were driven in on the 19th; thinks a Federal scout did this. It seems to me that all indicates an actual advance into this State of a strong Federal force. Pearson thinks there will be a co-operating force by water. The supposition is reasonable to say the least of it.
I hear that General Holmes is very ill. I have no specific instructions, and no idea of the plan of operations. The question is one of so serious importance that I have deemed it advisable to write to you, inasmuch as General Holmes may be so ill as to be unable to attend to business.
Considering the high water, the admirable means of operating in the Federal hands, and their possible combined movement by land and water, concentration is absolutely necessary in order to give decided resistance at some point, and to do this requires prompt action.
J. S. MARMADUKE,
P. S. - I do not know where the infantry force, is nor do I know where your headquarters are. White River is rising, and within 4 feet of high-water mark in the late flood.