War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0938 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N.W. Chapter XXXIV.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS,

Little Rock, July 22, 1863

Major General STERLING PRICE,

Commanding Division, Searcy, Ark.:

GENERAL: By direction of Lieutenant-General Holmes, I have the honor to inclose herewith letters from Brigadier-General Marmaduke (one inclosure each) of July 18 and 20 instant, and also one from Colonel Kitchen of July 19 instant,* all giving intelligence of the enemy's force in Southeastern Missouri, and of his probable intentions.

The condition of General Holmes' health entirely prevents hope of his being able to take the field in person at this time. If the reports contained in the inclosed letters be correct, they disclose a state of affairs that will render immediate and energetic action necessary. He directs me, therefore, to say that he relies upon you to take such measures as, in consultation with General Marmaduke you may find necessary to meet the threatened advance of the enemy, in whatever direction it may come.

Inclosed I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of a letter of this date from these headquarters to Brigadier-General Marmaduke, by which you will perceive he is directed to inform you fully of all information of interest he may receive relative to the movements of the enemy, and to advise with you fully on the measures to be adopted.

It is hoped that by this time you division is reunited at Searcy. It is of the first importance it should be so at the earliest possible day, and ready to take the field promptly. Just returned from an exhausting expedition Lieutenant-General Holmes trusts that the prospect of meeting the enemy in open field will inspire the troops with ardor, and that while they have already shown their valor in attacking a strongly fortified place, they may prove more successful against a foe on equal ground.

I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

W. B. BLAIR,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

P. S. - Pleasure return Marmaduke's and Kitchen's letters when you have sufficiently considered them.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS,

Little Rock, July 22, 1863

Brigadier General J. S. MARMADUKE,

Commanding Cavalry Division, Jacksonport, Ark.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your several letters of the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th instant, relative to the movements,&c., of the enemy near Bloomfield, Mo.

I am, directed by the lieutenant-general commanding to reply to them. For a week past his health has been such that his attending physicians have protested against his giving his attention to any matters of business. The character of your communications made it necessary to infringe upon his seclusion. He desires me to express to you the great relief he derives from the confidence he reposes in your energy, combined with prudence and ability to deal with the difficult circumstances that surround you. He feels that at this distance, and enfeebled as he

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*Not found.

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