is he can safely depend upon you to meet any emergency that may arise, and to deal with it to as great advantage as your means will permit. He directs me to say that he desires your command to be independent for the present, except in matters relating to recruiting service, with which Major-General Price is charged for Northeastern Arkansas and Missouri.
Should the enemy advance in force from Missouri upon you, or west of Black River, it is General Holmes' opinion that you should not allow yourself to be found by him on the east bank of White or Black Rivers. The time for crossing as well as the selection of the point at which you will dispute the passage, he leaves to your discretion, to be guided by the information you receive of his force, &c.
The disposition to be made of the supplies at Jacksonport must also be determined by you. Should you find it necessary to order their removal, he places at your disposition, for the purpose all the means of transportation on the rivers available to you.
Should the force of the enemy be too great to allow you to cope with him single-handed, Major-General Price will co-operate with you. To enable him to do so to the best advantage, Lieutenant-General Holmes commends to you special notice the importance of communicating with Major-General Price every circumstance worthy of attention, and of advising with him on all the measures to be adopted. Should your forces unite, he, as senior will of course take the direction of the whole.
It is almost unnecessary to mention that these instructions, being based upon the probable necessity in which you may find yourself to retire before the enemy, are not intended to operate to the derangement of the usual business of the service in your vicinity, except in case the contemplated contingency arises to view.
I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
W. B. BLAIR,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
EIGHT MILES SOUTHWEST OF JONESBOROUGH,
July 22, 1863.
I have thought it expedient to fall back this far on my way to Lofton's Ferry, on Cache. I have no additional reliable information from my scouts, but know that the enemy is in force. I have since my last dispatch learned that a force (larger) was some 4 or 5 miles in rear of the 350 mentioned as camping below Scatterville. My scouts have not reported this morning, but if anything happens or any information of importance comes to me, I will send extra courier or dispatch. I am this morning sending my train and ineffective men to Cache River.
I am, sir, &c.
S. G. KITCHEN,
Colonel Tenth Cavalry.
[P. S.] - Colonel Burbridge has been informed by me every two or three days in regard to enemy. Some of the dispatches may not have reached him. The line of couriers is now broken by the enemy. My train will be over Cache to-morrow. I will remain here until forced away by the enemy.