HDQRS. KITCHEN'S Regiment, MISSOURI VOLS., P. A. C. S., August 5, 1863.
DEAR SIR: A dispatch is due to you from this regiment, and,in the absence of Colonel Kitchen, I undertake to comply with the usage. I cannot, however,transcribe anything that will be of use to you, as you are now as well posted in regard to the enemy as we are at this time. We still get confirmation that 6,000 Federals are the number that went down the Ridge. This information certainly is correct. There came a rumor into this neighborhood yesterday evening that the Federals were at Chalk Bluff. Colonel Kitchen has gone in person in command of a scout in that direction. I think that in four or five days he will have some important information from the direction. When he returns he will advise you of whatever he may discover. As I cannot inform you on any other subject of interest, I my speak of some deserters from this and other commands. They are very numerous, hiding about in the hills and swamps like the wild beasts of the forest. We have chased them rapidly for some time, with but little success; in consequence of which our horses are jaded; though we are now improving our horses, as we can obtain plenty of forage in this part of the country. The people seem to be more willing to sell to us since we are paying our way. Smuggling cotton to the Federals seems to be a popular business on the west side of the swamp. It is impossible to stop it now. I was credibly informed that 102 men,who have deserted this command within the last three months, are now on the Mississippi River, chopping wood for the Federal boats which run down that stream. We do not know who our friends are on the Ridge,as many prominent citizens whom we looked upon as our friends are now engaged in the smuggling business. Captain Glenn reports that while he was near Jonesborough, on a scout, the citizens were reported to have visited a vacated camp of his for the purpose of surprising and firing on his troops. We have concluded that severe punishment will be the rest remedy for such tories. Our troops are very much vexed because they have not been paid for any part of their services, as many of them have been in the Confederate State service for the months.
Your obedient servant,
Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Tenth Regiment Missouri Cav., P. A. C. S.
P. S.- Since writing the foregoing, Captain Cooper has arrived from the neighborhood of Chalk Bluff with three prisoners, two of whom belong to the Second Missouri, U. S. Cavalry; the other to the Sixth Missouri. There are 400 cavalry, McNeil commanding battalion. They are fortifying at Chalk Bluff. There are only 300 troops at Bloomfield. No artillery at Chalk Bluff. I send you the prisoners.
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT, Shreveport, La., August 6, 1863.
Commanding District of Western Louisiana, Alexandria, La.:
GENERAL: Lieutenant-General Smith directs, by telegraph, that you send at once to Little Rock all spare arms and accouterments. He