War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0956 MO., ARK., KANS., IND.T., AND DEPT. N.W. Chapter XXXIV.

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you would move a part of the most effective of your troops this way, so that we could fall in together here or somewhere this side of the Saint Francis River, it would be an easy matter to move our forces jointly on, in the direction of Bloomfield, and, crossing the Saint Francis River at the shoals, proceed in perfect secrecy to make an attack on Bloomfield. If we could make a successful attack on Bloomfield, it would certainly not set us back any at present. In my opinion, if a project of this kind were judiciously managed, it would result in the capture of Bloomfield. There can be found in this neighborhood 500 bushels of corn, and at Custer's, 9 miles farther on the Gainesville road, there are 300 bushels more. All of our men very anxious to make this raid, and would evidently fight in desperation. Colonel Kitchen is on the Ridge, and will be in this evening or in the morning.

Your obedient servant,

J. ELLISON,

Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Tenth Regiment Missouri Cav., P. A. C. S.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE INDIAN TERRITORY, Soda Springs, August 7, 1863.

Major W. B. BLAIR,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:

MAJOR: There has been no change in the posture of affairs here, except that produced by the desertion of the Arkansas troops, who are leaving nightly be tens and fifties. I have moved my camp, for convenience of water and grass. The enemy has the river closely picketed for a distance of about 30 miles. He, is I believe, preparing to withdraw from Gibson to a point back from the river, probably Tahlequah. His troops have suffered much from sickness at Gibson.

I have heard nothing from General Bankhead, except a rumor that he has been ordered in another direction. If such is the case, I shall not be able to make an offensive movement, as I had hoped to do.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. STEELE,

Brigadier-General.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE INDIAN TERRITORY, Camp Soda Springs, August 7, 1863.

Major W. B. BLAIR,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, District of Arkansas:

MAJOR: I have the honor to report the state of affairs in this region as being very unsatisfactory. The desertions in Cabell's brigade have increased to an alarming extent. A company sent last night after a small party, said to have deserted, overtook a party of over 200, commanded by an officer. These men were en route for Arkansas. Many have gone to the enemy. These desertions are mostly from companies raised north of the Arkansas River. Two Choctaws, who were captured some time since, escaped and reached our camp this morning. They report the enemy's forces to have been lately augmented by two regiments, and that they have eighteen pieces of cannon, the additional pieces being black ones and mounted in the fort. My force now is scarcely more effective than was General Cooper's in the late engagement at Honey Springs. I shall move Cabell's brigade back on the