he will do so,however, under serious disadvantages, I fear. If General Smith has gone to Little Rock, and should inaugurate a movement in the rear of the enemy pursuing Steele, Blunt and his entire force can soon be "done for." There is a very excited state of feeling in this section, people fearing that General Steele will be forced to come to Red River. General Steele writes that the enemy are burning everything as they come. This induces the belief on my part that they do not intend advancing much farther. I may be mistaken. I go forward immediately,and will give you a correct version of matters on my arrival. General Steele says the ammunition he has is tending much to the demoralization of the command. Should the enemy reach here they will be welcomed by many. The rottenness pervading the population staggers belief. I write in great haste.
J. F. CROSBY.
P. S.- General Steele writes that he has been skirmishing with the enemy for several days. Several Yankees have been killed. Our los so far very slight.
HEADQUARTERS INDIAN TERRITORY, Camp on Middle Boggy, C. N., August 30, 1863.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,
Chief of Staff, Trans-Mississippi Department:
GENERAL: The uncertainty and delay in communicating to the district headquarters at Little Rock induces me to address you direct,to furnish you with information already transmitted to General Price.
On the 22nd instant the enemy,who had been recently re-enforced, crossed the Arkansas River with a force of about 6,000 cavalry and infantry, with eight pieces of artillery. Not having a force to resist with any prospect of success, I commenced falling back in the direction of Perryville, on the Texas road. My command had been encamped at points some miles distant, in consequence of being obliged to subsist the animals entirely upon grass. Moving in the direction indicated would enable all to join at Perryville, if not sooner, and finally to avail myself of General Bankhead's force, which was reported as being on the way, and also to prevent a movement upon Fort Smith without uncovering Fort Gibson. The Federals followed persistently until the night of the 26th instant, when,having forced me beyond Perryville, where there was no water for 20 miles nor grass for 20 miles nor grass for 16 miles farther, he discontinued the pursuit. The Creeks have not joined me. Colonel Stand Watie, who was absent on a scout on the Arkansas River,has not yet joined, though he has been heard from. Several companies of Choctaws who were at points on the Arkansas River have not joined, and, as is common with such irregular troops, a retrograde movement has caused the loss of many others.
General Bankhead has now joined me, with about 1,000 well-armed men, and a forward movement will be made, as soon as the train arrives (by September 1), in the direction of Fort Smith,to give assistance to General Cabell, who, I fear, will be the next object of the enemy. The whole force at my disposal,including the addition brought by General Bankhead, will not reach the strength of the opposing forces.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,