War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 1090 MO.,ARK.,KANS.,IND.T.,AND DEPT.N.W. Chapter XXXIV.

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movement down the Line road. I am encamped within 1 mile of S. D. road, and shall await, with anxiety, your reply. If you can give me force sufficient, I will move upon Waldron and drive them from their position. If you can furnish me, let the re-enforcements be all cavalry or mounted men. I am perfectly safe in the move with cavalry, as I shall take no wagons and only light artillery.

I am, your obedient servant,

R. M. GANO,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS CABELL'S BRIGADE,

In Camp, December 8, 1863-11.30 a.m.

Brigadier General J. S. MARMADUKE,

Commanding Division of Cavalry:

GENERAL: I have just learned from Captain [R. T.] Banks, Twentieth Arkansas Volunteers, who just arrived from the neighborhood of Benton, that the Federals re-enforced that place last Saturday with at least 4,000 cavalry and 500 infantry, as they were under the impression that our troops were advancing. He says that their main force is evidently at that place. He also thinks that they have only 2,500 infantry, all told. He got his information from a good Southern men, and is himself a very reliable man, is a good judge of troops, as far as numbers are concerned. A Federal major told this citizen that they heard we had 15,000 men, and, if that was so, that they did not have more than half that number. My opinion is that Davidson is in command, and that they will make a strong stand there, and if driven from there, will evacuate Little Rock. As they are there in large force, I do not think that it would be advisable to make the attack spoken of by General Holmes, but that we should flank them at once and drive them out their breastworks, which some reports say are rather extensive, as the sacrifice of life in the event of an attack would be too great to risk. The Federals report another fight between Bragg and Thomas, but will not speak of the result.

The force of the enemy at Benton may be safely put down at 4,000 cavalry, 500 infantry, and a battery of artillery, six pieces.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. CABELL,

Brigadier-General.

P. S.-Five hundred Federals came through Caddo Gap Friday, and went in the direction of Mount Ida, where their train was. I believe that these troops are coming by Hot Springs to re-enforce General [F.] Steele either at Little Rock or Benton.

HEADQUARTERS CABELL'S BRIGADE,

In Camp, December 8, 1863.

Major [HENRY] EWING,

Adjutant-General, Marmaduke's Division:

GENERAL: From information received since I wrote you at 4 p.m., from a citizen living at Rockport, the Federals that were on the road leading from Tulip to Rockport, in the eastern part of Hot Springs,