War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0042 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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as Baxter is open. As it is now, the foraging party on the Continental have pretty well cleaned out what was left.

The rebels cut the levee on Bunch's Bend on Saturday, but were discovered by our "mule cavalry" in time to prevent the consummation of their project. They were compelled to repair the levee, and warned that a repetition of the offense would be visited by the burning of every house in the settlement.



Lieutenant Colonel, Chief of Artillery, Department of the Tennessee.


Helena, Ark., February 10, 1863.

Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,

Saint Louis:

MY DEAR GENERAL: Your valued favor of the 3rd instant* is received. I thank you for its kind words of encouragement, and your counsel touching prudence, courage, and faith. Personally I was not at all pleased with the change, though temporarily, which has transferred me from your command, yet I know it to be best that all the forces below Cairo be under one command until the Mississippi River is again open to the commerce of the Northwest, and I wish very much you had command of the town-river expedition. We require prudent heads in this campaign. Unless caution prevails, the loss in life will be terrible. We ought not to be slaughtered when a little time and strategy must give us every rebel stronghold between here and New Orleans. I saw General Grant when he passed down, a few days since; he seems to comprehend the great work before us. I hope he will received the cordial co-operation of all his subordinates, and that victory may be ours when again we "fall in" before the Gibraltar of "Dixie. "

Matters at Helena are considerably mixed. General Gorman by some means had led the people to believe that he has been quite devoted to the cotton business. I am inclined to think he is very much misrepresented in this matter. I fear his sons-both of them have resigned and gone home-have prejudiced the general by some imprudences. It is very difficult for a man of General Gorman's temperament to get along smoothly with such a conglomeration as that of Helena's military cotton and contraband population.

I am sorry to see that certain correspondents for the papers at the North have written in such strain about the last expedition up White River. It was not the fault of General Gorman that the rebels had fled from Saint Charles and Devall's Bluff. If the rascals would not stay and be whipped handsomely, we were not to blame. The joint expedition into Arkansas, as arranged by Generals McClernand and Gorman and Admiral Porter, one party to go up the Arkansas and the other one to go up the White River, was a good project beyond doubt, and had the water in the Arkansas been of sufficient depth to float the iron-clads, and McClernand been enabled thereby to go to Little Rock, the people would have said, "How admirably the expedition was arranged! General Gorman has driven the rebels from White River right into General McClernand's trap!" The water was not in the Arkansas. We became satisfied that there were no rebels in force above Des Arc, and came back.


*Not found.