who are to be opposed to mounted bushwhackers and guerrillas, exasperated and governed by the principles of bandits, is impossible.
The opposition to persons who have taken the amnesty oath and obtained certificates to vote is said to be very strong in the country.
I have information that Captain Anderson has been promoted to colonel and has 250 cavalry on the west side of Big Creek; that Lieutenant Casteel has recruited his company up to 100 men, and threatens Island 66, where I have one company of black troops to protect the wood-choppers and contrabands, and that Captain Gillam is raising a company in the same vicinity. I also learn that in Saint Francis County there are two companies of cavalry. I also call the general's attention to the fact that this little handful of troops of mine is the only force on the Mississippi River now in the State of Arkansas; also that there is no force in the State of Mississippi between Coahoma County. With his state of facts, I again request that an addition of 300 cavalry and 500 infantry be sent me.
The Thirty-fifth Missouri is so poor a regiment and so poorly officered that it is not to be relied on. I would readily give it up if a good regiment was sent me. I also think the kind of cavalry service I require could not be well done by German troops. I do everything in my power to make friends to the Union, and find it difficult to prevent my scouting parties from infringing on private rights. I venture also to suggest that the trade which is allowed by permits from the Treasury Department on the Mississippi River is almost exclusively for the benefit of rebels. I think there is as much necessity for a strict blockade at Memphis and New Orleans as at Charleston and Mobile. The failure of the cavalry expedition from Memphis to co-operate with General Sherman, its losses being 500 men, arms, and horses, and its gains only contrabands, is very injurious to our cause. I feel daily apprehensive of a raid into Helena at daybreak or on moonlight nights. If done boldly, it would endanger the destruction of the wharf-boats and the commissary and quartermaster's stores. I think I have given abundant reasons for an increase of troops, which should be here as early as practicable.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
N. B. BUFORD,
SAINT LOUIS, Mo., March 5, 1864. (Received 5.30 p.m.)
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
I ask by telegraph for the Forty-fourth Ohio, now veterans on furlough, lest they should leave before a letter would reach you. Missouri, north of the river, requires disciplined troops from some other States, under a very able and just commander, to preserve life, property, and public order, now threatened by local animosities and other agencies of mischief. The measure will save troops and be eminently advantageous for the country.
W. S. ROSECRANS,