I have had the engineer officers and a small detail preparing profiles and laying off work, &c., yesterday and to-day, so as to be ready for going to work to-morrow in force. This morning I issued orders for four regiments to work on the cremaillere line and one on the second line to-morrow and the next day, and for eight regiments on the former and one on the latter on Monday morning, to be continued till the work is completed. I have to regret my delay in complying with Special Orders, Numbers 56. Two officers have misapprehended the order, and I was compelled to send the reports for correction to one and to wait for the other.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. J. T. DANA,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS,
Little Rock, March 17, 1864.
Brigadier General J. M. THAYER,
The major-general commanding instructs me to say that you are directed to co-operate in a movement toward Red River, by way of Arkadelphia and Washington. He directs you to leave only such force at Fort Smith as will safely hold that place, and for this purpose call in such of the outposts as can be evacuated. The general desires a report of the exact force which you can move, and the time when you will be prepared. You will join ;him at Arkadelphia, moving your command in light marching order, with smallest amount of rations possible, depending upon the country for meat and corn meal.
F. H. MANTER,
Colonel and Chief of Staff.
NASHVILLE, TENN., March 17, 1864.
Cavalry Depot, Saint Louis, Mo.:
If the Twelfth Illinois Cavalry are in Saint Louis, mount them and forward them to Banks without delay. It is complained that this regiment has been dismounted, and also other horses intended for the Gulf Department diverted.
U. S. GRANT,
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO., March 17, 1864.
GENERAL COMMANDING SAINT LOUIS DISTRICT:
A part of thieves from Missouri crossed the river about 40 miles above here and robbed a trading-boat, and killed 1 man and unmercifully abused women and children. They were joined by a band of thieves from on the other side, who assisted in the outrage. Can I cross the river and punish them? Citizens from Illinois apply here for aid. They are greatly exasperated, and I fear will commit excesses in the way of hanging some of the miscreants. Shall I cross? I shall send 25 men up this side to clear the Missouri side.
J. B. ROGERS,