HDQRS. DETACH. 7TH A. C., DEPT. OF ARKANSAS, Numbers 1.
Little Rock, Ark., March 23, 1864
In obedience to General Orders, Numbers 14, dated headquarters Department of Arkansas, Little Rock, Ark., March 22, 1864, the undersigned, commanding the Second Division, Seventh Army Corps, assumes command of all the troops in this department "along and north of the line of the Arkansas River." He intends to protect, to the fullest extent of his power, all citizens who may be in the country occupied by troops under his command, in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, knowing that in so doing he will assist in accomplishing the primary object of the Government he serves.
He will devote all his energies to the defeat of the enemies of that Government and although as a soldier he can feel respect for those openly in arms against it, yet robbers and guerrillas who have taken advantage of the unsettled state of the country to burn dwellings, murder their neighborhors, and insult women are in no respect soldiers, and when taken will not be treated as such. He requires all citizens to aid and assist the officers of the U. S. Government and to stand firm in their allegiance to it. The loyal shall be protected, and the sympathizers with rebellion, though they may have taken the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States, will be treated as rebels unless they conform in word and act to the spirit of that oath.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN ARKANSAS,
Helena, Ark., March 23, 1864
Major W. D. GREEN,
I again earnestly request Major-General Steele to send me 300 cavalry and an addition to my infantry force to make it equivalent to an ordinary regiment. My cavalry force is too small to send beyond my lines to remain out more than three days, as the enemy can muster a large force. The guerrillas are constantly making thieving raids on the leased plantations, and I wish to be able to strike them a crushing blow.
My chain guard, 4 miles long, with sentinels that cannot read or write, causes me embarrassment. The colored troops, notwithstanding the utmost vigilance, go beyond the lines, and insult and depredate on peaceful citizens. The last case was of 16 black soldiers who insulted Mr. Turner and stole some of his property (a very small amount). I have sent on foot an inquiry to find out the guilty parties in this and other cases. The duties of the post require a more competent set of officers than I have for carrying out my orders, the last one of which is to establish a board to examine into the competency of the officers of colored regiments.
Your obedient servant,
N. B. BUFORD,
My scouting parties have been very successful lately. I have now 38 prisoners of war.
45 R R-VOL XXXIV, PT II