War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0751 Chapter XLVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HDQRS. PROV. Brigadier, FIRST DIV., 13TH ARMY CORPS,

Matagorda Island, Tex., March 27, 1864.

Captain B. WILSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

SIR: I have the honor to report, in relation to pontoon bridge, that the battery are exposed to action of the weather. They can be protected by using the chess plank for covering (tarpaulins would be better), but Lieutenant Conrad, the officer in charge, informs me that he would prefer that they should be exposed until repaired. By allowing them to shrink all they will and then repairing them he thinks the boats will be better.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN C. COBB,

Colonel, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS,

Camp 20 miles from Arkadelphia, Ark., March 27, Via Little Rock, Ark., March 29, 1864-8 p. m.

(Received April 6, 5 a. m.)

S BRECK,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

There is no misunderstanding between General Curtis and myself. General Blunt attempted to assume command of troops in Arkansas. I telegraphed to General Halleck, then General-in-Chief, who informed me that all the troops in Arkansas, were under my command. Part of the Kansas troops have deserted, probably at the instigation of General Blunt, whom from all accounts is unprincipled in operations. General Curtin is most likely his accomplice in this matter, although he understands perfectly the limits of my department. I wrote General Halleck on this subject. Petitions have been gotten up by troops and citizens against any Arkansas being attached to the Department of Kansas.

F. STEELE,

Major-General.

HDQRS. DETACH. 7TH ARMY CORPS DEPT. OF ARKANSAS,

Little Rock, Ark., March 27, 1864.

Major General F. STEELE,

Commanding Department, &c.:

GENERAL: Your adjutant-general, Major Green, has shown me the telegram from general Sherman, and I deem if of such importance to you and your army that I send my personal aide-de-camp as bearer of the dispatches, as messengers who started yesterday and to-day have returned. I have no confidence in their energy or bravery. I had sent my escort out to-night as far as Benton, and also an escort on the Benton and Pine Bluff road and on the Hot Springs road, before the dispatches were received. The enemy will not catch me napping or unprepared. If orders have gone below (as General Sherman's dispatches would indicate) that you have not moved, would it not be safe to hold on, lest Bank's force did not co