Price, at Camden, march 28. Rumor then reported General Steele at Arkadelphia on the 26th. Our information places the enemy, 1,500 or 2,000 strong, at Monticello, and Shelby, 700 strong, at Princeton. Is there any news from General Steele?
E. B. GRAY,
Lieutenant Colonel Twenty-eight Wisconsin Infty., Commanding Post.
OFFICE OF ASSISTANT PROVOST-MARSHAL,
Mexico, Mo., Much 31, 1864.
[Colonel J. P. [SANDERSON:]
COLONEL: I am credibly informed that there are numerous bands of bushwhackers and horse-thieves prowling through the country. A number of horses and considerable money has been taken recently., mostly from Union men. We have, and still are, scouting through the country, but our force in this sub-district is too small to do much, there being but one company scattered through four counties when there should at least be four, in order to do much scouting. We have only about 25 or 30 men here, most of whom are kept out much of the time; still we have been unable to capture any of these thieves.
There are some women here belonging to a widow lady by the name of Harrison; their husbands enlisted some time since, and the mistress threatened to hire them out to different men to work out of doors, which had never been in the habit of doing.
Finding they were to be separated and made to work in the field, they ran off sought refuge here. The son of the mistress came the next day for the team they had taken, and told the negroes they need never come back andy more; that their mistress did not want them. The negroes consist of an old woman, her two daughters, one having two children. What should be done with them?
I am informed that there are man dy cases where [when] the negro men enlist their wives are made to do the work formerly done by the men. There is one other case I would lay before you. It is this" Some nine months since, a man by the name of-,being a rebel and not wishing to take the oath of allegiance to the Government, started for California and died on the way. He owned a negro woman and two children. She supported herself and children for some nine months, when a distant relative claims and takes her, putting one of her children in one part of the country and taking her and the other to another part. Such cases seem unjust, yet I don's know what course to pursue, therefore I respectfully submit the facts to you.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. A. RICE,
Lieutenant and Assistant Provost-Marshal.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, Mo., April 4, 1864.
Respectfully referred to the general commanding for his information, especially in regard to the want of troops in the counties referred to.