HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
New Orleans, La., July 3, 1864.
Major General FRED. STEELE,
Commanding Department of Arkansas, Little Rock, Ark.:
General Davidson is on duty at these headquarters. No general officers will be sent to you unless you desire them. Major-Generals Hurlbut, McCook, Granger, and Dana are under orders to report to me. I have sent General Gordon to Memphis for duty with a command to be used in keeping open your communications if necessary. Two or three of these officers can be sent you if you desire it.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. R. S. CANBY,
U. S. GUN-BOAT HASTINGS,
Devall's Bluff, July 3, 1864.
Major General F. STEELE,
U. S. Army, Commanding Dept. of Arkansas, Little rock:
GENERAL: I have brought one of the turtles, the Carondelet, up to Clarendon, where she will remain as long as there is water for her, and I fancy Shelby will have a good time if he runs against her. The old Tyler is hors de combat just now with a wheel-house torn off. i do not at all understand why it is that Marmaduke's, or at present Fagan's, command should remain so long at Red Fork Landing on the Arkansas. Four days since the encampments extended from that landing down to within eight miles of Napoleon, and his pickets were all along the levee. His force is probably greater than you suppose. Some of his men are across the Arkansas back of Saint Charles and Crockett's Bluff, horsestealing and catching conscripts. If I had a vessel fit for the purpose I would make Red Fork Landing too hot for the rebels. I am sure it will not do to let vessels run without convey for a while. Shelby is only a few miles from Claredon and will try again. Marmaduke's people have plenty of artillery and will be at Saint Charles when that fitful Arkansas subsides a little. A steamer or two of light draught would help in crossing the Arkansas mightly and we could not in all probability get one away from the, for they have only to run her into that river through the Cut-off, when she would be safe from pursuit. Tin-clads would be cut to pieces and iron-clads could t go far up the Arkansas. Things don't look very cheerful anywhere within the vast extent of military operations. Grant makes sorry progress. Sherman is pretty much at stand, while the rebels seem to have plenty of people for outlying operations. General A. J. Smith is out against Forrest with all the available men at Memphis. General Canby is moving 20,000 men from Morganza, but where to I do not know. I left Bache none the worse for the ducking he got the other day. I should be glad to remain up here a few days, but I feel very uneasy about the Mississippi at Napoleon, where the rebels may at any moment bring out their numerous pieces and blockade for the time that river. Bache will come up in a few days and will have force enough probably to break the enemy out of any position at short notice. I will make all the effort possible to provide frequent vessels for convoying progress. Give my regards to the gentlemen of your staff, and
Believe me, general, yours, most truly,
S. L. PHELPS,