War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0220 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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Devall's Bluff, Ark., July 17, 1864.

Captain C. H. DYER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Little Rock:

CAPTAIN: The railroad track was torn up last night about nine miles from here, and the morning train has returned, but will soon go out again with additional guard. This must have been near the post of Captain Thorp, of the One hundred and twenty-sixth [Illinois]. I shall call upon him for a report. The lines are also down. Lieutenant-Colonel Stephens, Eleventh Missouri Cavalry, returned last evening from Hickory Plains. He saw nothing of the enemy, but is of opinion there is a large force at West Point. He does not think Shelby is on this side of White River. Before the receipt of the order from district headquarters for scouting parties to bring in beef-cattle, I had myself given such orders, and now have 600 head of better cattle than will average in public corrals. They are kept under my particular direction, so that no one can steal them away. To-morrow morning I expect to send 200 head to Little Rock in compliance with an order received by the post commissary here from the chief commissary. I shall have the hide of every animal slaughtered here saved and sold for the benefit of a post fund. I do not intend that the contractors shall have a thing to do with them. I have had something done of the rifle-pits and some trees felled. The work which ought to be done seems overwhelming. It requires a great amount of hard labor even for each regiment to provide for its own wants. The water has to be hauled; wells to be dug. It is no small job either to dig the graves that are now required. It has happened that the Third Michigan Cavalry has buried six men within twenty-four hours, and the Eleventh Missouri Cavalry has buried seven men in the same length of time. Reflection upon this matter brings me back to the question of subsistence. The commissary stores, such as vegetables and those of an anti-scorbutic character, are much less here in variety than at Little Rock. This, it strikes me, should not be permitted. We shall, of course, experience a satisfaction in supplying Little Rock with beef-cattle so far as large number of such cattle about fifteen miles from Little Rock in the Maumelle Bottom or Valley.

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


Brigadier-General, Commanding.



Little Rock, July 18, 1864.

Colonel W. D. GREEN,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Dept. of Arkansas:

Respectfully forwarded.

I am informed that the mortally referred to in the Third Michigan occurred some time ago, and that in the Eleventh Missouri arose from a special cause affecting only that regiment. It is absolutely necessary to place Devall's Bluff in a defensible condition. I would send the Fifty-seventh Colored there, but that would necessitate the placing of a regiment of Salomon's division on the north side of the Arkansas at the depot. Perhaps it would be well to do so. All my scouts have