Several squads moved down from the direction of Peach Orchard Gap, passing between Bayou Des Arc and Ball Creek. One of my scouting parties had a skirmish with about thirty of Shelby's men day before yesterday, between Searcy and West Point, and run them into the swamps, killing one horse and wounding a man. We lost one horse and equipments. I sent my dispatch yesterday under the escort of the scouting party to Hickory Plains, and as they could not cross the Cypress they had to return. I moved down here to-day and shall make a reconnaissance to-morrow to ascertain the location and force of the enemy if they are at the place represented.
LITTLE ROCK, July 19, 1864.
Colonel P. CLAYTON,
A gentleman in this city informed me that he was told by a reliable person that Mrs. Roane told him that General Taylor was marching on Monticello with 15,000 troops. I give you this for what it is worth. Perhaps you had better question Mrs. Roane on the subject. A fleet of eight boats just arrived at Devall's Bluff. News to the 8th: Grant still before Petersburg. Report is that a column of rebels defeated Lew. Wallace and is marching on Baltimore. The main body of the rebels are said to be marching on Washington. I will send you a more definite account when we get the papers.
PINE BLUFF, ARK., July 19, 1864-8 p.m.
I have conversed with Mrs. Roane in reference to what you telegraphed me to-day. She denies having made use of any language that would indicate any such an idea. She says that when she was in Camden General Taylor was on Red River, and that he was under censure for having violated orders in pursuing General Banks beyond the point he was ordered to. I asked for if she believed, from what she had heard while South, that the rebels intended marching against this place. She said she did, but that she did not think they would attempt to take the place by assault; that she believed they intended to cut off our communications and thus compel our retreat or surrender. She feels herself under personal obligations to me, and I believe she will tell me what she knows. I have agreed to call upon her to-morrow, at which time she has promised to give me further information. A regiment of rebel cavalry came within two miles of our pickets on the Warren road this morning. Our pickets and the enemy's pickets stand within sight of each other on the Napoleon road. Fagan is positively on the Arkansas River from twenty to thirty miles below this place. I have doubts about Cabell's brigade having crossed. The enemy staked out a camp-ground at Embry's place on the opposite side, about eight miles below, yesterday, and intend crossing a regiment this week. I hope to have my brigade done by Saturday night; if so, I will interfere somewhat with their calculations. I think there is no longer any doubt but that