War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0502 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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Devall's Bluff, Ark., August 1, 1864.


President of the United States:

DEAR SIR: I beg leave to send you the inclosed order.* Nothing encouraging here unless it is encouraging to say we can hold our own. The enemy is getting up close to Pine Bluff. He has forces near Arkansas Post, at Monticello, and Shelby appears yet to be hovering about Batesville and Jacksonport. Dobbin, with a gang of me, is below Clarendon, east of White River. So we are compassed about. My scouts met with a party of the enemy at West Point a few days ago. That place is forty miles north on Little Red River. Shelby's purpose at first appears to have been to blockade of White River. It has been given out that the enemy were going to attack not only Pine Bluff but Little Bock and this place. It is not easy to understand his real object. We know he is strong and enthusiastic. It my be his purpose is to get recruits and forage. He is at least succeeding in both these enterprise. The country is almost cleared of male population at home. I have asked intelligent citizens why it was that there was this new and earnest and hopeful spirit amongst rebel citizens, and why it was that men who deserted a year, ago, who took the oath and even voted at the election, are now aiding the rebel cause; whether or not it was on account of our reverse last spring. The reply has been that it is caused by an extraordinary effort of the rebel leaders to promulgate the conviction that if they can resist us successfully but till fall they can defeat your election and secure the election of McClellan or some one who will give them better terms. This information comes to me in such a way I have reason to believe it. Another thing that has given the rebel population courage is that a great many Union citizens have all the season been leaving the State. This makes the rebels bolder who are left behind and the remaining Union men more timid. Such is the state of things here. Probably it is more hopeful for us in North-western Arkansas. We keep up railroad communication regularly and hay contractors (guarded) are putting up hay on the prairies along the line of the road. We will keep up good courage and persevered. We owe it to the tens of thousands of noble men already fallen, to our ancestors, to civilization,a nd to our own manhood and honor to persevere and conquer.

Yours, truly,


DEVALL'S BLUFF, August 1, 1864.

(Received 11.30 a. m.)

Captain C. H. DYER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Little Rock:

Major Ensign has just returned. On Friday he was within six miles of Arkansas Post; captured 6 conscripts. Thinks the enemy has two brigades near there on the other side of the river. We also within three miles of Prairie Landing; no troops there. He left Saint Charles yesterday morning.


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

(Copy to General Steele.)


*Not found as an inclosure.