War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0601 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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garrison by at least two regiments of colored infantry, and that the cavalry be increased as speedily as practicable. The Eighty-eighth and Eighty-ninth are to be discontinued, as you know, which only leaves-three regiments here, one of which is my only heavy artillery.




New Orleans, La., August 8, 1864.

Major General F. STEELE,

Commanding, &c., Little Rock, Ark.:

SIR: General Gordon's forces were sent to White River with the expectation that he would be relieved by General Wasburn as soon as General A. J. Smith returned, and orders to that effect were given. The movements of the rebels in this department indicating the possibility of re-enforcing the rebels in your department, I directed General Gordon to remain if he learned that this supposition was well founded. I do not think Saint Charles should be occupied permanently; Fort Smith, Little Rock, and Devall's Bluff are the permanent points. Clayton's forces and the troops you will get from washburn, added to the force at those points, will enable you to circulate a force that will overcome any force that the rebels can bring against you unless re-enforced by the troops from Louisiana. Cannot you reduce the number of extra and daily duty men by impressing negroes, or hiring citizens? The strength of your garrisons might be materially increased by the militia, distributing them judiciously among older troops. I except to leave New Orleans for the upper river in about ten days, and if not able to go to Little Rock will appoint a time for meeting you at Devall's Bluff or the mouth of Red River. I can send you one or two locomotives for your railroad if you will give me the gauge.


Major-General, Commanding.


Little Rock, Ark., August 8, 1864.

Major General E. R. S. CANBY,

Commanding Military Division of West Mississippi:

(Care of Commander of Gun-boat Fleet, mouth of White River.)

GENERAL: On the 5th instant I sent all my available cavalry a four-gun battery, under Brigadier-General West, to break up McCray on Red River, and then to cross White, and by rapid movements to take Shelby in detail. All our information goes to show that his forces are scattered. From report of spy it is probable that West encountered McCray yesterday between Searcy and West Point. West's cavalry numbers over 3,000 and is ample to meet anything that can be brought against it. General Buford reports to me that Dobbin with two regiments of Shelby's and his own command has swept the plantations below Helena of stock, negroes, and everything else that could be taken away. I have directed General Buford to co-operate with West, and have requested General Wasburn to send a force on to Crowley's Ridge to break up a gang of smugglers who furnish Shelby & Co. with arms, ammunition, and other supplies, and to cut off any parties that may be driven in that direction by West. The rebels have strong