of the boat. The scout met Dodd's Independent Scouts, who had just come from Red Bluff, but they saw or heard nothing of the boat. The general commanding wishes to know what you opinion is of the matter, and if you have any idea of the whereabouts of the boat.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. E. GRAVES,
Captain, Twelfth Michigan Volunteers, Acting Aide-de-Camp.
PINE BLUFF, ARK., October 18, 1864--10.45 p. m.
Captain S. E. GRAVES,
The steamer Annie Jacobs left here about 1 p. m. of the 16th. I cannot imagine whys he has not arrived at Little Rock. I have heard nothing of her since she left.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE FRONTIER,
Fort Smith, Ark., October 18, 1864.
Colonel S. H. WATTLES,
Commanding Fort Gibson:
SIR: The presence of General Price and his army in Missouri, and the possibility of his coming in this direction without his army being destroyed, renders it necessary that I should take the necessary steps to provide against such an emergency. It is my intention to hold Fort Smith in any event, even if necessary to abandon every other point in the district. If I become satisfied that Price is coming here, I shall probably order you to move to this place with all your force, excepting perhaps one regiment and one piece of artillery. That regiment would be left for the purpose of holding Gibson, and saving the public property if possible. If a superior force should then approach Gibson the command could move to this place or retire toward Fort Scott, according to the direction from which the enemy might come. You will then perceive that it is my intention in case Price comes in the direction of Fort Smith, to concentrate here all the troops in the district, with the exception above named. Of course with the force now here I could not expect to hold this place against Price's army and Cooper's also. But with your force united to mine I think I could hold it against both, at least until the force that will undoubtedly follow should come up. I may if the danger appears imminent direct you to leave no troops at Gibson, but bring all here. These views are communicated to you so that you may be preparing for the emergency.
You should keep transportation enough with you to move your ammunition and commissaries. All unserviceable quartermaster's stores, and even unserviceable ordnance stores, should be inspected, condemned, and ready to be destroyed, if you are obliged to leave Gibson, in case you cannot procure transportation for it. You are authorized at all times to press into service all private teams that can be had. I trust Colonel Blair will communicate to us as soon as possible whatever of importance transpires with regard to Price. Send any dispatches that may reach you from Fort Scott through to me by trusty messengers,