that some troops for Morganza have arrived at Devall's Bluff. The officer in command has not yet reported to me. I have ordered General Dennis' division up.
HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Mouth of White River, Ark., October 19, 1864.
Major General F. STEELE,
Commanding Department of Arkansas:
GENERAL: Your last telegraph, of date Little Rock, October 15, was received at 11 p. m. on the 16th instant, in my absence. In response to your call three regiments were sent to Devall's Bluff, viz, Twentieth and Twenty-third Iowa and Thirty-fifth Wisconsin Infantry. These troops left this point on the morning of the 17th instant. More steamers having arrived during that day, two other regiments had embarked and were just on the point of leaving on the morning of the 18th instant when a dispatch boat from Memphis arrived, having on board General Marcy, Inspector-General U. S. Army, bearing dispatches from General M. L. Smith, the nature of which you will see be the copy I inclose.* His call being of an urgent nature, those troops were detained, and together with seven other regiments, numbering about 4,000 men in all, were sent to his support. By boats from above to-day I learned that the emergency seems to have passed away, and my command will undoubtedly be back in a few days, when they will be immediately forwarded to Devall's Bluff. Colonel Slack has been ordered to move hiss brigade to Devall's Bluff forthwith. I am rather of the opinion that it will be impolitic to leave that point entirely without a garrison. I am informed by Captain Hill, of the gun-boat Tyler, that the nature of their orders will not permit him to station a gun-boat permanently at any point where there are no troops. I have three colored regiments here that arrived from below a few days ago, and I would respectfully suggest that one or two of these regiments be ordered to that point, as, in case the rebels should get possession, navigation might be seriously interrupted for a time before they could be dislodged. Please answer me by telegraph on this point. With the troops already sent you and those yet to be forwarded will number at least 8,000 effective men, infantry, cavalry, and artillery.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ELIAS S. DENNIS,
HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
White River, Ark., October 19, 1864.
Colonel J. R. SLACK,
Commanding U. S. Forces, Saint Charles, Ark.:
COLONEL: Events of an extraordinary nature have taken place in the last few days above. Forrest, Dick Taylor, Roddey, Lee, Chalmers, Maury, and others, with a force of about 20,000 men, are now
*See Smith to Dennis, October 16, p. 72.