HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE,
Thirteen Miles Northeast of Cassville, November 8, 1864.
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
I moved here from Cassville to procure forage. Your dispatch of this day* was received at this place. I shall return to Rolla by easy marches through such country as I can procure forage for my horses, and at the same time punish such straggling parties of the enemy as can be intercepted. At Rolla the command may by reorganized and made available for active service when needed. I consider the order to save the horses as imperative for me to return to Rolla.
CAMP ARKANSAS CAVALRY,
Near Webber's Fall's, November 8, 1864-9 p. m.
I have ascertained from reliable sources that the rebel force which attacked Fayetteville on Thursday last was 6,700 strong, 5,200 bring from Price's army, commanded by General Fagan, and 1,500 being the force of Brooks and Brown. My force was 958 volunteers and 170 militia, making 1,128 men. Please make this correction in the papers for the benefit of my command.
M. LA. RUE HARRISON,
Colonel First Arkansas Cavalry, Commanding.
FORT SMITH, ARK., November 8, 1864.
Brigadier General J. B. SANBORN,
Commanding Cavalry Division, in the Field:
GENERAL: I arrived at this place at 11 a. m. I could to get in advance of General Curtis. I went from Bentonville to Cincinnati on the line, and finding no road leading to the right of Webber's Falls, on the Arkansas River, I traveled the Line road. I passed General Curtis' camp yesterday morning, and for the scarcity of forage I was compelled to leave the trail. I got no forage after passing Bentonville; only one very light feed. General Curtis started from camp below Dutch Mill at daylight. He was twenty-four hours behind Price. Price will cross at Webber's Falls. General Thayer thinks different, but there is no forage in the Nation, and he will be compelled to cross at the nearest point. The country is devastated for fifteen or twenty miles where he passed. General Thayer has written all information in regard to Fort Smith you required. If you want to send messengers to me, send on the Cove Creek road. I leave for Fayetteville in the morning.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. MELTON,
Major Second Arkansas Cavalry, Commanding Detachment.
* See November 7, 10.30 p. m., p. 476