War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0666 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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settlements of the whites or starve, as they would be plundered, and perhaps driven out of their country, by the rebels. There are some other considerations which I will not now mention.

Very respectfully, general,

F. STEELE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS, Little Rock, Ark., November 24, 1864.

Major General J. J. REYNOLDS,

Commanding Military Divisions of West Mississippi:

GENERAL: General Canby's dispatches, dated 16th and 17th instant, have been received. There appears to be no longer any danger to my communications, except an occasional firing at boats on White River. I have been endeavoring to put the points to be occupied by our troops in a proper state of defense, but the force has been so small and the details for fatigue duty and armed service so heavy that the fortifications have progressed slowly. The defenses at Pine Bluff and Fort Smith are completed, and those of Little Rock nearly so. Those at Devall's Bluff have been deferred for want of men and because that place is covered by the defenses of the Arkansas and has never been threatened. They are now being pushed as rapidly as possible. The ordinary labor of the troops there unloading boat, &c., is very great. The assistance which they have received from the troops of the Nineteenth Corps in post duty has been interrupted by movements. General Canby expresses surprise that "Devall's Bluff had not been properly armed." The general is perhaps not aware that 600 yards is about the extreme range required of artillery at that place, with the present defenses. If has been a gun-boat station, and the timber has been cut away to give their heavy guns a clear sweep on the flanks, which are ravines, running perpendicular to the river. You promised to send me some 20-pounder Parrotts from Morganza. Requisition has [been] made on the ordnance department for guns enough to give all our works what it has been thought to be a sufficient armament. I will inclose an estimate made by Captain Wheeler of the force it will require to hold the principal points in this department.

Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

F. STEELE,

Major-General.

[Inclosure.]

ENGINEER'S OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS, Little Rock, Ark., November 24, 1864.

Major General F. STEELE, U. S. Army,

Commanding Department of Arkansas:

GENERAL: To hold the line of the Arkansas River, I estimate the following numbers to be required for the garrison of the different points mentioned: Devall's Bluff-1,000 infantry, twelve pieces of artillery, with artillerymen to serve them, and 500 cavalry. Pine Bluff--1,500 infantry, two movable batteries of six guns each, twelve guns in position, with men to serve them, and 500 cavalry. Little Rock--7,000 infantry, six movable batteries, eighteen pieces of artillery in position and 1,500 cavalry. Brownsville and military road-1,000 infantry, one battery of six guns, and 1,000 cavalry. To sum up, for the District of Little Rock