War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0769 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- UNION.

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HDQRS. DEPT. OF ARKANSAS AND 7TH ARMY CORPS,

OFFICE OF PROVOST- MARSHAL- GENERAL.

Little Rock, Ark., December 5, 1864.

Major General F. STEELE,

Commanding Department of Arkansas:

GENERAL: Reliable information from Camden and Red River has reached this office recently of the following import: Parsons is at Camden with two brigades, General Clark and Colonel Burns commanding, 2,400 men and eight pieces of artillery. At Washington there are two small regiments, numbering about 500 men, and two pieces of artillery. These regiments belong to Forney's division (Walker's old division). Captain Lindsey commands the post of Washington. Forney's division, numbering about 4,000, is at Spring Hill, with five batteries of artillery of four pieces each. Churchill's division, numbering 4,000, is at lewisville, with four batteries of artillery of four guns each and two large Parrott guns. Parsons' division, 2,500 men (Texas cavalry), is at Walnut Hill, seventy miles below Camden, with three mountain howitzers. Logan is also there with about 700 men. Price is in Red River County, Tex. He has dismounted most of his men. Fagan and Shelby are scouting through the country of Southern Arkansas. Price's entire force will not number more than 10,000 men,with three pieces of artillery. Wharton's cavalry, numbering about 8,000 men, are scattered through the country from Spring Hill to Shreveport on Red River, headquarters at Spring Hill. He has eight pieces of artillery. This comprises Magruder's command. Polignac's division, numbering 3,500 men, is at Mindeon, La., with four batteries of four guns each and two large Parrott guns. General Buckner commands at Shreveport. There are only about three regiments there at this time, with a considerable amount of artillery and more being manufactured. There are three gun- boats at Shreveport. Formidable fortifications are being made above and below Shreveport. The State of Louisiana has called for 5,000 negroes to work on the fortification. The soldiers are poorly fed and thinly clad. Much dissatisfaction exists among the men. The troops in the Department of Arkansas are subsisted from Texas and Louisiana. There can be no doubt that the line of defense in the Trans- Mississippi Department will be on Red River in the future. I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. B. NASH,

Assistant Provost- Marshall- General, in charge of Secret Service.

PINE BLUFF, December 5, 1864.

(Received 6 p. m.)

Captain C. H. DYER,

Assistant Adjutant-General;

Colonel Erskine has not yet returned. Has anything been heard of the fleet which left here last Thursday! A rebel force, estimated at 700, is reported to be twelve miles from here on the lower Monticello road.

POWELL CLAYTON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

49 R R- VOL XLI, PT IV