DEVALL'S BLUFF, ARK., December 21, 1864-12 m.
COLONEL: Arrived here this a. m., and am off in few minutes for Little Rock. Rain all the way from New Orleans. Telegram from Little Rock reports rise of six feet in the Arkansas River. Have ordered several boats now here to load at once for Little Rock. Am in hopes the rise will continue until we evacuate Fort Smith. Met General Steele near mouth of White River.
J. J. REYNOLDS,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
Near Orleans, La., December 21, 1864.
Major General J. J. REYNOLDS,
Commanding Department of Arkansas, Little Rock, Ark.:
General Dana has been instructed to organize as soon as possible an expedition for the purpose of driving off the guerrillas and partisan bands that now infest the upper parishes of Louisiana between the Washita and Mississippi Rivers. You will please to make a demonstration from Pine Bluff to district the attention of the rebels from his movements. General Dana will communicate direct with you and arrange the time of your operation.
E. R. S. CANBY,
HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, SEVENTH ARMY CORPS,
Devall's Bluff, Ark., December 21, 1864.
Major General J. J. REYNOLDS:
GENERAL: Last winter Colonel Livington, commanding First Nebraska Cavalry, with that regiment and the Eleventh Missouri Cavalry, came from Missouri to Batesville and occupied that place till about the 1st of March, when for lack of forage he removed to Jacksonport. While at Jacksonport he had to be supplied with forage from here to some extent. He abandoned that place and came here in June. During the most of August and September the rebel Shelby, with a mounted command of about 4,000 or 5,000 men, occupied the country around Batesville and Jacksonport. During the summer General West made two cavalry expeditions near to Batesville. Since then Genera Mower's forces, including 2,000 cavalry, moved through that region of country. The information I have received in the past few weeks is to the effect that the people in the neighborhoods of Batesville and Jacksonport are bordering on destitution. There can be hardly any forage there, and what there is, very likely, is hid away. I doubt if it is advisable to occupy either of those places, but I have thought and still think it would help us to send a force to stay at each place a day or two. Four hundred infantry, probably less, and 200 cavalry at each place wound answer. If the movement was conducted with energy the cavalry, scouting out in different directions how while there is no organized force to resist, would very likely capture a good many prisoners. The success would depend upon the extent to which the movement was a surprise. Boats can go to Jacksonport generally