Report of C. S. Bell, scout.
I left Little Rock, Ark., January 1, 1865, at 6 a. m. By a long detour I gained the Benton road, about ten miles distant from Little Rock. This detour was necessary from the fact of there being a rebel flag of truce at that time at the pickets on the Benton road. I reached Benton, twenty-five miles southwest of Little Rock, at 7 p. m.
The 2nd, about 10 a. m., I left Benton in company with the flag of truce, which had come up an hour previously in charge of Lieutenant Colonel John P. Bull, of Morgan's regiment of Arkansas (rebel) cavalry. Crossing the Saline two miles farther on, we made a point six miles north of Rockport, which is twenty-two miles from Benton. I find, much to surprise, that two ladies, Mrs. Shaver, wife of the rebel commander at Camden, and Mrs. Cravens, wife of Major-General Reynolds' headquarters a few days since, and were positively refused passes, are with the flag. They recognize me, but as they know nothing I feel easy on that score. I remained all night with Judge Miller, two miles north of Rockport; the flag four miles farther north still.
At 8 a. m. the 3rd of January, in company with the flag, I passed on southward. I find the country hence to Arkadelphia, seventy-six miles distant from Little Rock, utterly destitute of forage or even supplies for the inhabitants. But few people live on the road. The flag halted in the edge of the bottom about eight miles north of Arkadelphia and remained all night. I remained at the house of James Barkman, in Arkadelphia. There is but a picket guard here. We came the east road; that is, we did not cross the Rockport, but kept east of the Washita until arriving at Arkadelphia. Road good and no bridges broken down.
January 4, started at 10 a. m. and reached a point twenty miles southwest. Remained with a Captain Reed. Country still destitute; timber, pine; roads hard and no broken bridges.
January 5, started at 6 a. m. ; rainy. Reached Washington at 5 p. m. Good fords at Antonie and Wolf Creeks, respectively, sixteen and nineteen miles northeast of Washington. Little Missouri bottom bad for four miles; ford good. Learned that Price was in Texas on sixty days' furlough. Half of the cavalry to be dismounted. Magruder superintends the dismounting at Fulton, fourteen miles distant. I Remained at Washington until the 15th. I had a very satisfactory interview with Magruder near Fulton on the 8th. He promised me all I desired, and was very cordial indeed. I was to leave Washington on the 16th for Shreveport to pursue my mission. The evening of the 15th, however, as I was passing the guard-house, I was recognized by one W. R. Delaney, a deserter from the Eleventh Texas (rebel) cavalry, who had for a year past resided at Pine Bluff and Little Rock, and who was in the confidence of the post commander at the latter place. He had in 1862 killed his lieutenant-colonel in an altercation near Corinth, Miss., and been compelled in consequence to seek safety in flight. He located at Pine Bluff on its capture by our army, and is well known there as a desperate gambler. He saw me on the steamer Emma No. 2, while on White River, destined for Devall's Bluff, in December, 1864. About the time I left Little Rock this scoundrel also left on the post commander's pass, good 'till further orders. " He also had the oath of allegiance and an amnesty oath. After leaving Little Rock his intention was to proceed to Kaufman County, Tex., and obtain certain