WASHINGTON, D. C., May 17, 1865-4 p. m.
Major General JOHN POPE,
Saint Louis, Mo.:
You may suspend order for mustering out troops so far as the exigencies of service require. Troops can be sent you soon to enable you to carry out the order.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, Mo., May 17, 1865.
Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,
General-in-Chief, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit inclosed copies of dispatches received from General Reynolds and Colonel Sprague. * I do not of course know what course Kirby Smith will adopt, but I think there is not much doubt that a campaign into Texas will be unnecessary. I presume that Kirby Smith is delaying Sprague until he receives further news of the rebels east of the Mississippi; and as every day will render it more and more clear that the rebellion and the rebel Government are at an end, I think he will very shortly agree at the terms without the necessity of assembling an army to march against him. His men are altogether demoralized, and will leave him in large numbers. Information from several sources confirms General Reynolds' dispatch. Some little patience may perhaps be necessary, though I expect every moment to hear from Sprague. Unless Kirby Smith holds his army together, and a campaign becomes necessary in consequence, I suppose that such points as are important in Texas can be more easily occupied from the coast. In case he accepts the terms, I will at once occupy Marshall, in Texas, and Shreveport and Alexandria in Louisiana. A small force may also be needed at Fulton and Camden; but I will have men enough for all these purposes. A very few days will, I am sure, decide the mater. The Mississippi and its lower tributaries are very high, and at many of the usual landing-places on the lower river it is now impossible to land on account of high water. Opposite Vicksburg the river is thirty miles wide. The white and Arkansas Rivers, and all the small streams in Arkansas, are very high. From all indications their will be a great flood this year. As it is, the swamps and grasses in Arkansas are as yet impassable. General Reynolds reports to me that it would be next to impossible to get ten wagons through Arkansas to Red River under present circumstances. We will be able on short notice to get everything ready at Fort Smith and Little Rock for a forwarded movement if it be necessary. I already have supplies at Fort Smith and Fort Gibson sufficient for the contemplated campaign. If they are not needed for that purpose, they can be readily sold to the people without any loss to the Government. General M. Jeff. Thompson surrendered with his forces. How many he has or can collect, it would be difficulty to say. He claims to have from 5,000 to 10,000, and his vanity will prompt him to collect as many as he can to be paroled on the 29th of this month. The terms of surrender are the same as those granted to General Lee. His surrender is only important from the fact that it relieves the people of Northern Arkansas and Southern
*See Reynolds to Bell, May 12, and Sprague to Pope, May 5, pp. 416, 322.
31 R R-VOL XLVIII, PT II