Today in History:

88 Series I Volume XXII-II Serial 33 - Little Rock Part II

Page 88 MO., ARK., KANS., IND.T., AND DEPT. N.W. Chapter XXXIV.


Springfield, January 31, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: Pardon me for suggesting that the forces under command of Davidson, Warren, and myself might be made available in the opening of the Mississippi, should that result not be accomplished quickly.

Before I left Saint Louis, it was understood that I should be informed when expeditions were ready to start up the Arkansas and White Rivers, so that I might march down the Arkansas Valley and join them; but there seems to have been no concert of action in the matter. I go no news of the movement of those expeditions until they had returned.

General Curtis now informs me that it is impossible to get supplies by either river at present, and hence that we have nothing to do but to wait until the Arkansas River shall be permanently held by the forces from below. I have suggested to the general that, possibly, transports and supplies might be sent up one river or the other to meet us. We would then be in position to hold the rivers, and strike out from Little Rock, or go down and assist in the attack on Vicksburg, as might be advisable.

The river may be open before this letter can reach you, and again it may not a month hence. I see no necessity for our lying idle to await so uncertain a contingency. On the contrary, I believe we may be placed in position to add much to the probability of speedy success in the effort to open the Mississippi.

There is no considerable force of the enemy north of the Arkansas River; indeed, I believe they have all gone or are going as rapidly as possible, to Vicksburg.

Ten thousand infantry and artillery can be spared from Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas, and can easily reach Vicksburg in twenty days from the time the order is given. If it be found unnecessary to go farther than Little Rock, so much the better. We will then be in position to operate toward Arkadelphia, where the enemy has gone, if he has not gone beyond.

The war is, of course, ended in this part of the country,at least for a long time to come, and I am impatient of this long idleness.

I am, general, yours, very respectfully,




His Excellency President ABRAHAM LINCOLN:

Mr. Broadhead, at your instance, brought me an order, published by General Wright's subordinate, General Granger, in Kentucky, which you wished me to consider as probably favorable to difficulties in Missouri. The Union element in Kentucky seems to evade or oppose your plans. The order excludes "all persons not belonging to the army" from our camps. This is General Halleck's Orders, No. 3, in different words, and would not do in my command, where we are taking the "bull by the horns." If they would do so in Kentucky, I am confident you and all would have less trouble. A few snarling officers and rebel slaveholders oppose, but the great demand that the acts of Congress and your proclamation shall appear a living reality. I am doing very

Page 88 MO., ARK., KANS., IND.T., AND DEPT. N.W. Chapter XXXIV.