Today in History:

29 Series I Volume XIII- Serial 19 - Missouri - Arkansas Campaign


damaged shot-guns and sporting rifles, and 200 rounds of shot and shell for 6-pounders; impressed 75,000 percussion caps, some shoes, blankets, and camp equipage, and purchased a small quantity of medicines. By permission of General Beauregard, applied for and received by telegraph, I also took from the banks of that city, by impressment, $1,000,000 in Confederate currency.

In addition I sent two of my staff officers to Grenada, Jackson, Columbus, and other depots, with requisitions for ordnance and ordnance stores, instructing them to take even condemned articles, and to bring them tome by the most practicable route. On the way down the Mississippi I caused large quantities of cotton to be burned, pursuant to the order of the War Department on that subject, to prevent it from falling into the hands of the enemy. At Helena I seized all the ammunition, shoes, blankets, and most valuable medicines held for sale. Several steamboats, which were ascending and would have been captured by the enemy, were required to turn back and go into the Arkansas. They were afterwards invaluable in transporting subsistence and other stores.

I arrived at Little Rock on May 30,and on the next day issued the following order:

Little Rock, Ark., May 31, 1862.

I. Pursuant to General Orders, Nos. 59 and 60, from Headquarters Western Department of the States of Arkansas and Missouri, the Indian Territory, and that part of Louisiana lying north of Red River, and of all the forces which now are or hereafter may be therein.

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The state of affairs in the Trans-Mississippi District was extremely discouraging. Prior to the Elkhorn disaster the reverse had been the case. At that time the enemy indeed occupied all of Missouri, but the spirit of resistance was unquenched and might at any moment blaze into formidable rebellion. Van Dorn, Price, and McCulloch, with the best army we had yet put into the field in that region, were in Northwestern Arkansas, securing it against invasion. Brigadier-General Pike held a corresponding line in the Indian country, where the Confederate supremacy was undisputed.

The battle of Elkhorn was fought in March, 1862. Our forces were defeated and compelled to retreat to the Arkansas River. Soon after, in anticipation of a grand contest near Corinth, they were moved east of the Mississippi, by order of General Albert Sidney Johnston, then commanding the Western Department. They took with them from Arkansas all material of war and public property of every description. Immediately afterward Brigadier-General Pike retreated southward to the vicinity of Red River. Thus Missouri was left hopeless of early succor, Arkansas without a soldier, and the Indian country undefended except by its own inhabitants. Availing himself of these advantages the Federal general Curtis marched from Elkhorn along White River into Northeastern Arkansas, and halted at Batesville, 90 miles from Little Rock, to get supplies for an advance on that place.

A Federal force of 5,000 strong was organized at Fort Scott, under the name of the Indian Expedition, and with the avowed intention to invade the Indian country and wrest it from our control. Hostile