Today in History:

181 Series I Volume XLI-III Serial 85 - Price's Missouri Expedition Part III


DENVER, September 13, 1864.

Major-General CURTIS,

Fort Leavenworth:

Troops en route to Valley Junction and Latham; company to each. Have a company at old Fort Lupton. Shall I order abandonment of Camp Collins? Latham supports Fremont's Orchard and is better with a force at Junction, which ought to be. No Indians on the Platte up this way for ten days. Am sending troops to the Arkansas. Indians still in that region, and threaten to be large force of them.




New Orleans, La., September 14, 1864.

Major General E. R. S. CANBY,

Commanding Mil. Div. of West Mississippi, New Orleans, La.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit to your consideration a statement of the information received at this office this 14th day of September, 1864, from the following sources: A report from John M. Smylie, New Orleans, La., September 14, and the statement of Mrs. Lyle, Vicksburg, Miss., September 8. Mr. Smylie reports the condition of the country east of the Mississippi as follows: The country between the Mississippi River and the Jackson and New Orleans Railroad has a sufficient supply of forage to subsist a large cavalry force and provisions for the men, and to prevent as much as possibly any decrease in that supply the farmers, under published instructions from Richmond, are raising nothing but grain and meat, all of which is turned over to the army, except a bare subsistence for the farmer and his family. East of the railroad the same rule is observed, but the country is so poor that it would not subsist 1,000 men and horses for a month. If the 300 or 400 cavalry now west of the railroad were driven east of it they could not get supplies nearer than the Mobile and Meridian Railroad, and then only by shipment. The force east of the railroad are kept there for the purpose of keeping open the communication with the forces west of the Mississippi River to guard a large amount of Government cotton stored in that country and to harass the trade on the river, with instructions to encourage smuggling which is carried on to a considerable extend along the river, lake, and Gulf coast. At nearly all the small towns and villages in this country, and especially along the lake and Gulf coast, they have an officer with a small squad of men stationed to assist the smugglers and arrest deserters and conscripts. The officers and men belong to the Conscript Bureau and are badly armed and poorly equipped. The country from Jackson to Mobile is hilly, pine country, but badly watered; no subsistence for either man or beast. Along the railroad at every station there is an officer with a few men, usually old men or boys, as provost guard. There is a small force of the same material mounted, whose duty is to patrol the country, arrest deserters and conscripts. This constitutes the entire force from Jackson to Mobile. Wirt Adams' headquarters are at Jackson and his force along the Big Black; they number about 2,500. Scott's headquarters are at Clinton, La., and his force scattered all over Southwest Mississippi and East Louisiana, and number from 1,500 to 2,000. Mrs. Lyle states that Forrest was in Jackson on the 5th instant with a force of cavalry estimated at 10,000 and sixty guns. He had been joined by Wirt Adams'