Today in History:

11 Series I Volume XXXIV-IV Serial 64 - Red River Campaign Part IV


QUITMAN, ARK, May 23, 1864.

Colonel W. H. GRAVES,

Twelfth Michigan Vols., Commanding Infantry Detachment:

COLONEL: Instead of coming to this place with your force move with it to Springfield. You will scarcely be able to reach it to-morrow night but go as soon it as you can. Should you fall in with any of the Third Arkansas Cavalry, acting under Colonel Ryan's orders, attach them to your command. We hear that Fagan is between Springfield and Clinton with 500 men. If this is so, Shelby is still on this side of the river. I shall move toward Clinton in the morning, but expect to be at Springfield as soon as you will, or will send you word there what to do.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Fort Smith, May 23, 1864.

Major General F. STEELE, Commanding Dept. of Arkansas:

SIR: I have detained the boats here thus far, till I could know what course Shelby took after taking Dardanelle. As soon as I learned he was at Dardanelle, I sent down each side of the river cavalry forces to learn his movements. I started, also, the Second Kansas Cavalry to Clarksville, but before it reached there it seems the commanding officer of the post evacuated the place and marched to Van Buren with his troops, which place they have just reached, though for what reason I am not yet advised. He did not meet the Second Kansas, they going one road and he coming another. I have sent additional forces to reoccupy the place.

I have supposed Shelby's intention was to push around to the railroad, and believing you would head him, and that he would be compelled to make his way back and attempt to recross the Arkansas if not captured by your forces, I should be ready to meet him with a sufficient force. I have thus far been unable to get any reliable information as to his movements after crossing the river at Dardanelle. Scouts just in from the south report Cooper as being on the Big San Bois, with about 6,000 men, marching this way, though I don't give much credence to it.

Maxey marched from the Sabine in the direction of Fort Washita, since which I have heard nothing of his movements. Gano came up to meet him with his force with the view of attacking Fort Smith, but my arriving here frustrated their plans. If the river is clear of obstructions I hope the boats will be sent back immediately. A communication just received from Fort Gibson states that the river is slowly rising there.

Very respectfully, yours,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

FORT LEAVENWORTH, May 23, 1864-1.40 p.m.

Major-General ROSECRANS, Commanding Dept. of the Missouri:

Colonel Blair, of Fort Scott, chased two bands bushwhackers in region of Lamar. Say they are going to unite at Warsaw under