Today in History:

1054 Series I Volume XLI-II Serial 84 - Price's Missouri Expedition Part II


order to report to Colonel Hunter, should he want them. You will order Pickler's battalion to report to Colonel Hunter as soon as they arrive, as Colonel Hunter is anxious to raise a regiment of Missourians, and you will use the utmost diligence in the furthering of the completion of Coffee's regiment, as I am anxious that he should organize. you will keep the roads west of Batesville well picketed and use every exertion to prevent a surprise. You will select a camp in the vicinity of Batesville where you think best, and camp your entire command. I would suggest that you keep a few trusty scouts on the opposite [side] of the river with instructions to keep you well posted. You will keep a patrol in the town of Batesville under a discreet officer.

By command of Brigadier General Jo. O. Shelby:


Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.


Washington, Ark., August 11, 1864.


President of the Confederate State:

DEAR SIR: I am advised that the division of infantry, recently under the command of General Taylor, has been ordered to cross the Mississippi to serve under General Taylor in a department recently made; that the order is couched in such terms as would lead to the conclusion that more troops may be ordered across the river from this department.

You are aware that this department in the spring of 1862 was stripped of all organized forces, and left to depend upon new levies at a time when the State of Missouri has been completely overrun by the Federal forces under General Curtis, and when he was in the limits of the State of Arkansas. The troops taken across the river went reluctantly, and many who were out of camp or sick did not go, but remained in this department to some extent demoralized, and of those who crossed some deserted and some returned on furlough, also by the mere act of separation from their commands demoralized to a limited extent. The result of the transfer was, to a limited extent, to increase the army east of the Mississippi, but not to the same extent that the army was weakened here. The citizens of Missouri and Arkansas became satisfied that they were abandoned to their enemies, and thousands of men who might have been obtained for our army from Missouri either remained neutral or joined the Federal army. In Arkansas many men who would have cheerfully joined our army had they been satisfied that Arkansas would be held and an attempt made to retake Missouri were forced into the army.

In the autumn of 1863 our forces fell back from the Arkansas River. In this retreat we lost twice as many men, including sick, as we would have lost in a battle had one been fought. At least one-half the State was regarded by the citizens as being abandoned, and it is not strange that soldiers whose families were hopelessly within the Federal lines should have thought their services in the army were useless, and that their families needed their attention. That the feeling of despondency had much to do with the demoralization is certain from the fact that General Shelby has increased his command north of the Arkansas from 1,500 to 6,000 in a few months. Amongst the consequences which will result from the withdrawal of General Taylor's