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hat our thoughts were in regard to the ultimate object of the expedition. Suffice it to know that General Blunt had information that a brigade of Texas cavalry, under command of Colonel Crump, was encamped at Dripping Springs, eight miles north of Van Buren, and that he wished to capture them or break up their camp. He was also informed that large quantities of quartermaster and commissary supplies were stored at Van Buren, and that four or five steamboats were coming up the river from Little Rock with cargoes of supplies for General Hindman's army encamped in the neighborhood of Fort Smith, and that the steamboats would probably reach Van Buren about the time he calculated we would get there. If we could capture and destroy those supplies and steamboats, and capture or break up Colonel Crump's camp it would of course cripple the rebel army in Arkansas to a very great extent,besides it would add to its demoralization, which was already great since the battle of Prairie Grove. We
will probably be able at least to hold their own with the guerrillas of southwest Missouri. A deserter came into our lines to-day from Colonels Carroll's Arkansas regiment, which is now stationed below Van Buren on the Arkansas river. He does not think that the enemy in that section contemplates an immediate movement northward, as they have not a force sufficiently strong to meet our troops in the open field. Nearly all the rebel troops in Arkansas, he thinks, are in the vicinity of Little Rock, at any rate, that there is not a large force in the western part of the State. We have no reason to doubt this latter part of his statement, for our reconnoitering parties are ever now and then returning from the vicinity of Van Buren, and in each instance report no enemy in force. Captain John Rogers, of the battalion Sixth Kansas cavalry, with a detachment of two hundred men, returned yesterday evening (13th) from beyond Cane Hill, in the Boston Mountains, and reports having met wit
ssing the river, that we have heard of,between Fort Smith and their present encampment. And since we destroyed their steamboats at Van Buren last December, it is not probable that they have had much river transportation on the Arkansas above Little Rock. Though this is the season when navigation on the river is best, neither party is able to use it to advantage. A steamboat plying on the river in the service of one party would be a target for the artillery and small arms of the other. Below Fort Smith, for, perhaps, nearly two hundred miles, the enemy might ply steamboats with comparative safety from attack by our forces. But over that section they have very little to transport, as the main army is in the neighborhood of Little Rock. The present rise is due almost entirely to the flood gates having been opened in the mountains. Such local rains as we have had recently have not, probably, perceptibly affected the volume of water flowing in the Arkansas, above the month of G
. Louis state Generals Steele and Davidson have captured Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas. The city was taken without anow, the Arkansas River can be opened to navigation above Little Rock. It may be, however, that it has not a sufficient volum this season to float even light draft steamers. But if Little Rock can be made a depot of supplies by direct shipment from perfect arrangements for bringing supplies through from Little Rock to the Army of the Frontier at Fort Smith, so that, in t a portion of General Price's army, recently driven from Little Rock by our troops under Generals Steele and Davidson. Colonee and Davidson continue the pursuit of Price's army from Little Rock, it will likely either march to Fort Smith, and attack oissouri. The country north of the Arkansas River, above Little Rock, is open to the northern line of the State, and they wouce to keep them moving. Since Vicksburg has fallen, and Little Rock abandoned, Price's army has really nothing else to do bu
an organize an army very soon of such strength as will enable them to make a successful assault, assuming of course that all our troops in the vicinity of that place have been concentrated there, and would be handled to the best possible advantage. We have got a firm footing at Fort Smith, and will be able to hold western Arkansas and the Indian country, unless our officers make some unpardonable blunder. It is not likely that General Marmaduke will be permitted to occupy the country north of the Arkansas River much longer. Should he endeavor to confine his operations to the central or eastern portion of the State, north of the river, General Steele, commanding an army at Little Rock, should be able to send a force against him and compel him to leave that section. Or if he should move into northwestern Arkansas, Generals Blunt and McNiel will look after him very closely, and it is not thought that he or General Shelby will attempt to make another raid through Missouri at present.
sas, instead of through the Nation via Fort Blunt. This will probably be the last train from this place to Fort Smith, as it is thought that Little Rock will immediately be made a base of supplies for the army in Arkansas. The distance from Little Rock to Fort Smith is not so great as the distance from Fort Smith to this post. And it is probable, too, that in a month or so, light draft steamers can run on the Arkansas River, and .thus save overland transportation of supplies to the Army of roops from western Arkansas, if General McNeil handles them skillfully. Including Colonel Phillips' Indian division, we have an army of about eight thousand men in that section, well supplied with artillery. The army under General Steele, at Little Rock, is also within co-operating distance, should the rebel generals concentrate all their troops in Arkansas, to attack General McNeil at Fort Smith. Though the enemy may make a bold demonstration, since he is holding no particular place in Arka