guard the principal passes in the mountains to the south of us, were collected at Rhea's Mills, for he knew from the information that our scouts brought in each day, that a great struggle was near at hand-a struggle that would require the co-operation of all the Federal troops in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas to save us from defeat and utter destruction.
General Herron's division of Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri troops, which had been with us during the latter part of October, while we were encamped at Pea Ridge, moved back early in November in the direction of Wilson Creek and Springfield, Missouri.
Having received reliable information that a large army of the enemy, consisting of all the available troops from Texas, Arkansas and Missouri, had concentrated at Fort Smith and Van Buren under the supreme command of General Hindman, who had positively fixed the 3d or 4th of December as the day when he would set out with his army to attack and destroy this division
ion, and grounds could scarcely be laid out to better advantage for drilling and maneuvering large bodies of troops.
The enemy, however, are not likely to have a camp of instruction here again.
We were encamped near here upwards of a week last October, after the battle of Old Fort Wayne, in which we captured General Cooper's artillery.
It looks now as if our chief occupation, for a while at least, is going to be that of fighting and chasing bushwhackers.
Captain Anderson, of the 3rd Indimp,for the purpose of spending a few hours in artillery practice.
This is the battery that I have already referred to as the one we captured from General Cooper's command at Old Fort Wayne, three miles west of our present camp, the 21st of last October.
The guns are in excellent condition, and though most of the artillerymen have had only a few months' drill, yet from the target practice this afternoon, they show that they would do effective work should the occasion shortly arise.
ve with rebel families is in the country, where they harbor bushwhackers.
This guerrilla warfare is so detestable to all honorable minded men, that those engaged in it cannot justly complain if we adopt extreme measures to suppress it. Our losses in this State by this mode of warfare, during the past year, would probably foot up, if we could get correct figures, several hundred soldiers killed, besides perhaps nearly as many Union citizens.
Since we drove the enemy out of Newtonia last October, the place has been occupied by the State Militia.
They are throwing up fortifications and preparing to build a block house there, which when completed, ought to enable them to hold the place against a large force of the enemy.
A number of rebel citizens who have recently taken the oath of allegiance, have been compelled to furnish teams and labor towards constructing these fortifications, of which they bitterly complain.
But if they desire the protection of the Government, they should
wenty miles northeast of us.
Yesterday morning, March 1st, Colonel Phillips sent a scout in the direction of White river, almost east of this place, for the purpose of discovering a party of rebels reported to have been seen in that vicinity a few days ago; but it returned about midnight without having found them.
Our cavalry will probably be kept busy for awhile in endeavoring to free this section from bushwhackers, for they have had almost full sway since we passed through here last October, just before the battle of Old Fort Wayne.
When we came here, only three days ago, the dust raised by their horses' heels had scarcely settled.
As a general thing the bushwhackers in this section are mounted upon fine animals, and if they get the start of us beyond the range of our Sharp's carbines, we are rarely able to over take them.
In the battalion of the Sixth Kansas cavalry there are some good horses, and in a chase a trooper may now and then be able to dash ahead of his comrades
rals McCulloch and McIntosh.
The enemy's losses of enlisted men, killed and wounded, also exceeded ours, besides General Curtis captured nearly a thousand prisoners.
That this sketch might be as accurate as possible, I spent three days last October, when we were encamped on the battle-field of Pea Ridge, in ascertaining the positions of different divisions of the two armies.
A gentleman who was with General Curtis during the three day's struggle accompanied us over the field, and was able-second regiments Indiana infantry, and Thirty-seventh regiment Illinois infantry.
At other places on the field the federal dead had been buried in smaller groups than at the points mentioned above.. When we were encamped on the battle-field in October, the traces of this great battle still mast visible were around Elk Horn tavern.
The trees in the orchard and the small undergrowth in the woods near by were much scarred and cut to pieces by small arms and by grape and canister of the two arm
ts garrisoned by our troops.
As no family is permitted to keep much stock, very little of their corn will be fed to their own animals.
But all they have to spare will doubtless bring a fair price if sold to our troops, provided it is not taken before being sold.
Fruits are quite an item in the foodstuffs consumed by the people of this country; and there is good prospect of an abundant yield of apples, peaches, pears, &c., this season.
When our division was encamped near this place last October, many of the company messes exchanged their surplus rations of coffee and tea for dried apples and peaches, honey, &c. Nearly every family formerly had from half a dozen to several dozen stands of bees.
The women of southwest Missouri surely deserve mention for their noble conduct in sticking to their homesteads and maintaining themselves and their children in the absence of their husbands and fathers and brothers in the war. If I were gifted with elegant expression, nothing could affor
the 3d instant, encamped on White River in Arkansas, near the southern line of Missouri.
It is believed that he either intends to make a raid on Springfield, or to endeavor to capture our supply trains en route between that place and Fort Smith.
There are, probably, nearly three thousand State troops in southwest Missouri, and should he invade the State, they will likely soon to be able to check his movements, and put him to flight.
The energy with which they pressed General Shelby last October, and their success in capturing his artillery, has given them great confidence in their ability to meet an invading force on the field.
General Blunt is still at Fort Smith, but apparently without a command, much to the regret of his friends.
He is, however, attending to some business in connection with the recruiting and organizing of the Eleventh U. S. colored regiment.
A colored regiment ought to be raised in that section in a few weeks.
It is not likely, however, that he cares to