October 3, 1864, New
Major Frank W. Marston to Major General E. R. S. Canby
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF SIGNAL OFFICER,
New Orleans, October 3, 1864.
Maj. Gen. E. R. S. CANBY,
Comdg. Mil. Div. of West Mississippi, New Orleans, La.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit to your consideration the following statement of information received at this office this 3d day of October, 1864, from Bernard Norton, scout: Left New Orleans on the 10th of September via White River to Little Rock. On the 17th reported to General Steele, who told me to go toward Princeton. Started on the 18th and was one day on the road. I found Colonel Logan with 600 cavalry, all armed. At North Fork, Saline County, found Captain Cooper with three companies of cavalry, all armed and numbering 250 men. Several companies of bushwhackers in this part of the country; no accurate account could be got of these. Returned on the night of the 20th to Little Rock. On the 21st left Little Rock in company with Harry Williams for mouth of White River; reached there on the 24th. On the 26th reached Vicksburg; left Vicksburg on the same evening; crossed the river and kept along the railroad to Richmond. Left Richmond in northwest direction, crossing Roundaway, Tensas, and Boeuf Bayous to Lind Grove, on Bayou Bartholomew. Twenty miles distant is Poplar Bluff. Between Lind Grove and Poplar Bluff captured a private in the Confederate Army, thought to have been a spy. Found on his person a pass signed by Major-General Parsons containing his description and directions to pass the bearer out of the lines at all times. He told us that Polignac was in the vicinity of Poplar Bluff; Walker and Parsons near Monticello; Colonel Harrison at Oak Ridge, eighteen miles from Bastrop, northeast direction. Quantrill's forces, commanded by Captain Lee, are in the vicinity of Delhi. Polignac has three regiments of Texans and two of Louisiana troops, about 3,000 men. Walker has three brigades---Hawes', Scurry's, and Randal's, about 6,000 men; cannot say exactly how strong Parsons' force is. They are nearly all Texans. All the Missouri troops and a large number of Arkansas troops have gone with Price. Mr. Norton believes that the entire strength of the forces in Arkansas to-day is about 13,000 men. Returned to Vicksburg on the evening of the 30th. Reported at office chief signal officer, Military Division of West Mississippi, on the 3d day of October, 1864.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRANK W. MARSTON,
Major, Signal Corps, U. S. Army, Commanding.
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