War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0648 OPERATIONS IN ARK., IND., T., AND MO. Chapter VIII

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Numbers 4. Report of Lieutenant Colonel William H. Emory, First U. S. Cavalry, of the abandonment of Forts Arbuckle, Cobb, and Washita, Ind. T.


West of the Arkansas River, May 19, 1861.

SIR: I had the honor to receive the instructions of the General-in-Chief, dated April 17,* by the hands of Lieutenant Averell, of the Rifles, two days' march from Washita.

The seizure of supplies for this command, which I suppose was known sooner at Washington than it was to me; the known fact that it was only supplied to the 31st of may, and the failure of the command at Arbuckel and Cobb to concentrate as directed, caused me to anticipate the instructions of the General-in-Chief, so far as withdrawing the troops from Washita in the direction of Arbuckel and Cobb.

The day after I left Washita [April 16] the Texas occupied that place in force. The troops at Arbuckel and two companies from Cobb joined me five miles from Arbuckle, ont he east bank of the Washita River, May 3. I then marched to relieve Cobb, taking the road which lies on the open prairie to the north of the Washita River, so as to render the cavalry available.

On the 5th, finding myself followed, I halted, and sent Captain Sturgis with his company and Lieutenant Averell to the rear, to bring into my camp the advance guard of the pursuing forces, which he did happily without having to shed blood. The same day Arbuckel was occupied by a large force of white people from Texas. (See letter of Sergeant Campbell.) [Report Numbers 11.] the next morning the above-mentioned guard, mostly composed of gentlemen acting under erroneous impressions, retreated its steps, and I followed my course to relieve the command at Cobb, for the safety of which I had reasons to entertain serious apprehensions, and which I had ordered to meet me.

On the 9th I found the command from Cobb (two companies of foot) thirty-five miles northeast of that post, and on the same day I took the most directed course to Leavenworth that the nature of the ground would permit. I am now in Kansas, on the north side of the Arkansas River, with the whole command-eleven companies, 750 fighting men, 150 women, children, teamsters, and other non-combatants. Nothing has been left behind but what would have been left in time of peace. Contracts were made to bring such stores as were left and were worth transporting (chiefly clothing of soldiers and officers' baggage), but I understand the clothing has been seized. If this be the fact, these soldiers, who have not mined in the politics of the country, who stand to their colors, and do their duty faithfully, should be reimbursed.

it is my duty to call attention to the unworthy conduct of the governor of the Chickasaw Nation, which country, I apprehend, he too faithfully represent. He busily joined in an attempt to disarm and disgrace the soldiers, whose only occupation for years pass was to defend the rights and property of the people he represents and who were, to my own knowledge, invited by the agent and representatives of this people to re-enforce Fort Washita.

There is no money with this command, which has been a source of great embarrassment; and I beg to call attention to the estimates, and request that funds be immediately sent, to enable me to discharge useless


*See Townsend to Emory, of that date, in "Correspondence and Orders, etc.," p. 667.