War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0650 OPERATIONS IN ARK., IND. T., AND MO. Chapter VIII.

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Clay County. The Missouri River is blockaded at Independence. All quiet here at present.


Numbers 7. Report of Major Richard C. Gatlin, Fifth U. S. Infantry, of the seizure of Fort Smith, Ark.

FORT SMITH, ARK., April 24, 1861.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that a body of troops of the State of Arkansas, under the command of Colonel S. Borland, entered and of the First Cavalry, having evacuated it but a few horse previous. Being on a visit at the post at the time, I was made a prisoner of war by the authority of his excellency the governor of the State, but permitted to go at large upon giving my parole not to fight against the State of Arkansas or the Southern Confederated States during the pending difficulties between the latter and the United States, unless exchanged.

In a conversation with Colonel borland to-day I am given to understand that the governor is acting as though the State had already seceded; that last act in the drama being only a question of a few days' time.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major, Fifth Infantry.

Colonel L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

Numbers 8. Report of Major Samuel D. Sturgis, Fourth U. S. Cavalry, of the seizure of Fort Smith, Ark.


SIR: I avail myself off the first opportunity which has occurred since leaving Forth Smith, Ark., to inform you that I evacuated that post at 9 o'clock p. m on the 23rd ultimo, and marched with my command for Fort Washita, where we arrived on the 30th ultimo, and reported for duty to Colonel W. H. Emory, First Cavalry. All the available transportation at the post, amounting to some twenty wagons and teams, was taken along. The ordnance sergeant, hospital steward, chief bugler, sick, and laundresses were left at the post, to be shipped to Jefferson Barracks by Captain A. Montgomery, A. Q. M.

The causes which induce me to evacuate the post I presume are known to the department commander from general notoriety. After the supplied were cut off by the State of Arkansas the post, of course, became untenable, and we could have occupied it in any case but a few more days. One hour after we left, two boats arrived with three hundred men and ten pieces of artillery. To have contended against this force with two companies of cavalry, and that, too, while the entire population of the surrounding country were ready at a moment's warning to take up arms against us, could only have resulted eventually in