War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0651 Chapter VIII. REPORTS.

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our being taken prisoners and the loss to the Government of all the arms, horses, means of transportation, &c., at the post.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. D. STURGIS,

Captain, First Cavalry.

Captain S. WILLIAMS, Asst. Adjt. General,

Headquarters Department of the West, Saint Louis, Mo.

Numbers 9. Report of Captain Alexander Montgomery, assistant quartermaster, U. S. Army, of the seizure of Fort Smith, Ark.

FORT SMITH, ARK., April 24, 1861.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that the companies of cavalry under command of Captain Sturgis, First Cavalry, withdrew from this post yesterday evening and marched in the direction of Fort Washita. I inclose a copy of an order he issued immediately before leaving, directing the entire evacuation of the post.

About two hours after his departure a body of troops under the command of Colonel Solon Borland, aide-de-camp to his excellency the governor of the State of Arkansas, accompanied by the adjutant-general of the State, arrived in steamers and took possession of the post, making me a prisoner of war, under authority and by direction of the governor of the State. Major R. C. Gatlin, Fifth Infantry, who happened to be in the garrison at the time on visit, was also made prisoner of war. On giving our parole that we would not fight against the State of Arkansas or the Southern Confederate States during the existing difficulties between the latter and the United States, unless exchanged, we were permitted to go at large. The force under Colonel Borland consisted of 235 men, rank and file, with battery of artillery. Colonel Borland demanded and has taken possession of all the public property at the post and in this vicinity, inventories of all the public property at the post and in its vicinity, inventories of which will be forwarded to the proper bureau.

For the information of the friends of the parties. I beg leave to state that Major Brown, paymaster, and Captain Burns, C. S., were absent from the post at the time of its evacuation. Major Brown, returning from Fort Arbuckle, received information at Scullyvile that I had been made a prisoner of war, and immediately turned back and joined Captain Sturgis' command. Captain Burns had gone down the river to look after certain subsistence stores, which it was feared would be seized by the State authorities.

The movement of Captain Sturgis was necessitated by the limited supply of provisions on hand and the intelligence received a short time before he left that all the public stores on the river in transit to this post had been detained or captured by the State authorities. He was also awarded that the governor of the State had dispatched a force, with artillery, to demand possession of the post, and possibly to capture his arms and horses. It was not expected that any orders had been given to make prisoners of war.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. MONTGOMERY,

Captain and Qu. M., U. S. Army.

Captain SETH WILLIAMS, Asst. Adjt. General,

Headquarters Department of the West, Saint Louis, Mo.