are more weakened by sickness than regulars, owing to their inexperience and want of seasoning.
We ought to have four batteries of 6-pounders, six guns each, for field service. We can be furnished two of these batteries, perhaps, or twelve guns, here. The Confederate Government should forward us two batteries more, and we shall need also some heavier guns, 18-pounders, say, on carriages, and ammunition, for the posts to be established, and half a dozen howitzers for casting shells. In addition, we shall have to create a reserve, to be stationed in the State, near the northwestern frontier, of three regiments more, to be called into service by the Confederate Government at a moment's warning.
I am informed by Lieutenant Pearce that all the force needed can be procured in the march West when it reaches the line. Commissary stores to supply them for a limited time would have to be forwarded to this point. You know our condition. We can get from the State, for the purpose of putting the force in the field, a hundred thousand dollars. I think and believe all the rest, except that and the men, must be furnished. We have almost literally no arms. If possible, our regiments ought to be well armed. I fear that, the supply of revolvers being limited, it may not be in the power of the Government to supply them to all the cavalry. If they cannot be furnished, there had better be but one regiment of cavalry.
The arms for the Indians should be forwarded as soon as possible, to be placed in depot on the frontier, and there distributed to organized bodies. Of course ammunition must come with the arms. The river is in tolerable stage now, and if speed is made we may use is to convey everything to the frontier, at Fort Smith or Ozark, and there obtain wagons and mules for transportation.
My plan, if I were put in command, would be to proceed instantly to raise the regiments, rendezvousing them at this point and in Washington or Benton Counties. I should, with as little delay as possible, proceed to the frontier and get the troops in hand, and as soon as we were in sufficient force occupy old Fort Wayne, or a point near it, and also a proper point near the junction of the Arkansas and Grand Rivers, where the great Missouri and Texas road crosses the former. At these points field works ought to be thrown up, so that a part of our force could neutralize or be equal to double their number of any enemy. With our Western frontier for our base of operations, open communications south of the Arkansas with Fort Smith, those communications being properly guarded, and with the power to operate from Fort Wayne on the flank of any force marching south between our frontier and the Neosho River, and to cut its line of communication, we ought not to lose the country. Of course we would need a competent engineer officer and a competent artillery officer. For the latter I hope the Secretary of War will select Captain James Totten, lately stationed here, and who desires to serve the Confederate States. If is placed in command of our artillery, force, with the rank of major, we shall soon see it efficient. We must also have several regular officers to command the bodies of Indians enlisted. Among these I hope Captain McIntosh, late of the U. S. Army and now in Georgia, will be included. He desires to go into the service in the Indian country, and I should, if I were to command here, much desire to have him.
I have no right to anticipate that the Confederate Government will confer so important a trust on me as the command of the department to be formed of the Indian country. I should not think od seeking it or any other appointment, and have already written Mr. Toombs that I