HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS,
Fort Leavenworth, March 14, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Commanding Dept. of the Mississippi, Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: I have the honor, in reply to your telegram, received late last evening, requesting to be furnished immediately with a correct statement of the number and position of troops in this department, to transmit herewith copy of General Orders, Numbers 26, of this department, reorganizing the Kansas troops, now in process of being carried out; and further to state that the only regiments in Kansas at present in effective condition for active service are the First and Eighth Kansas, the former at Fort Scott, the latter distributed through the disturbed counties of the State as provost guard. the Seventh Kansas (Jennison's), with a field piece and mountain howitzer, at Humboldt, 70 miles from Fort Scott; and the Ninth, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Wisconsin Regiments (infantry) and Second Ohio Cavalry and Rabb's Indiana Battery of six rifled pieces, all at Fort Scott or now moving south from there, under command of Colonel George W. Deitzler, left by General Hunter in command of the department, to whom your communications announcing the position of General Curtis were duly forwarded by express immediately on their arrival.
Of the regiments at Fort Scott the following, from last report, is the effective strength for the field, there being much sickens now in this department: First Kansas Infantry, 600; Ninth Wisconsin Infantry, 750; Twelfth Wisconsin Infantry, 750; Thirteenth Wisconsin Infantry, 800; Second Ohio Cavalry, 850-140 men having been detailed from this regiment to form a battery now being organized at this post under command of Lieutenant George S. Hollister, Seventh U. S. Infantry, which battery is not completed yet, owing to the non-arrival of carriages, caissons, and equipments for the guns; and Rabb's Indiana Battery complete.
The Seventh Kansas Cavalry (Jennison's) have 830 men in effective condition at Humboldt, and the Eighth Infantry, until recently commanded by Major Wessells, of the regular service, and distributed through the State to protect its peace, is a full regiment, 1,000 strong, and in good condition.
Believing that, owing to various causes, the condition and resources of this department have been misrepresented and grossly exaggerated by the press and in public speeches, I would most respectfully submit the following statement as to the condition of the other Kansas troops:
Nothing could exceed the demoralized condition in which General Hunter found the Third and Fourth Kansas Infantry and Fifth and Sixty Kansas Cavalry, formerly known as "Lane's brigade," on his arrival in this department. The regimental and company commanders knew nothing of their duties and apparently had never made returns or reports of any kind. The regiments appeared in worse condition than they could possibly have been in during the first week of their enlistment, their camps being little better than vast pig-pens, officers and men sleeping and messing together; furloughs in immense numbers being granted, or, where not granted, taken; drill having been abandoned almost wholly, and the men constituting a mere ragged, half-armed, diseased, and mutinous rabble, taking votes as to whether any troublesome or distasteful order should be obeyed or defied.
Vast amounts of public property had been taken from the depots at Fort Scott and Fort Lincoln without requisition or any form of responsibility, and horses in great quantities and at extravagant pieces had