I approve of concentrating the troops of this expedition at Fort Riley as soon as possible. No time should be lost in completing their organization and the supply train. As it will go by Fort Wise, it can avail itself of the supplies at that place. I directed Colonel Leavenworth to take his command up the Platte River so as to economize forage on the Arkansas route.
Major Allen has observed wagons from Cincinnati and Chicago to fill Major Easton's requisition.
The cavalry is as well armed as ours here. We can do no better for them. You can have them issued. The carbines should be put in order and the ammunition carefully inspected and all defects supplied.
Requisitions should be forwarded immediately for the Parrott guns. I cannot send ammunition until requisitions are made, stating caliber, amount, &c.
The expedition must start as early as possible. As soon as General Brice is confirmed he will be ordered into the field.
All troops not required for the New Mexico expedition or in Kansas should be prepared as soon as possible to move via Fort Scott or Humboldt into the Indian country. Report immediately what means you have for arming friendly Indians, and how many it will be safe to arm. These Indians can be used only against or in defense of their own territory and homes.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
Washington, April 6, 1862.
The chief part of the Army of the Potomac is now at Fort Monroe. McDowell's and Banks' corps remain. Yesterday General McClellan commenced and advance on Yorktown. The enemy are expected to make their strong stand there. Three steam rams are rapidly being constructed at Pittsburgh; one at Cincinnati for your use. We are looking anxiously toward Island Numbers 10.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE SOUTHWEST,
[Cassville,] mo., April 6, 1862.
General H. W. HALLECK:
GENERAL: I will try to form a junction with General Steele, and he should try to unite with me. Together we would repel Van Dorn's combinations, but I have a long, rough road before me, and the matters of supplies may retard me.
My advance is 15 miles east of this pace. This accords with my views. My force is too small to divide and leave a large force here, although I admit the good results of holding on at Pea Ridge would be further realized by remaining steady farther west. The trouble is my rear, threatened by forces through Forsyth and Yellville; and General Steele could not, where he now is, check a dahs down on Springfield, which my present movement is designed to effect; besides, forage is so exhausted I must shift west or east.