country. I wish to organize a force in the Indian country that may contitute a respectable command. I am not desirous to be merely a general of Indians, because a force of 3,000 or 4,000 irregular mounted troops is only of value when sustained by infantry and artillery. Moreover, to hold the Indian country against the force that will be thrown into it in the spring, if it do not come there to winter, two or three important points must be strengthened by field works, only to be constructed by infantry, but which the Indian rifles will efficiently aid in defending. It is important that our Indians should have our troops by their side, that they may not conclude that they are fighting for us only and not equally for themselves.
Provisions are cheap in the Indian country and forage and fuel are cheap. It is highly desirable to organize there such a force as may not only suffice to defend the country on its western and northern frontiers, but as may be able and ready to render efficient aid to the officer to whom the conduct of operations in Missouri may be instructed. To do this, I requested authority to receive into the service an additional force of Indians, if they offer themselves with arms, or as soon as I may have arms for them, not to exceed, with those already in the service, 7,500 men. A part of this force I propose to place at the posts near Red River, and at new posts to be selected on the western and northern Indian frontier, and to require the utmost economy on the part of their quartermasters and commissaries.
I also request that one of the Arkansas regiments now in the service may be assigned to my command; that I be authorized to receive the regiment now being raised by Colonel Frank A. Rector, and that I be also authorized to receive one other infantry regiment, to be commanded, if raised by him, by Charles W. Adams, of Arkansas; this and the others to be infantry, and only to be mustered into the service when armed. No more volunteers can be had in Arkansas unless arms are furnished them, nor ought the Government to incur the expense of paying and feeding unarmed men.
Colonel Rector desires the regiment he is raising to be under my command. Mr. Adams can raise his regiment if I can procure the arms, as I hope to be able to do, and I propose to receive it by companies, and that the President then appoint him colonel. If no more can be done, I request permission to receive three regiments of infantry by companies, as each company presents itself with arms, or as I have arms to supply it, and I also ask for authority to receive two companies of artillery when I shall have the guns to furnish them.
United with infantry and artillery the Indians will prove valuable auxiliaries. A force in the Indian country, little encumbered with wagons and always ready to move, will be as available for offensive or defensive operations in Kansas or Missouri as if stationed in Northwestern Arkansas or wintering in the valley of the Arkansas River.
I am, very truly, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army, C. S. A.
COLUMBUS, KY., November 28, 1861.
Major General STERLING PRICE,
Missouri State Guard:
GENERAL: I avail of the going of one of your command to write a line to say I have strengthened this position until I regard it as safe from any assault the enemy may make against it.