War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0048 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXV.

Search Civil War Official Records

move southward, and directed my chief quartermaster to be in readiness to remove the public stores from Fort Smith in case it should become necessary. I then proceeded to the camp of the unarmed men, ordered them across the mountains toward Clarksville, and after they had marched started to Huntsville, where I arrived during the night of the 19th.

General Rains informed me that he had retired from Elkhorn because satisfied that a Federal force of from 15,000 to 20,000 was moving upon him, and that he had reported the fact immediately, addressing me at Little Rock. Afterward this report came to me and was forwarded to you. General Rains also informed me that the Indian troops under Brigadier-General Cooper refused to retire in the direction of Fayetteville, and that he had therefore ordered them toward the Cherokee line and thence into Kansas. I sent an order to General Cooper at once to the same effect, but it did not reach him in time. I believed then, and am now certain, that he might have made a diversion in Kansas with impunity; but his command scattered when he reached Maysville, and on the 22nd was completely routed and the battery taken by the enemy. General Cooper at the time was sick. I have heretofore forwarded his report upon the subject.

I also sent an order to Colonel Burbridge, commanding a Missouri cavalry brigade near Pitman's Ferry, Ark., to move rapidly upon Rolla, retiring, when compelled, in the direction of Yellville. I placed General Rains in command of the two brigades of Texan and Missouri cavalry, with instructions to concentrate his force in front of the enemy's main body and resist his advance to the last moment, scouting to the right and left toward Huntsville and Maysville.

The infantry brigade, with one regiment of Arkansas cavalry, I retired to a point 21 miles south, where the roads come together going from Huntsville and Fayetteville to Ozark. This was necessary, because the men had no subsistence except beef and could get none in the country; because they had only about 10 rounds of ammunition and could only get more from below, and because the enemy might readily get in their rear by a rapid march by way of Fayetteville to the point I was retiring to.

I reached the point indicated on the 22nd. On that dy I approved the resignation of Brigadier-General Rains and relieved him from duty, he having been intoxicated. I also on the same day, and for the same cause, arrested Colonel Coffee, commanding a regiment of Missouri cavalry; also, upon charges of cowardice preferred by Brigadier-General Cooper, I arrested Colonel Stevens, commanding a regiment of Texas cavalry, and likewise, for retiring without sufficient cause, I arrested Colonel Bass, but subsequently returned him to duty.

I placed Brigadier-General Marmaduke in command of the two cavalry brigades of Shelby and Bradfute. The latter fell sick and relinquished the command without reporting the fact to me, and I directed General Marmaduke to put any competent man in command of the Texan regiments for the time being without regard to rank. He assigned Colonel Jesse L. Cravens, late assistant adjutant-general of General Rains, to that position, and I am satisfied made a most excellent selection. Since then the Texans have behaved far better than before; but they are worthless as cavalry, and I have ordered them dismounted and their ponies sent to Texas. These four regiments have about men enough for two regiments of infantry. I ask leave to consolidate them.

On the 22nd a Federal force, reported at from 8,000 to 10,000, under