direct road leading into the Frog Bayou road, between Fayetteville and Van Buren. The distance to Fayetteville is about 55 miles. Beyond this point, until supplies are accumulated, it is not possible to subsist the troops I have with me. Marmaduke's division is in the position assigned it, in front of Van Buren and Fort Smith. Carroll's regiment of Arkansas cavalry is encamped where the road from Ozark to Huntsville and Fayetteville crosses Mulberry River, picketing toward those points and keeping open communication with General Parsons, who is marching here upon a road not intersected by any on which the enemy can move. I intend ordering Carroll, with Fagan's (Arkansas) cavalry and Shoup's light battery, to Balfour (marked Mount Pleasant on the map), in Carroll County, Arkansas, as soon as practicable.
The enemy to-day is reported retiring and I have received information that our advance, under Colonel MacDonald, of the provost-marshal's department, is at Fayetteville. If this turns out to be true, and I can in any way manage to subsist the troops and forage the animals, which will be impossible unless aid is given me from below, I shall be able soon to organize this force and make it effective. At present it is the reserve, though the material is generally remarkably good. With the cavalry I shall be able, I hope, speedily to clear the Cherokee country of the hostile Indians not infesting it and to restore things in his region of country to the condition in which I left them on September 10. Affairs are now almost precisely as they were then I came to Fort Smith on August 24.
The arms and ammunition you are sending me will be a great help. I need also clothing, blankets, shoes, socks, and hats for 10,000 men. The supply already received leaves a great many destitute and in real suffering. The addition of a good division of infantry, with two batteries, will make me strong enough to take Springfield and winter upon the Osage at least. That would give me perhaps 20,000 Missouri recruits. If there were arms provided for that number, and I could announce the fact, I feel confident the men would be forthcoming. That would enable me to maintain myself during the winter and to push forward in the spring. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to operate in Missouri between the 1st of January and the last of April.
I have assigned Brigadier-General Roane to the command of the troops in the Indian Territory and directed him to organize them and make them effective as soon as possible. I sent you yesterday a copy of my letter of instructions to him. The only policy under heaven by which we can have order, decency, and quiet in the Indian country is that of dismounting the entire Indian force and most, if not all, the white force. All troops become worthless there, but cavalry much more so than infantry. If I had a capable engineer officer and sufficient artillery I would construct a strong fortification at Gibson and at the commanding points near the Kansas border. I would also fortify all the passes of the Boston Mountains, confident that as long as we hold those passes our control over the Indian Territory would remain unbroken. I beg to urge this upon your attention. These fortifications being constructed and manned, one brigade of white infantry and one brigade of Indian infantry would be ample to hold them and the Indian country against any force the enemy could bring against them. The cavalry duty required could be performed by the provost-marshal's companies just as well and far more cheaply than by the immense mass of wandering, unorganized, and worthless cavalry that has so long cursed that country. My views upon this subject have undergone a complete change since I first began to command east of the Mississippi.