Horses from this regiment have been sold or traded. I have 1 man of this regiment to be tried for this offense. The Tenth Illinois does not report any men absent without leave. I have reason to believe that nearly 40 men have deserted from this regiment, taking their horses, equipments, and arms. The commanding officer is absent on an expedition to the southeast;when he returns I shall ask an explanation. The trouble in this regiment has been caused by the men having been enlisted for service in New Mexico and then ordered to this post and the resignation of Colonel Barret at the request of a number of officers of the regiment. A formal report stating that Colonel Barret was exciting the men to desert and mutiny has been made to me, and I have ordered him to leave the district for the present time. The Thirty-seventh Illinois is on the march from Cassville with the prisoners captured in Arkansas. It will be stationed here, and do all the guard and post duty. The First Battalion First Missouri Cavalry is ordered to this post to recruit and refit, having been in very active service since it moved from rolla with General Curtis. Horses for this battalion are on the road from Rolla.
There is no adequate place for the safe-keeping of prisoners at this post. The want of discipline of the guards detailed from the different commands and having no other mode of keeping them in confinement (the prison-houses being open, wooden structures), numbers of them have escaped. By using the college building, which I have ordered to be surrounded with a stockade and the Thirty-seventh Illinois for guard duty, I hope to remedy the liability to take "ticket of leave." They have been crowded in low, illy-ventilated buildings, living in filth, and but little regard paid to personal cleanliness, which has caused much sickness. The military commission will dispose of those now here in a few weeks. The change of location will be more healthy for them and keep them in safety. I have ordered a camp of instruction, to be under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Stephens, Second Wisconsin Cavalry, to be made about 2 miles from these headquarters, and all the troops that are or may arrive at this post, except the Thirty-seventh Illinois, to move into it, and by changing them from time to time in a few months all of them will have passed through a partial course of instruction in elementary tactics. The quartermaster and commissary stores are in a number of small buildings, where they cannot be properly cared for. At a small expense two buildings are being fitted (one for each department) of sufficient capacity for the storage and proper care of this class of Government property. A large waste will be prevented when they are arranged.
Dr. Paddock having reported, I hope he will have the medical department in good condition ere long. Previous to his arrival the hospitals had been reduced from five to two. He now has the patients all in one building - the brick hotel of Mr. Bayley. This is a hot place, with no protection against the heat of the sun for the convalescent patients to exercise, but it is the best that can be done at present. About 40 prisoners of war, formerly patients at the "secesh hospital," on the edge of town, have been living with their families at Government expense for some time. All but 6 of them been taken charge of by the provost-marshal. The 6 are in the general hospital. There appears to have been some irregularities in the drawing of rations for these prisoners. The leak is now stopped. The surgeons left here by General Price have been sent under a flag of truce via Forsyth to the enemy's lines by order of Brigadier General William Scott Ketchum. The Arkansas recruits have arrived to the number of 97. About 150 more