HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS, Fort Leavenworth, July 14, 1862.
Colonel WILLIAM WEER,
Commanding Indian Expedition:
SIR: The general commanding directs me to inform you that according to all accounts General Curtis is endeavoring to make his way to Memphis, Tenn. He is threatened by rebel General Hindman south of Batesville. Batesville is directly east of Fort Gibson about 120 miles. You will see the necessity of scouting wide in that direction and a little north of the east line, as it is most likely Hindman will endeavor to get in between you and Fort Scott, cutting off your supplies, which latter thing must not be permitted at all hazards. If there is the least possibility of Hindman or other rebels flanking your position return at once in the direction of Fort Scott. If it be true, which I doubt not, that Curtis is leaving Arkansas, your command will be the only force opposed to the rebels, and you may be sure they will make great efforts to surround you. An invasion of Kansas would be the result, and all the horrors of war would be brought into a loyal State and thrust upon a loyal people. The general therefore cautions you to be wary and watchful and not to push too far ahead, leaving your line of march for supplies unprotected, with a rebel force east of you with every facility for cutting them off. Hindman's force is reckoned at about 10,000.
I have the honor to be, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS SOUTHWEST DIVISION, Springfield, Mo., July 15, 1862.
General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,
Commanding District of Missouri, Saint Louis:
GENERAL: I learn that 4 prisoners, soldiers of one of the Kansas regiments, were murdered in Coffee's camp at Fayetteville on the night or evening of the 9th instant. Major Murray (the bearer of the flag of truce, whose dispatch I sent you yesterday) gives the following version of the affair:
The 4 men killed were Kansas soldiers. On Wednesday night a firing was heard in the upper end of Coffee's camp, which created inquiry, and it was learned that 4 men had been shot, 3 killed dead and I wounded badly, who made his escape through a fence and went into a house, where a woman gave him some help. She was warned not to do so. It was stated in Fayetteville that the shooting was done by Coffee's order. There was some indignation at the dead in Coffee's camp which was likely to become general. It was then reported that the shooting was ordered by Coffee's provost-marshal. This did not, however, prevent one whole company of Coffee's regiment from leaving and joining Tracy's (whose camp was 8 miles distant) regiment of Confederate troops. Rains heard of the act next morning and cursed bitterly. He sent up a wagon to get the wounded man and three dead ones. Before the wagon came the wounded man wad dead. Rains buried the dead. In Tracy's camp the act was loudly condemned.
This affair may have prompted the dispatch he sent to me, charging us with shooting men, women, and children.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. B. BROWN,