upon the noble men composing the command. Some one must act, and that at once, or starvation and capture were the imminent hazards that looked us in the face.
As next in command to Colonel Weer, and upon his express refusal, to move at all for the salvation of his troops, I felt the responsibility resting upon me.
I have arrested Colonel Weer and assumed command.
The causes leading to this arrest you all know. I need not reiterate them here. Suffice to say that we are 160 miles from the base of operations, almost entirely through an enemy's country, and without communication being left open behind us. We have been pushed forward thus far by forced and fatiguing marches under the violent southern sun without any adequate object. By Colonel Weer's orders we were forced to encamp where our famishing men were unable to obtain anything but putrid, stinking water. Our reports for disability and unfitness for duty were disregarded; our cries for help and complaints of unnecessary hardships and suffering were received with closed ears. Yesterday a council of war, convened by the order of Colonel Weer, decided that our only safety lay in falling back to some point from which we could reopen communication with our commissary depot. Colonel Weer overrides and annuls the decision of that council, and announces his determination not to move from this point. We have but three days' rations on hand and an order issued by him putting the command of half rations. For nearly two weeks we have no communication from our rear. We have no knowledge when supply trains will reach us, neither has Colonel Weer. Three sets of couriers, dispatched at different times to find these trains and report, have so far made no report. Reliable information has been received that large bodies of the enemy were moving to our rear, and yet we lay here idle. We are now and ever since our arrival here have been entirely without vegetables or healthy food for our troops. I have stood with arms folded and seen my men faint and fall away from me like the leaves of autumn because I thought myself powerless to save them.
I will took upon this scene no longer. I know the responsibility I have assumed. I have acted after careful thought and deliberation. Give me your confidence for a few days, and all that man can do, and with a pure purpose and a firm faith that he is right, shall be done for the preservation of the troops.
Colonel Ninth Wis. Vols., Commanding Indian Expedition.
HEADQUARTERS INDIAN EXPEDITION, No. 1.
Camp on Grand River, July 18, 1862.
I. For reasons explained in a pronunciamento to the commanders of the different corps I herewith assume command of all troops constituting this expedition.
II. The staff officers and chiefs of departments will proceed in the faithful discharge of the duties devolved upon them by their respective officers as heretofore,with exception of Captain W. H. W. Lawrence, assistant adjutant-general, who is hereby, on his application, temporarily relieved from duty.
III. Lieutenant A. Blocki, adjutant Ninth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, will temporarily act as assistant adjutant-general of the expedition.