HDQRS. DETACHMENT SECOND Regiment KANSAS VOLS., Fort Lyon, Colo., July 19, 1862.
Brigadier General JAMES G. BLUNT,
Commanding Department of Kansas:
GENERAL: In accordance with my duties and orders received from the commanding officer at Fort Union, N. Mex., and issued by him in obedience (as stated in the orders) to instructions from the general commanding Department of New Mexico, I have the honor to report my command as having arrived at the place of destination fixed by said orders. After a journey which I am happy to say was comparatively fortunate and pleasant I reached the river Arkansas July 15 and pitched camp opposite Bent's old fort. To my disappointment I found the river high, yet the ford was tried in all possible directions, and after laying over one day, as it could not be depended upon how long the river would remain at the same stage, on July 17 I determined to attempt the crossing. Artillery, cavalry, ammunition, baggage - all was got across the river safe. The same day two men from Captain More's (D) company joined from desertion at camp on Dry Creek, No. 2, 8 miles below Bent's old fort. In a former communication to you, dated June 23, I had in a condensed form given account of myself and command to that date. I take it not to be preposterous nor out of place that I should advert to it again. I had started from Fort Riley, Kans., on May 23; arrived at Fort Union on June 22, thirty-one days after my departure, having laid over both at Forts Learned and Lyon two days at each place. I have no sad event or serious accident to record or regret, but the loss of 3 horses of Captain Moore's company in a stampede on the Rio Alamos, 50 miles northeast of Fort Union, and one of which was recovered on the return journey. In the same communication I had made mention of a difference between Colonel Howe and myself, and which in your department, general, may have led to and caused serious difficulty and embarrassment. Let the responsibility rest where it belongs; it was no work of mine, as the documents will fully demonstrate. On June 13, 1862, copy of extract of Special Orders, No. 35, Headquarters Department of Kansas, was delivered to me. How and why I did not obey it the sequel will show. In obedience to Special Orders, No.-, Headquarters Second Regiment Kansas Volunteers, issued in pursuance of Special Orders, No. 15, Headquarters New Mexico Brigade, I reported to Colonel Howe. I could not then and cannot yet to-day interpret the orders otherwise than as placing me under command of Colonel Howe. In being made to report to him I could not but construe it as a transfer into his hands of my command, and in the circumstances all I could do was to obey,and by so doing surrender my command to him, if it was ever so tacitly,and to place myself under his immediate orders. On the other hand,in his General Orders, No. 1, Headquarters New Mexico Expedition, assumed command, which apparently was vested in him by that order of the New Mexico Brigade, though it may be questioned whether Colonel Howe was aware of that order or acted upon his own responsibility in issuing his as it was. My orders were, in my opinion, peremptory. I only had to comply with them. I did so. I was to be relieved from my present duty by Colonel Howe, and by him only, acting upon the copy of the orders which I submitted to him, with the request that he should relieve me from duty and send me back to Fort Learned with my command, as the order intended and expressed. Estimating that the order of the general commanding the Department of Kansas deserved and was entitled