impassable to our forces; that a train containing commissary stores had been expected for there days; that there different sets of couriers sent out some time previous had entirely failed to report; that he had been twelve days entirely without communication with or from the department, and that he had received reliable information that a large force of the enemy were moving to our rear via the Verdigris River for the purpose of cutting off our train.
Upon this and other information the council of war decided that our only safely lay in falling back to some point where we could reopen communication and learn the whereabouts of our train of subsistence. To this decision of the council he at the time assented, and said that he would arrange with the commanders of brigades the order of march. Subsequently he issued an order putting the command on half rations, declaring that he would not fall back, and refused utterly, upon my application, to take any steps for the safety or salvation of his command. I could but conclude that the man was either insane, premeditated treachery to his troops, or perhaps that his grossly intemperate habits long continued had produced idiocy or monomania. In either case the command was imperiled, and a military necessity demanded that something be done, and that without delay. I took the only step I believed available to save your troops. I arrested this man, have drawn charges against him, and now hold him subject to your orders.
On the morning of the 19th I commenced a retrograde march and have fallen back with my main force to this point.
You will see by General Orders, No. 1, herewith forwarded, that I have stationed the First and Second Regiments Indian Home Guards as a corps of observation along the Grand and Verdigris River; also to guard the fords of the Arkansas. Yesterday evening a courier reached me at Prior Creek with dispatches saying that a commissary train was at Hudson's Crossing, 75 miles north of us,waiting for an additional force as an escort. Information also reached me this morning that Colonel Watie, with a force of 1,200 men, passed up the east side of Grand River yesterday for the purpose of cutting off this train. I have sent out strong reconnoitering parties to the east of the river, and if the information proves reliable will take such further measures as I deem best for its security.
I design simply to hold the country we are now, in and will make no important moves except such as I may deem necessary for the preservation of this command until I receive specific instructions from you. I send Major Burnett with a small escort to make his way through to you. He will give you more at length the position of this command, their condition, &c.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Ninth Wis. Vol., Commanding Indian Expedition.
Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
DEAR SIR: I herewith send you the inclosed report of Colonel Salomon in reference to his arrest of Colonel Weer. I know nothing of the facts expect from the report. I think justice to Colonel Weer as well as the interest of the service demand an investigation.
Truly, yours, &.,
H. S. LANE.