HEADQUARTERS INDIAN EXPEDITION,
Camp Quapaw, July 29, 1862.
Brigadier General JAMES G. BLUNT,
Commanding Department of Kansas:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that your letters of instructions, respectively dated July 12 and 14, reached this command en route near Cabin Creek on July 25, 1862. I am happy to learn that your orders so fully harmonize with the reasons that led tho the arrest of Colonel William Weer. Allow me now to submit the present location of the troops under my command and the view with which these dispositions have been made. The vicinity of Hudson's Crossing appears as the most commanding point of Spring River, Shoal Creek, Neosho, and Grand River, but also as the only point in this country now where an army could be sustained with a limited supply of forage and subsistence, offering ample grazing and good water. Therefore I have encamped here the main body of the troops and made preparations for a commissary depot.
The Indian brigade is in command of Colonel Furnas, consisting of the First, Second, and Third Regiments, and one section of Captain Allen's battery; is stationed at Wolf Creek, about 45 miles south of this point, as the advance of the column, connected with the main body by three different detachments stationed at intermediate points. Colonel Furnas, in his last report, says, "that we can hold our present position, and keep the enemy on the other side of the Arkansas, we have no doubt." A vigilant system of scouting has been established; our present position gives us all the backbone required to occupy a country and be timely prepared to meet the enemy. I have further to report that the commissary and quartermaster departments of the expedition were found in great confusion and had to undergo an entire reorganization, which now has been satisfactorily effected. Assistant Quartermaster William Finkler will act as the chief of both departments until properly relieved. The condition and efficiency of the troops has greatly improved during the last eight days. All are in good spirits and better health, and ready to meet any emergency. Half rations of corn can be provided, and horses are fast improving. The Second Regiment of Volunteers, however, will have to be partly remounted. Ohio horses cannot stand this country without corn. Many are abandoned on the road and others run down below salvation. The quartermaster is preparing the proper estimates.
Tahlequah, Fort Gibson, the upper crossing of the Arkansas and other points of importance are occupied by our troops. Our principal scouting extends east and southeast, to be timely notified of all movements on our flanks. A detachment of 300 Indians is sent out toward Cincinnati, Ark., and several other parties in other directions.
Two citizen scouts, reliable and smart men, have been sent out to ascertain the whereabouts of Hindman's force, with instructions to gain full information before returning. Also efforts have been made to reopen communication with troops under the command of General Brown in Southwestern Missouri. No reports of any importance have come in up to this time. In regard to the corn crop, I must say that there is none this side of Arkansas. Lieutenant-Colonel Corwin, Second Indian Home Guards, reports the desertion of 180, who went buffalo hunting.
If affords me much pleasure to say that all officers and soldiers have bravely assisted me to carry out the measures commanded by military