General Salomon or not. I have not had time to know positively anything about the enemy. That they are in strong force south of us and threatening I do not doubt. They are not probably more than from 15 to 20 miles distant. That they outnumber me largely is also true. Whether I shall run, or advance, or do anything desperate, I also do not know, as I have no less than four brigadier-generals giving me orders at the same time. I am at this place by order of General Salomon. He is at Sarcoxie. One thing I do know, if you or somebody else do not come out here and take command of all these scattered forces we will be cut up in detail. The scattering of troops around at this particular time is a humbug, and I desire to put it upon record, that from my position here in advance of all the troops, and from the best information I can get, if we had together the troops now lying idle between here, Fort Scott, and Springfield, we can easily whip the rebel force in the Southwest and end the war in this region. If, however, we stay in questions long enough, giving, the rebels what they most want, time, we will be driven over to Missouri River.
Ritchie is reported as having met with a disaster. I can hear nothing positive, and therefore report nothing. The best authority informs me that he has burning down Union men's houses, turning their families out of doors, some of them belonging to soldiers in my command. You of course will investigate this matter. The Indian regiment has not a blanket, so also many of the white men. The nights are growing cold. While the brigade foots up in numbers over half of it is nearly unarmed.
The men are complaining for pay to send their families. They say that those that stay at home are comfortably provided for.
Your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Numbers 1.
Saint Louis, Mo., September 24, 1862.
I. Pursuant to order from the general-in-chief the undersigned hereby assumes command of the Department of the Missouri. Commanders of corps d'armee, districts, divisions, detachments, and posts will report, by letter or telegraph, to Major H. Z. Curtis, assistant adjutant-general,their location and efficient force and condition. The regular consolidated returns on the 10th, 20th, and last days of each month will be required promptly.
* * * *
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HEADQUARTERS WOOD LAKE CAMP, September 24, 1862.
MA-ZA-KA-TAME, TOOPEE, AND WA KE-NAN-NAN-THE,
At Red Irons Village:
MY FRIENDS: I call you so, because I have reason to believe that you have nothing, to do with the cruel murders and massacres that have been committed upon the poor white people who had placed confidence in the friendship of the Sioux Indians. I repeat what I have already