Every officer and soldier in the acting commissary of subsistence and quartermaster's departments has been ordered to be relieved. My effective force to hold the country, guard the post, protect the line of communication, and escort trains, nurses for the sick, and the various other duties for which details must be made will not exceed 2,000 effective men, excluding the Seventeenth Iowa, which was been ordered here to reorganize and fit themselves for the future.
The Enrolled Missouri Militia, your are probably aware, has not been furnished clothing suitable for service in the field at this season of the year.
Requisitions made for clothing four months since remain unfilled. Trains that left Rolla the last week partially loaded with clothing have been turned off the road at Lebanon and sent to the Army of the Frontier. The troops under my command are suffering for the want of this clothing, being shoeless, coatless, and hatless in many cases. You will pardon me, general, for intruding this letter on you while sick, but the importance of the subject I hope will be sufficient apology.
I neglected to say in the proper connection that reports (probably exaggerated) of the burning of Union men's houses, driving off their families, and other barbarous outrages reach me from the western counties.
I am, general, very truly, your obedient servant,
E. B. BROWN,
Fort Scott, November 16, 1862.
Commanding District of Kansas, in the Field:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that the train been delayed here for the reason that from the best information I can obtain there was a large force concentrating on Spring River for the purpose of attacking the train, and if the train should be too strongly guarded they intended to return here and make a demonstration on this post, and if the post should be too strongly guarded they would take advantage of the absence of cavalry and devastate the surrounding country, destroying hay and forage of all kinds. This seemed reasonable, as my spy said that they were well posted in regard to the number of troops here, and that to afford a sufficient escort would take all my cavalry. I am anxious for the train to go, but hardly know what to do, as Adjutant Sandes reports as per a copy which I send you, which may be true and may not. I am not inclined to believe that there are at least 1,000 of the enemy on the road, and that they are determined to take this train if possible. As the time for the train to reach you expires, and it does not get there, I shall expect that you will send out a force to see as to the reason, and that the train will meet the escort. I shall also direct that a portion of the escort now coming up with the empty train return with the loaded one, at any rate until they meet additional help. I feel, general, that you will approve of my caution, as I consider that it would be a serious blow to lose a train or to have this portion of Kansas devastated by guerrillas.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. S. HENNING,
Major Third Wisconsin Cavalry.