FORT SCOTT, KANS., November 16, 1862.
Major B. S. HENNING,
Commanding Post, Fort Scott:
MAJOR: In compliance with your request I would state that from information received, and my own opportunities of observation, I have reason to believe that a considerable force of the enemy, from 500 to 800 strong, is at present encamped on or near Langley's farm, on the road leading from the old Military road to the Cherokee Territory; also that considerable force of the enemy is stationed on or near the road and about midway between Carthage and Lamar, Mo. I have reason to believe that this latter force numbers from 800 to 1,000 men.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Your obedient servant,
Adjutant Third Regiment Wisconsin Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS CENTRAL DISTRICT OF MISSOURI,
Jefferson City, Mo., November 16, 1862.
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS, Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: On my transfer to this district I found it under the control of the rebels. The trade of the country was in their hands. Claiming to be Government contractors, and with provost-marshal's passes in their pockets, the most notorious rebels were controlling and directing the commercial affairs of the district; in many instances purchasing in the camps of the guerrillas the horses and other property they had stolen from Union men and shipping it direct to Saint Louis to be sold to the Government. A ready, safe, and reliable market was thus furnished to the guerrillas. These traders or their agents hung around the Federal camps and purchased from soldiers horses that were seized or captured by them on scouts or otherwise.
With a view of checking these outrages I ordered the provost-marshal of the district to issue an order prohibiting the shipment of property without permits obtained from the provost-marshal-general of the State, of the district, or the local provost-marshal, and directing that they should be issued only to loyal citizens, and that only for property shipped in the legitimate course of trade.
The effect of this order has been impaired to some extent by a combination, as I believe, between certain officers and some of those traders, by means of which a very profitable monopoly was enjoyed.
this I think has been broken up. It has also been impaired to some extent by permits or authority issued by officers in Saint Louis and purporting to be issued by your direction, the evil effects of which upon loyal citizens you will find set forth in the inclosed letters* written by General George R. Smith (Paymaster-General of the State of Missouri) and William Gentry, probably the largest farmers in this district, and original unconditional Union men.
I have been shown a general order sent by Provost-Marshal Dick to the provost-marshal of this district. I inclose a copy.* Mr. Boyd, spoken of in the order, is, I understand, a loyal citizen of Saint Louis,