any more infantry from Arkansas, since the two regiments raised for the service have been marched to General Van Dorn.
Money is absolutely requisite. The people who have provisions and other supplies are very unwilling to sell and take certified accounts. With Confederate notes I can purchase an abundance at fair prices.
A sum of money intended for the service ($160,000, I believe), which was at Little Rock, has been taken for the service of General Van Dorn's command, and my department quartermaster and commissary have no funds at all. I have advanced for different purposes $20,000 of my own means and have drawn no pay. What funds of my own remain will soon be exhausted, and then I shall have infinite trouble if funds do not reach us soon.
The President will, I hope, allow me allow the discretion in his power. I will not abuse it. If much is not left me in many matters I can do little good with the Indians. I have very little assistance and the Indian officers know nothing about forms and little about reports and returns. Above all, if the control and disposition of their troops is not left to me and if they are not encouraged by the presence of a small force of white troops the consequences may be very serious. The superintendent and agent do little that avails anything, and all that concerns out relations with the Indians devolves on me. I am willing to be responsible for the peace of the country if I have the necessary powers and discretion; without them I should be powerless. Infinite trouble has been caused and great inefficiency of administration here by the necessity of transacting all the quartermaster and commissary business through officers at Fort Smith who were regarded by another general as under his orders, and by the making of contracts at Richmond, which gave one man the monopoly of supplying all the fresh beef and bacon for two armies; a contract under which of course no beef was furnished when it began to get scarce and we needed it most and not a pound of bacon has been heard of. The reason for the latter is obvious: the contract prices of bacon being 15 cents and it being now worth 26; while the beef delivered, being delivered by a hundred head at a time, costs the Government 10 or 12 cents a pound, when an abundance could have been had at 3 1/2. It is necessary the quartermaster and commissary of this department should purchase their own supplies and draw their funds direct from Richmond. I protest against their having to estimate through Major George W. Clark at New Orleans. I am endeavoring to put an end to swindling by contract, and prefer to purchase corn, flour, and meat of the provider himself. It is fortunate also that we are no longer compelled to rely for transportation on scarecrows, that could be used nowhere else, paid for the Government as mules, and considered good enough for the Indian service. I hope to be able to correct abuses in time. They have existed here long enough.
I am, very respectfully, you obedient servant,
Brigadier General, Commanding Department of Indian Territory.
SKULLYVILLE, NEAR FORT SMITH, ARK.,
May 6, 1862.
Major General EARL VAN DORN, C. S. A., Memphis, Tenn.:
GENERAL: I take the liberty of inclosing copy of report of a skirmish between Cherokee troops, under Colonel Stand Watie, and the Federals.*
*See report of April 27, p. 63.