HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF INDIAN TERRITORY,
Fort Washita, October 23, 1862.
Lieutenant Colonel S. S. ANDERSON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Trans-Mississippi Dept.:
COLONEL: I report through you to the major-general commanding the Trans-Mississippi Department that I have reassumed command of the Department of Indian Territory, and make my headquarters temporarily at this post.
I was for some time at a loss to determine whether it was my duty to report at Little Rock or to reassume command here on the expiration of my leave of absence. In coming to a determination I hope I may not have erred.
The President had advised me some weeks since, through Captain Thomas J. Mackey, Engineer Corps, that my resignation could not and would not be accepted, and the Secretary of War continued to address official communications to me as commanding this department. On the 4th of September he informed me by dispatch sent through General Holmes that the Commissioner of Indian Affairs was on his way here to meet me, and I was advised that written orders would be sent me by Mr. Edward Hanrick some time since on his way from Richmond.
I had been relieved of command by an order from General Hindman, issued at a time when, as the President has informed Congress, he was not the commanding general of the Trans-Mississippi Department. I had applied for leave of absence from my headquarters in this department on tendering my resignation, and I concluded, according to all precedent, that I should present myself at its expiration for duty at the post where I had been on duty when it was asked for, there being nothing in the leave to the contrary.
I should still have been at a loss had not your communications of the 6th and 8th of October been addressed and directed to me as "commanding," &c., an address and direction which I suppose would not have been used had not General Holmes been advised that I had been reinstated in command by the Secretary of War.
If I have erred, I am ready to obey any lawful orders that may be given me. In the mean time I shall carry out in perfect good faith all lawful orders that may come to my knowledge concerning the affairs of this department that have been received here emanating from any superior authority.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, yours,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Dept. of Indiana Territory.
Richmond, Va., November 20, 1862.
General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH,
Acting Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: The letter of Lieutenant-General Holmes [of October 25], referred by you to this office, directing me to report "what requisitions from General Holmes are now on hand unhonored and for suggestions as to the best means of immediately meeting the wants stated," has been received, and I have the honor to report that there is now on file