War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0015 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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to Arkadelphia, captured that place, with a number of prisoners and some property. Colonel Clayton's and Lieutenant-Colonel Caldwell's reports were forwarded on the 19th instant.

On the 9th of June, I made a division of the former District of Kansas, the one embracing the northern portion of Kansas and the border counties of Missouri, the other the southern portion of Kansas, the Indian Territory, and Western Arkansas.

Major-General [J. G.] Blunt was placed in command of the latter district, and Brigadier-General [Thomas] Ewing, [jr.] of the former, with his headquarters at Kansas City, as near as possible to the center of the disturbed portion of his district.

The troops placed under General Ewing's command were selected with reference to their fitness for that special service, as far as practicable at that time.

On the 11th day of June, General Blunt assumed command at Fort Gibson, Ind. T., at that time occupied by a small force, mostly Indians, under command of Colonel William A. Phillips. All troops had been withdrawn from Western Arkansas some time before.

On the 20th of July, General Blunt reported that he was threatened by a force about 15,000 strong, under Cabell and [D. H.] Cooper, and asked for re-enforcements. His force at that time amounted to about 3,000 men, of whom about one-half were Indians. I sent him about 1,500 men from Southwest Missouri, under Colonel [W. F.] Cloud, of the Second Kansas Cavalry, which force reached Fort Gibson on the 22nd of August. General Blunt crossed the Arkansas River to attack the enemy, but they retreated without a general engagement.

On the 1st of September, Colonel Cloud's brigade came up with the enemy's rear, about 16 miles southeast of Fort Smith, and, after a short skirmish, routed them, with a loss of 8 killed and wounded on our side and 20 to 30 on that of the enemy, and capturing 40 prisoners.

General Blunt, with the First Arkansas Infantry, occupied Fort Smith on the same day without opposition - ten days before the capture of Little Rock. Since that time we have held, without difficulty, the line of the Arkansas River, and our cavalry have operated as far south as Arkadelphia.

The border of Kansas and Missouri has been the scene of the most revolting hostilities during the past two years. The summer just ended has been no exception to this rule. A band of outlaws, numbering sometimes as high as 500 men, have infested the thickly wooded fastnesses in the western counties of Missouri, from which to prey upon the unarmed people. These brigands were aided in every way, whether willingly or unwillingly, by the large majority of the inhabitants of those counties, making it impossible, with any reasonable force, to drive them out or capture them.

On the 19th of August, the brigades secretly assembled to the number of about 300, near the border of Kansas, marched rapidly upon the town of Lawrence, and attacked it at dawn of day, when the people were least prepared for defense. No resistance whatever was offered. The town was robbed and burned, and the unarmed people murdered in the most fiendish manner. Probably no act of the war has been so barbarous in its whole details as this. I refer you to the report of Brigadier-General Ewing, forwarded to Washington on the 4th of September, for full details of the operations of his troops in pursuit of the murderers. The excitement among the people of Kansas, resulting from the massacre at Lawrence, was necessarily intense. For a time it threatened a serious difficulty, from the desire of a large portion of the people to enter Missouri to avenge the crime that had been perpetrated