War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0028 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

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Orleans and Berwick Bay, leaving but 6,000 or 8,000 men on Matagorda Peninsula, who subsequently joined him at Alexandria after the retreat from Mansfield.*

* * * * *

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Medical Director General Hospitals, Dept. of Trans-Mississippi.


Numbers 4. Report of Brigadier General William Steele, C. S. Army, of operations in the Indian Territory in 1863.

AUSTIN, TEX., February 15, 1864.

SIR: Having been relieved of the command of the Indian Territory, at my own request, I think it proper to report a brief summary of the military operations in that Territory during the past year, giving, as accurately as may be, an account of such causes as have led to results not un apprehended on my part, nor so fortunate in their character as could have been desired. The facts necessary to a correct and intelligent understanding of the condition of affairs in the Indian Territory during the past year cannot be reported as fully as I could wish, owing to the possession of the records of my assistant adjutant-general's office having been retained by my successor in that command. i therefore report briefly such facts and circumstances as are to be derived from the limited date in the shape of private memoranda, &c., in my possession, and the recollection of myself and a few of the officers who served on my staff.

Early in the month of January, of the past year, in conformity with orders received from Lieutenant-General Holmes, commanding Trans-Mississippi Department, I reported to Major-General Hindman for duty in the Indian Territory, and, in accordance with instructions from the latter, proceeded without delay to Fort Smith, and, on or about January 8, 1863, assumed the command to which I had been assigned. I will premise by saying that I was fully and truthfully advised by Major-General Hindman of the exhausted condition of the country, as well as the undisciplined, ill-equipped, and demoralized state of the few troops over whom I was called to command. On my arrival at Fort Smith the appearance of everything was of the most gloomy description. The continuous occupation of the country by a large Confederate force from the beginning of the war had utterly exhausted its resources, and the retreat of General Hindman from that section immediately preceding my arrival of had left the people desponding, hopeless, and, with a few honorable exceptions, thoroughly demoralized; insomuch that my anxiety and watchfulness was more taxed by the operations of traitors, deserters, and Union men, known in common as "jayhawkers" (who were in the majority), than by the movements of the enemy in my front.

The only force I found at Fort Smith was about 100 men, under Colonel [J. C.] Monroe, of the First Arkansas Cavalry, who had been sent temporarily to that point by General Hindman, and the remnant of Lane's (Texas) Partisan Rangers, under Lieutenant-Colonel [R. P.] Crump, num-


*Portion relating to operations in 1864, here omitted, will appear in proper sequence.