War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0031 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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service of the Federal Government. to subsist this force and obtain forage, the enemy was under the necessity of scattering it over a large extent of country. In Northwestern Arkansas he was unable to mount a force exceeding 500 men. These facts were repeatedly urged upon the lieutenant-general commanding, and a movement in the rear of this force urgently pressed. I became satisfied that if the enemy was permitted to remain in quiet and uninterrupted possession of the north side of the Arkansas River during the winter and spring, he would, in the exercise of his customary energy, throw forward in the direction of Fort Gibson such quantity of supplies as would suffice to attempt a flank movement on Fort Smith in that direction. General Marmaduke's cavalry force was then occupying the country in the vicinity of Batesville. A brigade of cavalry, under Colonel [C. A.] Carroll, occupied the country in the vicinity of Roseville. From Batesville to Fayetteville was but a short distance, and from Roseville to the same point the distance was not exceeding four or five days' march. Had Marmaduke's cavalry been thrown rapidly in the rear of the enemy at Fayetteville while Carroll marched upon the front, it is quite sure that the result would have been either his capture in detail or his entire abandonment of Northwestern Arkansas and the Indian country. I mean no disrespect to the lieutenant-general then commanding, in making these statements, yet justice to myself and the subsequent verification of the correctness of the views then entertained and repeatedly urged, demand that I should record them. Had the movements indicated been made (its successful issue, in my judgment, being beyond the peradventure of a doubt), I should have been enabled to have had in store, in depots on or near the Arkansas River, an ample supply of breadstuff, while the country south of that stream abounded in beef cattle of the best quality. In short, I could have assumed the offensive from the line of the Arkansas River with a force fully rested and recruited, both as regards men and horses, considerably earlier in the spring than the enemy could have begun his movements from neither Missouri or Kansas. The moral effect of such a condition of affairs upon the people of Arkansas and the Indian Territory and Northern Texas, and its influence upon operations then contemplated and subsequently consummated in the direction of Little Rock, remains, of course, only a subject of conjecture.

During the winter months I had counsel workshops for the repair, &c., of arms and wagons (of which quite a number were fitted up from the debris found scattered about the garrison), as well as put in operation such other branches of industry necessary to the supply of the army as the resources of the country afforded.

Repeated requisitions for the supply of arms and ammunition remaining unfilled, I assumed the responsibility of sending an officer of my staff to Texas, with a view of making an endeavor to obtain the necessary supply of ammunition and arms, if possible, from that quarter. A greater portion of the ammunition obtained by this officer had to be transported from Saint Antonio to Bonham, Tex., in ox wagons. The delay incident to this means of transportation was of very material prejudice, especially so, as it was found impossible to procure a supply from any other quarter. I also procured some 500 stand of arms from this source, these being the only arms brought into the Territory during the period of my command, other than a few repaired arms.

I repeatedly urged upon General Cooper and the officer in command of Speight's brigade the necessity of straining every energy to the preparation of their commands for an advance movement at the earliest practicable period; and, in accordance with my orders, the march north-