War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0036 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

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in their own colors, was kept constantly presented to their view. Explanations of my official conduct were never attempted to be made by those whose implied duty it was to give me their aid and support. The Indian troops were also led to believe that I was illegally exercising the command of the Territory over Brigadier-General Cooper, who was represented as my superior in rank, and that he being in Indian officer, I was thereby trampling upon the rights, privileges, and wishes of the Indian troops.

Concluding from these reasons, and many more of a similar character that might be urged, that my influence and usefulness as a commanding officer were so much impaired as to render further attempts in the military administration of the country nugatory, and in view if the promotion of that harmony of action and unity of sentiment so necessary to success especially in the conduct of military operations, I respectfully asked of the lieutenant-general commanding to be relieved of duty in the Indian country.

I entered upon the command of the Indian Territory conscious of my inability, with the limited means at my command, to me the demands and expectations of the country. I can only express my consciousness of having at least honestly and faithfully labored for the good of the service and the common good of the inhabitants of the country over which I exercised a command.

In conclusion, I would refer to the valuable assistance rendered me by my staff officers, Captain J. F. Crosby, as adjutant-general; Major S. J. Lee, commissary; Major A. S. Cabell, chief quartermaster; Surg. E. R. Duval, medical director, and Lieutenant B. G. Duval, aide-de-camp, and, during the absence of Captain Crosby, acting assistant adjutant-general; Lieutenant [J. J.] Du Bose, of Morgan's (Arkansas) infantry regiment, as acting ordnance officer. All of these officers displayed zeal, energy, ability, and, what I have found more rare, honesty.

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

WM. STEELE,

Brigadier-General.

Lieutenant Colonel S. S. ANDERSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

NOVEMBER 20-23, 1862.- Reconnaissance toward Van Buren and Fort Smith, Ark.

Report of Brigadier General James G. Blunt, U. S. Army.

CAMP BABCOCK, ARK.,

November 24, 1862.

I have the honor to report that Lieutenant-Colonel [L. R.] Jewell, with a detachment of 600 men, sent on a reconnaissance in the direction of Van Buren and Fort Smith, returned last night. He met the enemy's pickets 15 miles this side of Van Buren, who retreated at his approach. Learning that a large force was at Van Buren, he deemed it prudent to proceed no farther, and returned. Information obtained from various sources, which I deem quite reliable, is that Hindman's, Marmaduke's, Cooper's, and Stand Watie's forces are at Van Buren and Fort Smith. Their entire force is estimated as high as 30,000; but I am quite sure it does not exceed 15,000 effective men, and probably not over 12,000.