scouts out north and northeast and watching for him, so as to take him in if he comes this way. In watching for Marmaduke I have been prevented from doing several other things I desire to do.
In being ordered to supply the distress of the Indian Nation, a task of no common magnitude is imposed. In spite of the large numbers that have left, of course the larger portion of the Cherokee Nation, estimated at 2,500, are still in the Nation. Last summer was one of drought and reduced crops. The men were in either army,and few were left to till the soil. The armies of General Cooper, expecting the second attack to be through the Nation or down Grand River, destroyed all crops, as a scheme of military policy. The Army of the Frontier went down within Arkansas, and so far has subsisted; but, owing to the causes enumerated, the Nation is little short of a desert. During my last expedition, when I burned Fort Davis, I had to subsist my horses principally on wheat in sheaf, and sometimes I had to march 40 miles to get that, and I had all the information as to supplies that could be obtained.
I shall keep communication open with General Schofield as long as I can reach him.
Colonel Harrison is at Fayetteville, where there is a hospital. Besides his reports, I have desired him to furnish a report of the condition of the sick and wounded at Fayetteville and other matters of moment. I have urged him not to leave Fayetteville unless positively driven away, and that,if necessary, I would support him until your orders were received; to scout in the direction of the enemy, so as not to be taken by surprise,and to send secret scouts to Clarksville or any point on the Arkansas River where the enemy may have forces, and to ascertain, as I have directed my own scouts to ascertain, where they get their supplies and what transportation they have.
The winter, which so long held off, has set in earnest; snow three days ago; thermometer four degrees below zero here; for two days it has rained or sleeted, having moderated somewhat, but the country here is saturated with water, and all movements, of course, retarded.
I shall inclose a copy of the orders I have received from General Schofield, affecting my general movements. I shall send the following documents: First, a report of the peculiar features and character of and present condition of the Indian command; second, a report of the condition of the Nation;third, a report in reference to negotiations with rebels now in the Indian country, Colonel McIntosh and others, which is, of course, to some extent secret, and, fourth, a statement of what may be necessary for an early spring movement, or an immediate movement, that would be of greater service, no matter who may have the command.
Awaiting your orders, I remain, with profound respect,
WM. A. PHILIPS,
Colonel, Commanding Third Brigade, Army of the Frontier.
[Inclosure No. 1.] HDQRS.3rd Brigadier, 1ST DIV., ARMY OF THE FRONTIER, Camp Curtis, January 19, 1863.
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
SIR: I desire to report the peculiar features, character, and present condition of the three Indian regiments. My close connection with them in active service during the past nine months has given me opportunities to judge,and I submit a report as brief as it can be made, believing it