captains or white officers to be fully responsible for property, and to see orders carried out. I take the liberty of suggesting that the necessary officers for an Indian company are, the captain (first lieutenant might be an Indian) and second lieutenant white men; or, better yet, the captain a white man, first lieutenant a white man, second lieutenant an Indian, an orderly sergeant a white man. The white men to be selected from the volunteer army, or from men who thoroughly understand military duties, and who will work hard. It is a blunder to put men of poor ability in an Indian regiment. It requires character, so that the Indians will respect him, and a through knowledge of military duties. In a white company, if the captain and lieutenants are ignorant, perhaps some privates in the company can run it, but an Indian company improperly officered is in a frightful mess.
The officers in an Indian regiment have to work very hard to get things in shape. The besetting sin of Indian is laziness. They are brave as death, active to fight,but lazy. They ought invariably to be mounted; they make poor infantry, but first-class mounted riflemen.
The Third Regiment, most of the Second,and half of the First entered the service with their own horses; were paid as infantry, but foraged and shod by department order of General Blunt. Their horses have nearly all been used up in the service. At this time the stock is very poor.
The Third Indian Regiment is of twelve companies mounted riflemen, and has two howitzers attached. They are only paid as infantry, but used as mounted men. About 100 of them are on foot, as their horses have died in the service. To be efficient they ought to be mounted on Government horses in the spring. The Third is armed with Mississippi and Prussian rifles. The Second, Prussian rifles and muskets, and the First with hunting rifles, and have to mold their bullets.
Nothing but active steps to supply necessary orders can save to First Indian Regiment from utter demoralization. My orders to drill are disregarded. As I compel the regiments to draw on consolidated provision returns, I have difficulty in getting reports from them. I am much embarrassed, as arresting all the officers of a regiment is not to be thought of, and permitting it to run loose has a bad effect on the rest. I earnestly desire instructions and necessary authority to myself or some others. In the mean time I shall do the best I can.
With great respect,
WM. A. PHILLIPS,
Colonel, Commanding Third Brigade.
HDQRS. THIRD BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION,
ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,
Camp Curtis, Ark., January 14, 1863.
I. Commanders of regiments, battalions, and batteries will be held responsible for keeping the men of their command within camp. No man must leave camp but under orders, or with a pass signed by his company and regimental commander and approved at these headquarters.
II. Any person found foraging for himself without orders will be at once arrested. All commissioned an non-commissioned officers and guards are specially charged with this duty. When arrested they will be reported to the provost-marshal for punishment, and in every case the article or articles have taken shall be handed over to the regimental