of, I could stay. If I am to do so, I should like a regiment of infantry. The Twelfth Kansas is now at Fort Scott, and I heard General Blunt had intended them to come here, but pardon me for any suggestion as to the force.
I would like, if I am to remain in the Indian command, to have a couple of companies of well- drilled regular infantry, as an example, Indians are imitative, and I think, frankly, that some volunteers would be benefited by it. Besides, I ought to have a mustering officer or an inspector-general here.
I assumed command of the district, but made no formal district organization until I saw whether I was likely to retain it. I had no desire, in any shape, to embarrass the action of any officer who might supersede me, and have to organize for a spring campaign, the more so that I had organization sufficient for my necessary business.
Anxious for your instructions, I remain, with respect,
WM. A. PHILLIPS,
HDQRS. 8TH AND 9TH DISTS., DEPT. OF THE MISSOURI,
In the Field, Camp John Ross, February 6, 1863.
Major- General CURTIS,
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
SIR: The commands here at Fayetteville post, Fort Blunt (below Maysville), are in good condition. Lieutenant Phillips is at Park Hill, with train of subsistence for refugees. He is expected back to-morrow. Heard from him this morning, all right.
I sent Captain Lucas, Sixth Kansas, toward Cane Hill, with 160 men
and one howitzer, to clean out a bushwhacking force that was gathering between that place and Illinois. We have intensely cold weather and snow. I have several parties out to track these bushwhackers up. Captain Christy, Third Indian Regiment, has just returned from Arkansas River, opposite Fort Smith. In the cane, on this side of the river (in the big bend), there are about 300 half-breeds and whites of the Nation, who have forsaken Stand Watie. They refuse to go south of the river, and do not appear to want to fight, but are, I suspect, afraid of the old feud between them and the full bloods of the Nation. I think the case is one requiring rather delicate handling, but from which good results may follow.
I learn that General Cooper has left Shelbyville, and is above
North Fork, on the Canadian River. He has Scanland's and another Texas battalion, but few Indians. His effective force is small, and he appears to be subsisting.
Another scout, First Lieutenant Fox Killer, arrived from below last night. Except guerrilla companies of mounted men, from 40 to 200, that prowl about, I do not think there is at the present moment any force above Clarksville. At Webber's Falls, Lieutenant Colonel Parks has the remnant (all that is left) of Colonel Watie's force. Watie in person is at Briartown.
I have just learned that a "long line of person," many on foot, are straggling up this way through the snow from the direction of the Creek Nation. They wear on their hats a white badge of cloth, on the right side, the sign agreed upon with McIntosh's men as the one to wear when they come within our camp as friends.
I have sent a train of 25 wagons and some ambulances to Fayetteville, to move the sick and wounded who are sufficiently convalescent