spare any. I have still one party across Arkansas, and the Canadian River, on an important expedition. The heavy force I had in the Nation I have ordered to fall [back] from the west toward the heavy force I had sent toward Ozark and Van Buren. I sent my train toward Fort Scott three days ago. I sent the sick and wounded of the First Division with it, and have thus got Fayetteville clear of a hospital. As the Cherokee legislature has not yet adjourned, I left at Camp John Ross 100 men to guard it. I think they will be able to wind up and follow me in two days.
I have not yet heard a word about the transportation, about which I wrote (200 wagons). My commissary, Captain Heath, has gone to Fort Scott. If the wagons cannot be sent there, could they be loaded at my command, I would move on the river to-morrow.
I have ordered that, if any boats are take, they be run up to Gibson, under charge of Major Foreman, rather than burn them, as we shall want them in the spring.
Earnestly desiring dispatches, and determined not to be driven from Arkansas, I remain, with respect,
WM. A. PHILLIPS,
Better telegraph Phillips to hold back.
SAML. R. CURTIS.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, Wis., February 17, 1863.
Brigadier General H. H. SIBLEY,
Commanding District of Minnesota:
DEAR GENERAL: I arrived here on the 14th, and yesterday received. your letter of the 11th. As you know, it has always been my purpose to make a vigorous campaign against the Indians as soon as possible in the spring. I desire you to organize the expedition sent out from your district, and to command one column, with a general supervision of the others from your district. I had hoped that you could organize at least two columns, of sufficient strength, from your district, and hope still that you may be able to do so. The bulk of the troops in this department are in Minnesota. I desire to send three columns into the field as soon as possible-one from head of navigation on Minnesota River, as you suggest; one from the border of Iowa, by way of Big Sioux River, and one from Fort Randall, up the Missouri River. Some small force should also visit the Red Lake Indians. The only objection I have to your proposed organization is the small force of cavalry you propose to take. I should suppose that the main portion, if not the whole, of your force should be cavalry,with such artillery as is needed. I can only assemble, outside of your troops in Minnesota, about 2,000 men for the Missouri River expedition, and these are mostly cavalry. I should like you to organize two columns, id you can, of sufficient strength to act separately. If not, you must move with one. I suppose the horses bought last autumn, about 2,000 in number, would be sufficient to give you a heavy cavalry force with each column, say one half as strong as your infantry. I will have your requisitions attended to, and the supplies forwarded from Saint Louis as soon as the river is navigable. I think your estimate for transportation very large, as on