from putting the Indians to death. This state of feeling is principally manifested toward the prisoners of the first class. I have the honor to request that some immediate disposition be made of these Indian prisoners, so as to relieve the considerable force guarding them for active service in the spring. The Indian Department is properly chargeable with the care of these Indians, and I recommend and request that they be turned over to that Department. The condemned Indians ought, at once, to be sent to some place of confinement out of the State. May I ask urgently speedy attention to the request, in order that the troops now guarding these prisoners can be gotten ready for service on the plains! Our operations will be embarrassed if deprived of the considerable force needed to guard and protect these Indian prisoners.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major- General, Commanding.
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 19, 1863.
Major- General CURTIS, Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: I transmit herewith a copy of a letter from Colorado Territory* in regard to the retention of troops in that portion of the country.
Numerous communications have been received here to the same purport, both in regard to Colorado Territory and to Kansas. Every section of the country seems determined to retain in its vicinity as many troops as possible, whether any enemy is likely to attack it or not. The object evidently is to profit by the expenditure of public money. When troops are so much needed in the face of the enemy,on important points, it is the duty of military officers to resist these local influences, and to concentrate his troops where they can do most service to the country.
It is hoped that you will give this matter your early attention.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., February 19, 1863.
Major- General CURTIS:
The Third Division has reached the headwaters of Finley Creek, in Webster County, where they have found forage enough for five or six days. Colonel Geiger reports the teams nearly all worn out and unfit for service. The same is true of large part of those in the other divisions. I am compelled to repeat my opinion that the force should move eastward, and thus shorten the Rolla line until your are ready for it to advance into Arkansas. This would enable me to replace the worn-out teams by good ones, and send the former to Rolla to recruit. I am decidedly of the opinion that the advance, via Forsyth, must be made at once, if at all, for the reason stated in my last dispatch; + but the roads are still very bad, and the practicability of making the move extremely doubtful. I will do as you direct, to the best of my ability, but I seriously apprehend the loss of my entire means of transportation.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
Not found. +See p. 116.