one mode of operation, and a change of plans is another. I hope your body will settle some of the troublesome questions and relieve public anxiety in those respects. In some respects, such a change as you suggest would necessarily involve partisan fears and hopes that would be pernicious and prejudicial to the harmony of our friends, but on other accounts I would approve the change. It is not, however, likely to transpire, or I am very much misinformed.
We had quite a parade yesterday, and matters move quietly forward. I hope some of the House will do justice to our troops,if the attempt is made to charge them with controlling the elections. In one sense they did, and will. A majority of the voters being Enrolled Militia, they cast the most votes; but, to my knowledge, the election in Missouri last fall was the most quiet and free and fair ever had in this region, and I have rejoiced to see the propriety of our troops during the canvass and on the day of election. Because all the voters were in some way volunteers, it is easy to charge every riot to the troops; but whoever saw as few riots on election day as we saw at last fall's election! I have seen sights of elections in Missouri, long before this war brought troops here.
Truly, your friend,
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF KANSAS,
Fort Leavenworth, February 23, 1863.
Colonel WILLIAM A. PHILLIPS,
Commanding Indian Brigade:
COLONEl: Your communication of February 6 to General Curtis, having been referred to me for consideration, and to give such instructions as I might deem proper, I would, therefore, suggest that the force under your command be kept in as good condition as possible, to be prepared for active service as soon as there is grass sufficient to move a large body of troops. You will, in the mean time, endeavor to destroy all bands of guerrillas in Western Arkansas and the Indian Territory. Send scouts to penetrate as far south as practicable, to ascertain the feeling and disposition of the people. Endeavor to open communication with the Indians of the different tribes who have been misled into the rebel service, and encourage them to abandon their hostility to the Government, promising them pardon and protection when they do so. It is my desire, as it always has been, to had the unfortunate refugees back to their homes at the earliest period practicable. With the cooperation of the Interior Department, which, I think, I will have, I see no reason why they should not be returned in the spring, at least that porion whose labor can be made available for raising a spring and summer crop.
The whole Indian country must be occupied next summer. The Indian troops will be used principally for that purpose, and it may be necessary to use a portion of the Union soldiers, if practicable, to cultivate the soil. The raising of a crop in the Indian country the coming season is of great importance,not only to sustain the refugees, but forage must be had for the use of the Government. The Superintendent of Indian Affairs has promised me that seeds of all kind shall be furnished early. You can assure the loyal Indians that nothing shall be wanting on my part to advance their interest. I shall leave all the details to be managed by you, knowing that they will be left in good hands.
I am waiting for the return of Dr. Gillpatrick, whom I sent to confer with you relative to the organization of the two new regiments author-