prisoners and let them run loose in my camp, subsisted by us until exchanged.
I regret most profoundly, colonel, anything which might disturb the hearty co-operation we both owe the Government, and desire that the anxiety I may have exhibited to cultivate it may not be misconstrued as a wish on my part to shift any of the responsibilities imposed on me.
I am, with respect,
WM. A. PHILLIPS,
HDQRS. SECOND REGIMENT COLORADO VOLUNTEERS,
Fort Lyon, Colo. (Old Fort Wise), March 22, 1863.
Major General E. V. SUMNER,
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
GENERAL: Believing that you will, upon assuming command of the Department of the Missouri, wish to know the situation of military matters in Colorado, I take the liberty of writing, and shall try and give you a correct idea of what we have and what we need out here. In the first place, Colorado is strongly loyal to the Union, and her position is such that no fear need be apprehended from any outside attacks, and as for the Indians, not the least fear should be thought of.
There have been raised in this Territory what has been called three regiments, but they are somewhat mixed. The force is as follows: First Regiment Colorado Cavalry, twelve companies; Second Regiment Colorado Volunteer Infantry, eight companies, and one battery of artillery, not armed; Third Regiment Colorado Volunteers, only five companies full. These have marched for the States, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Curtis, leaving some fractional companies here recruiting under Colonel Ford and Major Pritchard.
The Second was raised under an order given me by the Secretary of War, and at the time the order was given General Hunter then commanded the Department of Kansas, and he, fearing that the Texans, who were then advancing into New Mexico, might reach the Arkansas River by the Old Santa Fe road, furnished me with 1,000 stand of arms, 200,000 ball cartridges, and a battery of field artillery complete, all of which I arrived with at Denver, Colo., on the 25th of May, 1862. At Saint Louis, General Halleck manned the battery with the Ninth Wisconsin Battery, 150 men, commanded by Captain Johnson. Two sections of this battery are now at Fort Lyon, Colo., and one section at Fort Larned, and as it has been in service a long time, well officered and in fine condition, it should be ordered into active service.
A few interested parties have been very anxious to get a large volunteer force retained in this Territory, more for speculation than anything else, and I do hope they will be disappointed. There is no more necessity for troops at this point than at Syracuse, N. Y. Two companies of the First Cavalry at Fort Lyon, one at Fort Garland, and one at Camp Collins, on the overland mail line, are all the troops required, in my estimation, in Colorado. All the rest retained are to protect new town lots, and eat corn, at $5.60 per bushel.
Eighth companies of the First Cavalry, all of the Second and Third, together with the Ninth Wisconsin and First Colorado Batteries, should be ordered into the States at once for active duty. The material of these troops is not excelled by any other in the would, and, if put into service under a good and active officer, will do honor to any department.