discrimination and judgment should be exercised, to the end that no loyal or innocent person shall suffer. The troops must be kept under complete discipline and subordination, and all officers held accountable for the conduct of the men immediately under their command.
No person or parties bearing arms, and not in the military service, will be allowed to go into the State of Missouri as camp followers, nor will such person or parties be tolerated within this military district.
All operations against rebels must be directed by the legal military authorities. This injunction is to apply especially to an organization known as the "Red Legs," which is an organized band of thieves and violators of law and good order. All such persons found prowling over the country, without a legitimate purpose, must be disarmed; and if they shall be caught in the act of thieving or other lawlessness, or in the possession of stolen property, for which they cannot give a good and sufficient reason, they shall be shot upon the spot. And as there is reason to believe that officers in the military service are implicated, directly or indirectly, in the offenses committed by "Red Legs" and other lawless bands, therefore, upon the evidence that any officer has failed or neglected to carry out the foregoing instructions in reference to such offenders, they will be dishonorably dismissed the service of the United States. General Orders, Numbers 9, of March 27, issued by Brigadier-General Loan, will remain in force in that portion of Missouri embraced within this district until further orders. All stock and other property taken from rebels in the State of Missouri will be turned over to the commanding officer at Kansas City.
Copies of the foregoing instructions will be furnished commanding officers in the border counties of Missouri, for their information and guidance.
JAS. G. BLUNT,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF KANSAS,
Fort Leavenworth, Kans., April 17, 1863.
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
GENERAL: Recent telegraphic dispatches from Colonel Phillips (a synopsis of which was telegraphed you by my adjutant on yesterday during my absence at Kansas City) report that he has had two skirmishes with the enemy this side of the Arkansas River, completely routing them, killing their leader and a number of men, and driving them all across the river. Colonel Phillips is now occupying Fort Gibson with a portion of his command. Colonel Phillips is now occupying Fort Gibson with a portion of his command. The refugee Cherokees have arrived at their homes, and are putting in their crops. They are in fine spirits, and much pleased at the prospect of again occupying their country. Rebel forces on the south side of the river are guarding all the fords to prevent Union citizens from Southwestern Arkansas and Texas, as also well-disposed Choctaws and Creeks, from crossing over to join our forces. I have directed Colonel Phillips not to attempt to hold any position on the south side of the river, and to keep his forces within supporting distance, to prevent being attacked in detail by the enemy in force. It is quite evident that the rebels intend to make an effort to cross the river, and advance north through the Indian country. In my opinion their purpose is not to move through Missouri, but upon Kansas. This opinion is confirmed by information I obtain through the