disabled) is out, except those who have fled, and a very few who are still in the mountains; still, it does not but little exceed 20,000 men chiefly divided between Price and Marmaduke. Perhaps it will appear almost incredible to you if I refer to the subsistence to which the rebels are reduced in Arkansas. The only meat obtainable, as far as I have seen, is stock hogs and cattle dying with starvation, both eaten fresh, and half the time without salt. When I was on the Arkansas River and at the Rock, flour sold at $200 per barred and bacon at $1 per pound. If a 10-pound fish was caught, it sold readily for $5 to the hungry soldiers; corn from $2 to $5 per bushel, and it may almost be said that it is now all consumed. This state of things can only be mitigated by obtaining beef-cattle from Texas, for meat, and the approaching wheat harvest for bread. I know, sir, with what zeal the misguided people everywhere keep a watch of and report the movements of the Government troops to the rebel leaders, and conscious that there are but too few left in my wretched country who dare to make an effort to oppose this terrible rebellion, are among the motives which have sustained me in this dangerous work, and to trouble you with this lengthy communication. After a rest of a few hours at this place, I intend proceeding to Saint Louis, and will, with much pleasure, pay my respects.
HEADQUARTERS INDIAN COMMAND,
Fort Gibson, C. N. May 9, 1863- Evening.
SIR: I send dispatch bearer with reports, mail, &c. I am in intense anxiety about the trains, now twenty days out. A large scout I sent out to Neosho Crossing is just in having heard nothing of the train or of the refugee train.
There is the greatest amount of actual distress among those who expected to depend on the Indian agents. Some one has been very reprehensible. I have been making terrible efforts, but although I took what little the rebels had at Webber's Falls, and also some subsistence in the last dash into Arkansas, still the country is too exhausted to furnish anything of substantial support. My own command are on half rations, and have been. The recruiting service for the Fourth and Fifth is crippled and injured to some extent for want of bread. In fact, my command, instead of being better off, is worse off than the rebels. Some officers at Fort Scott must be worse than careless. I appeal to you, and to the Government through you, against a system which seems bent on crippling and injuring the Indian command. So far, in spite of their privation, the men (because they are holding their country) are in good spirits and have done nobly. I still keep the whole country swept by my scouts, and have in the last six days thrown up a fortification of which the Indian command may well be proud. I shall send you surveys and plans of it when completed. The line is now made and it is quite defensible although the works are not finished. It has cost the Government literally nothing, and renders this post impregnable. I propose, as soon as completed, changing the name of this post to Fort Blunt. If it is compliment worthy of the here of the Southwest, I feel sure that the army and the people will unite with me in paying it. I hope this party and the scout I sent up to Neosho River will meet the supply train this side of the Neosho; it is easy fording now. I shall not delay the train except a few hours unloading, and shall send pine lum-