HDQRS. INDIAN TERRITORY AND WESTERN ARKANSAS,
Fort Blunt, C. N., May 15, 1863
SIR: I am happy in being able to inform you that everything in a military point of view is in good condition. The line of fortifications are completed, although of course, the works are not finished. It cannot be taken even by a large force. My command has worked hard. I have now a large mounted force on Grand River, guarding my line of transportation. It is under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Schaurte.
Colonel Dole is now at Maysville, with a large scout and howitzer, to aid Schaurte in breaking the line the rebels tried to open through that way to Maysville. I sent Colonel Dole, with 500 men and howitzers, into Arkansas toward Dutchtown, Cane Hill, and Prairie Grove. I sent 13 wagons, which were filled with wheat and corn, just ground at Hildebrand's Mill, and on the way here.
Captain [Henry S.] Anderson was assigned, at your request, to recruit a battalion in Arkansas. Some of the militia I employed last winter have joined him, and he has one company already well under way. I have no doubt but he will raise at least a battalion.
With some Cherokee soldiers and Arkansas recruits, Captain Anderson fought a portion of Carroll's command near Cincinnati, on the 10th instant, routing a force much larger than his own; killed the rebel Captain Brown and 10 of his men in the engagement.
Lieutenant [Maxwell] Phillips, who recently came down with a detachment of stragglers from the Creek regiment up at Fort Scott, had a fight at Cabin Creek with Livingston's men. After an hour's fight, he routed them, killing 3 and wounding several.
The Arkansas River is down so as to be nearly fordable. The enemy have been for the past five days in considerable force on the river and fire heavily at my pickets all the time. I do not permit my pickets to waste their ammunition by returning the fire, except when they come to the water's edge.
So close a surveillance is kept that I find it difficult to keep posted as to the enemy's movements. Several of my spies have been taken. One soldier, Third Indian Regiment, was mortally wounded two days ago, by firing over the river.
The river has not been fordable; besides, I have all the force I could spare from the defense of the front (nearly half of my command) scouting in my rear to keep my line open, and on my flank in Arkansas. When my train is in and safely back, probably I will strike over the river again at the enemy. I learn that the enemy has a considerable force 15 miles this side of North Fork, their transportation being at North Fork, 50 miles distant. They have conscripted everything in the country, and hold them in a vise. I will have to break them up to fill up the two new regiments.
Fort Smith has been reinforced by two new regiments, under Crump, from Texas. Cabell's forces have been in Arkansas; Carroll's and Monroe's regiments near Rhea's Mills, and a battalion at Fayetteville. When my command entered Arkansas they fell back southeast; but, as they are a light-mounted force, will probably soon return.
My horse stock is a good deal run down, as it is grass-fed and has had very hard work. I have been keeping out on my rear and flanks all I can mount.
I directed Colonel Williams to send 200 men to Cabin Creek, to escort the train, until he met Colonel Schaurte, who is at the forks of the road near Cabin Creek, guarding the approach of the refugee and supply