War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0283 Chapter XXXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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train. By some unaccountable affair, the refugee train, which ought to have been here two weeks ago, is not here. I ordered the lieutenant in charge of the escort not to permit the men to scatter. I furnished the escort because I knew beforehand that my commissary train would not bring bread enough, and the people were starving. I expected to get from it flour for my soldiers, as I loaned the agent the last I gave him (a month ago).

With the train and supplies in the commissary building within the walls of Fort Blunt, I would be in a good deal better shape. I intend to unload the train in as few hours as possible, and send it straight back.

Can I order the colored regiment to support me here, if necessary?

Very respectfully,


Colonel, Commanding.


Fort Blunt, C. N., May 15, 1863.

Major-General BLUNT:

SIR: I have learned with deep anxiety that my supply train, which I directed should be returned immediately, was sent off to Missouri after corn, and a deliberate intention expressed of not sending it for twelve days or two weeks. I learn positively that it had not started some time after its arrival at Fort Scott, and that language in the last degree disrespectful to me was freely uttered in Fort Scott, and a determination expressed by certain officials to starve me out. When the command of the brigade was given on your direction, by General Schofield's order last winter, the supply train was then (as a separate commander in the field) placed under my control. This was formally done by Schofield's order, without a syllable having been said on the subject by me. when General Curtis gave the command of the Eighth and Ninth Districts to me, the same control over my supply train was nominally conveyed, and yet I never have had such control. A quartermaster at Fort Scott has even presumed to send me orders. The most disrespectful language toward me was continually used to subordinate officers of my command. My directions for the return of the train were in every instance trampled upon and disobeyed, and in the dead of winter, before the enemy, the line that was to have supplied me up to this day has not actually furnished me over one-third of what we were legitimately entitled to. So long as by terrible efforts I could subsist my command, even in a meager way, I did not murmur, for I thought, as an officer of the Government it behooved me to do and suffer all that might be necessary in the hour of its trials and calamities. Now, however, a point has been reached that would subject me to the just censure of the Government and every honorable man, if allowed-what would ruin the command intrusted to me. When the train left, Quartermaster [Merritt H.] Insley and Commissary [Robert W.] Hamer were notified that we had only about twenty days' short (or partial) rations. For the past ten days we have had very little bread, although carrying on extensive fortifications. My men are now on two ounces of flour per day. The effective power of my force in the field and on the works is reduced. The effective power of my force in the field and on the works is reduced. My power to recruit the two Indian regiments is crippled, as also the battalion raising under your instructions in Arkansas.

I am again startled by an increase of sickness, carefully noted by my medical director, Dr. [Henry J.] Maynard, First Arkansas Cavalry, who has been of eminent service to me. At the close of the winter, even with the small-pox, the health of my command was, I am certain, at least as