War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0298 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N.W. Chapter XXXIV.

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reached you ere this. Six companies of the Second Colorado Infantry will arm at Fort Scott in a few days, when they will be sent forward to you with two pieces of artillery. I learn that the Second Kansas, with one section of battery has gone to Fayetteville, which will be a support to you. You know my views in relation to the necessity of holding the Indian country to the Arkansas River. I shall expect you to exercise your own judgment as regards the details. You should act prudently and not take too great risks. If you can maintain your present lines until you can be re-enforced, you will do well. Keep me advised promptly of all movements.

Respectfully, your obedient servant

JAS. G. BLUNT,

Major-General,

HEADQUARTERS INDIAN BRIGADE,

Fort Blunt, C. N., May 31, 1863

Major-General BLUNT:

SIR: My supply train starts this morning, it having been delayed one or two days on account of the paymaster. In coming in it was attacked by the rebel forces. The evening before, I had sent out all the force I could mount to meet it under Colonel Schaurte, and sent a force to guard the Arkansas on my right, under Colonel Corwin. The evening before, I made a feint a the Rabbit Ford, with a battalion of infantry and two pieces of artillery, under Foreman, as if I designed crossing. The rebels were too well posted, however, to be deceived, as Livingston had been following the train. Suspecting an attack, I ordered Colonel Schaurte to bring it through from Flat Rock in the night (18 miles). This movement confused the rebel forces, and although they attacked the train at daylight, their forces were divided, and I was able to get up my infantry and artillery, and get my train immediately within the fort. The enemy had left his infantry and artillery over the river, bringing over only a mounted force, which was sent separately, so as to cut off my train. I endeavored to cut off his retreat from the river, but my stock is so poor that it was impossible. Our loss in the last attack was 4 killed and several slightly wounded. The river rose immediately; has not been fordable for several days, but is falling. Learning that the negro regiment was ordered here, I directed Colonel Williams not to divide his force, but to hurry forward. The enemy are re-enforcing and massing against me troops from Arkansas and Texas, as well as the Indian Nation. I learn that they give their forces engaged at the battle on the bayou at 4,000. I have your orders not to give up a foot of battle on the bayou at 4,000. I have your orders not to give up a foot of soil until driven from it, and do not shrink from the somewhat heavy responsibilities that press me. I do not regard the massing of the rebel force across the river as a misfortune, if I can hold out until re-enforced, and the enemy will be more easily and completely broken up there than anywhere else. I had intended crossing to attack them while the train was here, and would have done so, but the river was up, and I expected that they might try to cross, and so divide their forces. My position requires the utmost prudence and circumspection.

Again I say that while I make no special appeal, I desire to add that I ought to be re-enforced speedily.

Respectfully,

WM. A. PHILLIPS,

Colonel, Commanding.