HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, July 5, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded to the General-in-Chief.
I am endeavoring to correct the irregularities and abuses to which my attention has been called through the headquarters of the army. the order and decision from which general Blunt appeals were made with that object. Major Easton is depot quartermaster at Fort Leavenworth (which is not in General Blunt's district), and is chief quartermaster of all the districts which draw their supplies from that depot. He has, I believe, the full confidence of his superior officers in the quartermaster's department, and the present arrangement was made at the suggestion of General Robert Allen, chief quartermaster of this department. General Blunt has a quartermaster of his district, who is, of course, subject to his orders. He can no more command Major Easton that he can the chief quartermaster of the department. I do not desire to restrict the authority of General Blunt any further than the rules of the service and the abuses which have existed in his command seem to require. If he is not willing to submit to such restrictions, I see no way of preventing the recurrence of such abuses but by removing him from his command.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
JULY 21, 1863.
The foregoing views of General Schofield are approved.
H. W. HALLECK,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE BORDER,
Kansas City, Mo., June 19, 1863.
Colonel C. W. MARSH,
COLONEL: I reached Leavenworth on Sunday, the 15th, and next day heard that Colonel [William R.] Penick's regiment had gone by land and boat to Saint Joseph, and that a band of about 400 guerrillas were collected 10 miles southeast of Independence and threatening the place, which was unprotected. As I had not assumed command, I telegraphed General Schofield, asking him to order General Ben. Loan (who I supposed had not relinquished command at Lexington) to send forward temporarily four or five companies to fill the gap left by Colonel Penick's force. General Blunt at the same time ordered the two cavalry companies stationed at Westport to Independence. At the same time the colonel of the Ninth Kansas ordered detachments from four of his companies stationed in Kansas along the border to this place, ordering that the detachments should unite at Aubrey, Johnson County. About 50 men of these detachments, uniting at Aubrey, came, through Westport, here at about 4 o'clock of the 17th instant, while about 70, composed of men who were out scouting when the orders were first received, uniting also at Aubrey, followed the first detachments about three hours behind on the same road. This last party, under command of Captain [Henry] Flesher, who has a good reputation as an officer, was ambuscaded by a party of rebels, under Todd, 1 1/2 miles south of Westport. Our men were just emerging from a long lane at the foot of a hill, and the rebels were concealed in a ravine and