War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0340 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

for the two companies of the Second Colorado Volunteers (my regiment), now at Fort Lyon, to be ordered to this post and to be mounted. They are about 170 strong, and would be of great service. He also applied, I believe, for the two sections of the Ninth Wisconsin Battery, now at Fort Lyon, also to be sent to this post, so as to get the whole battery together. Please let me know if I am to have assistance, and how soon.

Very respectfully, &c.,

J. H. LEAVENWORTH,

Colonel Second Regiment Colorado Volunteers, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN ARKANSAS,

Helena, Ark., June 30, 1863.

Major GEORGE W. BURCHARD,

Second Arkansas Volunteers, of Arkansas District:

MAJOR: You will proceed to-morrow morning, under flag of truce, with your escort, toward Little Rock, with the communication herewith intrusted to your care from the major-general commanding the district to Lieutenant-General Holmes, C. S. Army. You will use every precaution to insure the safe delivery of such communication to Lieutenant-General Holmes, proceeding to Little Rock, or as far in that direction as permitted by the enemy, and delivering your package, whenever your farther progress may be forbidden, to some officer of the enemy's force authorized to receive it, and taking the proper receipts for the same. Having accomplished this object, you will return with your escort to this place, and report at these headquarters.

By order of Major-General Prentiss:

JAMES O. PIERCE,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN ARKANSAS,

Helena, Ark., June 30, 1863.

Lieutenant General T. H. HOLMES, C. S. Army,

Commanding Trans-Mississippi Department:

GENERAL: I have information, of such a character as not to leave a reasonable doubt of its correctness, that in a recent engagement with a detachment of United States forces, some of whom were people of African descent, certain of the troops of your command so far transcended the laws of civilized warfare as to kill defenseless soldiers who by the chances of battle fell into their hands, giving no quarter to white or black.

Having in this district certain organizations of colored troops, and presuming from the dispositions and movements of a portion of your command that an encounter between the opposing forces may not be long delayed, I deem it proper to inquire whether I am to consider such acts as precedents which will be hereafter followed by your troops, or, as I hope may be the case, were they unauthorized and disapproved? I have to ask that you will favor me with an early and explicit reply, and that you will state whether colored troops, regularly enlisted and mustered into the service of the United States, and the officers commanding them, so long as they comply with the rules and usages of civilized warfare, are to receive in return the benefits of such rules and usages.

Regretting, general, the necessity which seems to demand this com-