The troops with Steele are in Schofield's department, and will be subject to his orders, according to General Halleck's dispatch, but being nearer Steele than the headquarters of the department in which he is serving, any aid you can give him it is advisable you should give, whether it is men or supplies he may require.
U. S. GRANT,
SAINT LOUIS, MO., August 22, 1863.
General Steele thinks Kirby Smith's force is marching up to Little Rock to join Price. General Hurlbut says if General Rosecrans can clear the valley of the Tennessee and unite with a force from Corinth, to drive back Johnston, he can spare 5,000 more men for General Steele. If Steele's information is correct, he will probably want more force than he now has.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,
In the Field, Fort Blutn, August 22, 1863.
Major General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge yours of the 10th instant, relative to the organization of the Kansas Indians for the purpose of increasing my force and to enable me to get possession of and occupy the whole Indian Territory, preparatory to the removal thereto of the Kansas Indians.
There are several reasons why I do not think such a policy practicable or advisable. It would take several months under the most favorable circumstances to organize and put into the field the Indians referred to, even were they ready and willing to enlist, of which fact I am not advised, but presume they would be very slow to enlist; besides, my experience thus far with Indian soldiers has convinced me that they are of little service to the Government compared with other soldiers. The Cherokees, who are far superior in every respect to the Kansas Indians, did very good service while they had a specific object in view-the possession and occupation of their own country; having accomplished that, they have become greatly demoralized and nearly worthless as troops. I would earnestly recommend that (as the best policy the Government can pursue with these Indian regiments) they be mustered out of service some time during the coming winter, and put to work raising their subsistence, with a few white troops stationed among them for their protection.
I would not exchange one regiment of negro troops for ten regiments of Indians, and they can be obtained in abundance whenever Texas is reached.
In ten days from this date, if I have the success I expect, the Indian Territory south of the Arkansas River will be in our possession.
30 R R-VOL XXII, PT II