HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE FRONTIER,
Fort Scott, Kans., August 26, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel C. W. MARSH,
Asst. Adjt. General, Dept. of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.:
COLONEL: As will be seen by General Orders, No. 11, from these headquarters, I have taken the liberty to establish an outpost at Baxter Springs, 58 miles south of this post, and to organize an express to Fort Gibson (generally called here Fort Blunt), with a change of riders and horses, or rather mules, at the outpost. The distance from Baxter Springs to Fort Blunt is 105 miles (whole distance from here 163 miles), and another post with a small force, I think, may be established below Cabin Creek, say 50 miles from Baxter Springs. A very little system will reduce the time for carrying dispatches through from this post to Fort Blunt (quickest time yet made, four days) to thirty-six hours.
Lieutenant J. B. Pond, Company C, Third Wisconsin Cavalry, will have a command at Baxter Springs of about 75 men and officers of his regiment, and one company of the Second Kansas (colored), under a lieutenant.
This Lieutenant Pond has greatly distinguished himself during the past six months in this country in fighting guerrillas, fighting them at all times in their own style, principally at night, by watching the crossings of streams, suspected houses, &c. He is a brave and gallant officer; and if new corps are to be organized at Washington with the specified object in view of fighting guerrillas in their own way, I would beg to recommend Lieutenant Pond for advancement therein.
I do not, of course, pretend to know the plans of the Government concerning future army movements in this Western country, but it has occurred to me that if an expedition against Texas should move up the Red River, as was suggested in a recent telegram from the commanding general, the main portion of the forces at Fort Blunt may be sent through Indian Territory or Arkansas to join it, and that then, communication being kept up on this line, this express may constitute by far the speediest route for dispatches that can be had with that force. As by that time the guerrillas in Missouri will be more subdued than at present, the express may, for a still more immediate connection with a telegraph line, start from Springfield instead of Fort Scott. Springfield to Baxter Springs cannot be more than 10 or 15 miles farther than from here to the same point.
I have the honor to forward, for the information of the commanding general, a particular map of the route hence to Fort Blunt, measured by one odometer, and notes made by Captain Boyd, Second Colorado Volunteers, and Lieutenant Gould, adjutant Fifth Indian Regiment.
I have the honor to be, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. Z. CURTIS,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF THE FRONTIER, ASST. ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Fort Scott, Kans., August 22, 1863.
To facilitate communication with the troops in the field, Captain M. H. Insley, depot quartermaster, is directed to establish a military express between this post and Fort Blunt, C. N., to make semi-weekly trips, each trip to be made in as short a space of time as possible.