and to guard depots of supplies and provisions. In several instances detachments of the invalid corps, and officers with small parties recruiting for that corps, have been stationed, by orders from the provost-marshal-general, at military posts occupied by troops on duty in this department.
The question is, how far such detachments are under the control of the military commanders of those posts. They should undoubtedly be subject to the general police and post regulations; otherwise it will occasion great confusion and difficulty. Officers and soldiers of the invalid corps, unless subject to the general authority of the post commander, can go in and out of the post at all hours of the day and night, can omit or decline to police their quarters, or submit to any needful regulations for the good order of the post. It is unnecessary to point out to the General-in-Chief the confusion and disorder which must necessarily arise from any such point or complicated jurisdiction.
This state of things is especially troublesome at Fort Snelling, in Minnesota, and Camp McClellan, at Davenport, Iowa. The first is a depot of supplies for posts in Minnesota, and is commanded by a colonel of Minnesota volunteers. It is also the station for troops who furnish the necessary protection for officers of the provost-marshal's department. Camp McClellan is a military post in the military district of Iowa, at which are confined, under guard, 300 Sioux warriors, captured last autumn. Neither of these two posts can be spared from the necessities of this department.
I have the honor, therefore, to ask a decision on this subject, and to recommend, whenever it is found necessary to station detachments of the invalid corps at posts garrisoned by the military forces of this department, such detachments for necessary purposes of police, &c., shall be subject to the general authority of the post commander, and to the necessary regulations made by him for the good order and military police of the post, the asst commander being limited in his authority to this purpose, and prohibited from exercising any sort of control over officers and soldiers of the invalid corps in the discharge of the special duties assigned them.
I assume without any knowledge of the subject or any official instructions in the matter, that the invalid corps is commanded by the officers of the provost-marshal's department. I do not desire to exercise any authority over them further than the necessary control expressed in this letter, when detachments of them are sent to military posts occupied by troops on duty in this department.
I have the honor to ask a decision of the question at the earliest convenience of the General-in-Chief, as some trouble already exists on the subject.
I am, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Little Rock, October 31, 1863.
Major General STEPHEN A. HURLBUT,
Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: I learn, by telegraph from Benton this evening, that our cavalry have been at Arkadelphia, and captured some prisoners and 8 wagons. Marmaduke retreated by way of Camden. Union men report