War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0692 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV

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mountains. I shall subsist these men as recruits, subject to disposition by your orders.

On Saturday I reviewed the First Arkansas Infantry Volunteers, First Colored Infantry Kansas Volunteers, and Rabb's battery. The negro regiment is a triumph of drill and discipline, and reflects great honor on Colonel Williams, in command. Few volunteer regiments that I have seen make a better appearance. I regard them as first-rate infantry. I shall order at once all of the Twelfth Kansas Cavalry [Infantry] that can be spared from Fort Scott and if I find no substantial reason for the continuance of the force at Baxter Springs, call them in. The force at Gibson I may be compelled to precipitate on the Choctaw Nation, who remain contumacious. I am sending them messengers, offering to treat with them if they will leave Cooper, and threatening to drive them from their country if they do not. They are terribly afraid of the Pint Indians, and may succumb. If they do not, I shall keep my word with them, as the only mode of impressing these Indians with proper respect for the power of the Government.

I shall start a semi-weekly mail for Fayetteville.

Washington County, Arkansas, being in this district, as described in orders, I have to ask that you will direct the troops stationed there to report to me. Arkansas, north of Boston Mountains, might be made a sub-district, to report either here or at Springfield. In case the First Arkansas Cavalry is not directed to report to me, I have to request that Captain D. C. Hopkins, with his company, may be detached and directed to report to me as scouts. I have everywhere in this State found our information of the enemy's movements defective, and military scouts the most reliable. Captain Hopkins and his company are peculiarly fitted for this service.

I have but the copy of your telegram ordering me to relieve Major-General Blunt; no other orders.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN McNEIL,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE BORDER,

Kansas City, Mo., November 2, 1863.

Major General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,

Commanding Department, &c., Saint Louis:

GENERAL: The dispatch of Colonel Weer to you of this date relates to a matter of which you will doubtless think I should have been informed, and should advise you.

I am reliably informed that two hundred wagon-loads of sutlers' stores are being sent to Fort Smith with the train which left Fort Scott Tuesday last. Alexander McDonald, of Fort Scott, a well-known merchant and Government contractor there, sends the goods, and himself claims appointment as sutler at Fort Smith, from General Blunt. It seems to be admitted the appointment is not regular, but it is expected that General Blunt will make it regular when he gets there. There is said to be $100,000 worth of the goods. I heard nothing as to the character of the goods, nor as to their being carried in Government wagons. It may be that all that Colonel Weer says on the subject is true, as I made no special inquiry on the subject. It is, however, commonly un-