War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0777 Chapter XXXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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ing that will relieve so many troubles as a steamboat-load of corn. I trust it will be sent up, if possible. On the south side of the river the scouting parties need not be so strong as on the north, 50 men being sufficient for any probable emergency.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. STEELE,

Brigadier-General.

P. S.-If a piece of artillery and ammunition can be sent for use at this post, it is desirable that it should be done.

HEADQUARTERS INDIAN TERRITORY,

Fort Smith, Ark., January 27, 1863.

[General D. H. COOPER:]

GENERAL: Your communication of 22nd instant, together with inclosures, was received last night at 10 o'clock. It is a source of much regret to know that there has been such gross mismanagement and neglect on the part of commissary agents in failing to forward to such points as have been indicated in orders the necessary supply of breadstuffs, &c. From the tenor of General Hindman's verbal instructions, as well as from the report of Mr. Grimes (who is partner of Mr. C. B. Johnson), it was confidently believed that there had already been a considerable accumulation of supplies at Johnson's Depot. The exhausted condition of the commissariat at this post and the impossibility of getting up supplies from below, has rendered it imperative to order south the brigade under command of Colonel Speight. He (Colonel Speight) has been ordered to fix his camp somewhere in the vicinity of Doaksville, under the belief that supplies of breadstuffs had been brought to Johnson's Depot. Colonel S. was originally ordered via this point; being informed, however, of the scarcity of the article at the above point, the order was countermanded, and Colonel S. instructed to take a different route.

Your intention to fall back with your command so as to be more convenient to your supplies, is approved of, as there seems to be no other alternative. As regards your horses and transportation animals, the difficulties represented had been foreseen, and orders have been heretofore forwarded to your headquarters on this subject. The general commanding had fully determined, on learning the condition of his department, to move the main body of the troops to the vicinity of Red River, where supplies can be readily furnished, the men re-equipped and recruited, and placed as far as may be on a footing for active operations as soon as the weather and other circumstances may admit of movements in the field.

The general commanding is in receipt of verbal instructions from Lieutenant-General Holmes with regard to feeding indigent Indians, and will be pleased to receive any suggestions from you as regards the most feasible and practicable method of accomplishing this. Much advantage is hoped to be derived from your personal knowledge of the Indian chiefs and your large experience in connection with the administration of their affairs. Care will be taken to devise a plan by means of which the desired end may be attained, and any chance of fraud upon the Government excluded. Although the duties of Superintendent of Indian Affairs have devolved upon the general in command, he has as yet not