termaster at Bonham, Tex., to purchase a sufficient quantity of corn on Red River to supply for the present the demands of the force to be stationed in that vicinity. This has been directed to be done quietly, so as to give no occasion for undue speculation. Instructions have also gone to Mr. C. B. Johnson, urging the utmost energy in the discharge of this duties. His partner, Mr. Grimes, reports the purchase of a million and a half pounds of wheat and flour, and that Mr. Johnson would succeed in getting from one thousand to two thousand pork hogs.
Please find inclosed applications for furlough and discharges, with orders indorsed thereon; also printed copies of General Orders, Nos. 4 and 5.*
By direction of Brigadier-General Steele:
J. F. CROSBY,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE INDIAN TERRITORY,
Fort Smith, January 28, 1863.
Colonel JOHN [W.] SPEIGHT:
COLONEL: Your three letters on the subject of supplies, orders, and the movements of the battery have this moment been received. It appears that you did not receive the order countermanding the order to send the battery, which was dispatched to you a few hours after the order to return was given. As it is, it is very well, as the battery was not wanted, but it appears to me that prompt action would have enabled the battery to return, as may courier met no obstacle in his return. Had the enemy crossed the river as was anticipated, he having captured a steamboat, the want of the cannon might have been fatal to us.
As to subsistence, when you were ordered to Johnson's, I was informed that supplies were furnished you sufficient to carry you to your destination, which not proving to be the case, every assistance was given that was possible.
I have received no supplies at this point since my repeated conversations with you; it is a question of starvation with the troops and sick. I had every reason to believe that there was flour on the road, and have even at this moment received a note from General Cooper that trains have passed in this direction, but that they had probably turned off toward Waldron, a movement which, thinking it might be made, I had sent orders to prevent. You are in an extremely difficult position, I admit, but how I can render you my assistance I cannot see. No time was given before you were ordered to my command for the slightest preparation. Orders have been forwarded to you to go to the vicinity of Doaksville. Orders have been expressed to the commissary agents to send supplies to that point. I have been informed from various sources that there is flour at Johnson's, on Brushy. I think you need be under no apprehension of anything like starvation, though you may be on short rations a few days.
Your obedient servant,
P. S.--Send ahead to Riddle, and, if the flour trains have passed, send for them if they are not so far that you can sooner get supplies from Johnson's, on Brushy.