War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0806 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

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I have, and it is desirable to counterbalance this advantage with heavier metal, even if I am compelled to haul them with oxen. Of course, I should prefer modern improved guns, but have no idea you will have it in your power to spare me anything of that kind. General Holmes gives me to understand that I can look to Arkansas for nothing.

The Indian country is utterly exhausted. My supplies of breadstuffs are all purchased in Texas, and, as in regard to everything else, I found this department sadly deficient in transportation. I therefore wish you to do me the kindness to give such orders as will facilitate my chief quartermaster (whom I have stationed for the present at Bonham) in forwarding these supplies to me. Your sagacity will have discovered that the interests and defense of this territory and Northern Texas are most intimately interwoven. I therefore feel every confidence in making this appeal to you. I am also fully aware that in doing so I am disregarding the rules prescribed for my government, especially in regard to ordnance and ordnance stores; but I do this to avoid losing the country before the usual forms of "red tapeism" can be gone through. I do not think this is a time to stand upon form. As for making a requisition according to the prescribed routine, and giving it its time to travel to Richmond and back, the thing is utterly absurd. If you can spare a supply of ammunition, please have such assistance given Captain Crosby as will further its speedy transportation to me. I am also sadly deficient in small arms. The majority of my Indian troops are entirely without, and the long range weapons in the hands of the enemy's Indian allies have the effect of intimidating them to a great extent. I shall notify General Smith (who I have just learned is in command of Trans- Mississippi District) of having sent an agent to you, and also forward to him a copy of this letter. Learning that the Indians and whites together were driving the whites from their homes in Northern Texas, I immediately assumed the responsibility of ordering Colonel De Morse's cavalry regiment into Cooke County, for the protection of the people of that section. I hope the force sent has been sufficient to relieve any anxiety you may have in regard to that quarter. I fear, however, that I shall be unable to keep the regiment at that point any considerable length of time, it being one of my best equipped regiments, and being quite sure, from present appearances, that I shall need all the troops I can command on this line.

It is reported to me unofficially that many of the deserters from the Texas regiments under my command have joined partisan corps in Texas. Should such prove to be the fact, I would respectfully ask you to apply the proper remedy.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. STEELE,

Brigadier- General, Commanding Indian Territory.

HEADQUARTERS INDIAN TERRITORY,

Fort Smith, Ark., March 23, 1863.

General D. H. COOPER,

Commanding First Brigade:

GENERAL: In obedience to instructions from General Homes, you will report to him at his headquarters, Little Rock, without delay.

Your obedient servant,

WM. STEELE,

Brigadier- General.