War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0807 Chapter XXXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- CONFEDERATE.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE INDIAN TERRITORY,

Fort Smith, March 28, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel S. S. ANDERSON,

Assistant Adjutant- General, Little Rock:

COLONEL: I wrote you a few days since that I contemplated calling out the Choctaws. I am informed that their treaty obligations are to furnish men in the same proportion as the States. (I have not yet been able to obtain a copy of the treaty.) Under this, and with the consciousness that they are to be fed under any circumstances, I purposed calling the entire population within the conscript age, but in doing so a difficulty is encountered which does not exist in the States, where a sufficient number of regiments are already organized to absorb all the new levies. It will be necessary to appoint field officers and put them on duty at once, or as soon as the regiments are raised. The Choctaws are the most reliable of all the Indians.

The present condition of the Indian country is that there is a necessity of feeding an indefinite number, say 40,000, and having out of all an army of not more than 7,000 fighting men, and many of these very irregular troops. I submit this for your consideration. If authority can be given to organize these troops, I think it should be done. To await the return of a;;ointments from the other side of the Mississippi River is to involve the Indian country in confusion.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. STEELE,

Brigadier- General.

RICHMOND, VA., March 30, 1863.

Colonel JONES [JOSEPH C. IVES],

Aide-de-Camp to the President,

(Care of General Pemberton, Jackson, Miss.:)

COLONEL: I am particularly in want of full and exact returns of the troops in General Holmes' command of the Trans- Mississippi Department, which I have endeavored to obtain for some time past, but have failed to accomplish. In mentioning the subject to the President, he suggested that I should write to you, as you are now on a tour of inspection in that region of country. I have, therefore, concluded to apply to your for assistance in giving the relief to my necessities, by requesting you to adopt some means while in the Trans- Mississippi Department to cause me to be furnished, as early as practicable, with the returns so much needed, and which, by a resolution of the Senate, I am called upon to make. What I want, and what the rules of the service require,is a tabular return of the strength of the army under General Holmes, to which should be added a statement showing the organization of brigades and divisions constituting his command, the name, number, and from what State, of the regiments composing each brigade, with the name of each regimental commander, and the name and rank of each brigade commander, and also the rank and name of the division commander, into which divisions the several brigades are organized. Can you, by any possibility, obtain this information for me!

The President has intimated to me that Major G. M. Bryan, supposed to be now serving with Major General Richard Taylor, in Western Louisiana, might be useful in collecting this information, under your instructions. Could you not make arrangements to send for him and put him on this duty,with directions to bring me the returns I require to this city, with