War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0827 Chapter XXXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- CONFEDERATE.

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SECRETARY OF WAR:

This gives additional proof of the increasing barbarity of the enemy. Some of the facts might be published with good effect at home and abroad. The guilty parties should be marked by the troops on that line, and, if opportunity offer, should have summary punishment.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE INDIAN TERRITORY,

Fort Smith, Ark., April 18, 1863.

Colonel W. P. LANE, Jefferson, Tex.:

COLONEL: I received your letter of the 9th to-day. I had heard a rumor that your regiment was moving, and am much disappointed that such is not the case. If the troops belonging to my command were here now, the Indian country could be cleared in three weeks. The portion of your regiment that left here, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Crump, was permitted to go to Red River under the assurance that it would be ready in six weeks to take the field. Their services have been and still are very much wanted here. How long it will be before I am forced to leave this place and abandon the line of the Arkansas River depends, at the present time, upon the enemy, for he has, in a body, more than four times my force. The same difficulty exists with all the troops that have been sent to Texas. No difficulty is experienced in getting there, but when it is the question to come this way, a thousand obstacles are presented.

If the Federals depredate upon the frontier of Texas, it will be due to the supineness of the Texas troops who have gone home. I have no doubt, colonel, that you have used every exertion in getting your regiment in a proper condition for efficiency. I can easily imagine the difficulties you have had to contend with. I hope, however, that, by the time you receive this, you will have surmounted them sufficiently to enable you to move. You must not wait longer for stragglers, but come with what you have. If you have no transportation here to take you to Bonham, where my chief quartermaster will be found, buy, payable at that place. Captain Cabell has lately received money, and will probably be able to supply your necessities. If there is any large number of men still absent, leave a detail to bring them up. Write to Captain A. S. Cabell, at Bonham, to ascertain what he can furnish you pertaining to the quartermaster's department.

Phillips, the Federal commander, is moving about the country north of the river, with about 2,000 troops of all kinds, doing us much damage in unsettling the faith of the Indians in our ability to protest them. Unless I have the power to do something soon, many of them will go over to them, while I, with two brigades on paper, am kept uneasy for the safety of our depots. You will see the necessity of moving at the earliest practicable moment. Write frequently, in order that I may know exactly what to count upon.

I have sent my assistant adjutant-general, J. F. Crosby, into Texas, for the purpose of getting arms, &c. Write to him at Austin, and let him know your condition with regard to arms. He may be able to do something for your regiment.

Your obedient servant,

WM. STEELE,

Brigadier- General.

P. S. The only rule that can be adopted in the case of the contested election in your regiment is the condition of the company when it was