War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0839 Chapter XXXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- CONFEDERATE.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE INDIAN TERRITORY

Fort Smith, Ark., May 14, 1863.

Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,

Chief of Staff, Trans- Mississippi Department:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose herewith a letter from Colonel Harrison and Colonel Speight. This letter is in answer to one I sent to Colonel Harrison, who was in command of a detachment of Speight's brigade, and having as a part of his command West's battery. The order was to send the battery back, as it was important to me, being the only one I had, and as I did not think it included in the order sent direct to the brigade commander to move to Shreveport. Colonel Speight chooses to disobey this order, for which disobedience I wish him arrested and brought to trial. I have been treated with indignity in having troops taken away from me which were essential to the plans in progress of development, by an order direct to an inferior, without the slightest notice to me on the subject. In addition, my orders are treated with contempt. I certainly cannot submit in silence to have my rank entirely ignored.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. STEELE,

Brigadier- General.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS SPEIGHT'S BRIGADE,

Camp, in route to Alexandria, May 6, 1863.

Lieutenant B. G. DUVAL,

Acting Assistant Adjutant- General:

Your communication of date of 1st instant, per courier, did not reach me until this afternoon about 6 o'clock. Previous to this I had rejoined the brigade, with my regiment and West's battery, and had reported to Colonel J. W. Speight, near Clarksville, Tex. The matter in reference to the detachment of West's battery I therefore referred to him.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES E. HARRISON,

Lieutenant- Colonel, Commanding Speight's Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS TRANS- MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Shreveport, May 16, 1863.

Lieutenant General T. H. HOLMES,

Little Rock, Ark.:

GENERAL: Colonel Speight's brigade arrived here yesterday. He brings less than 1,400 men for duty, of which 460 are unarmed. The absentees are at their homes; they have no intention of joining their commands, and Colonel Speight reports that they can only be collected by an armed force. With the exception of Colonel Speight's regiment, and probably one other battalion, the command is an undisciplined mob; the