War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0848 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE INDIAN TERRITORY,

Fort Smith, May 25, 1863.

Brigadier General D. H. COOPER,

Commanding First Brigade:

GENERAL: I have carefully considered the propositions of Colonel Stand Watie. A week or ten days since, had we possessed the information we now have, it would have done well. Now nearly all the men are away from this place. Colonel Monroe has gone in the direction of Maysville and Grand River, with all the available men of his regiment, and a portion of Carroll's regiment is in Washington County; the remainder, little over 200 men, near Scullyville. Eight skeleton companies of infantry, numbering 150 men for duty, is the garrison of Fort Smith. From this you will see what small assistance can be given, at this time, to carry out the scheme proposed.

General Cabell's brigade, having been assigned to my command, would convey the idea of a respectable force, which is an erroneous idea. Monroe's and Carroll's regiments, both weak, are all that have ever been here. T he balance consists of companies and battalions scattered through the country, some of which are only known by name, and, having been raised as partisans, with a view to local defense, it is a matter of doubt if any great number of them can be brought together. General Cabell has three iron guns, for which he has received no ammunition since his attack upon Fayetteville; consequently he has a very small supply. I have no shot, no shell, and should have had neither powder, lead, nor caps had I awaited to get these articles through the regular channels.

I have urged General Holmes to let me have some of Marmaduke's cavalry, to assist in capturing Phillips and his re- enforcements. I doubt if I shall get them. General Cabell requires three hundred and fifty guns to arm the men of his two regiments. I regret this state o affairs.

Please show this letter to Colonel Stand Watie.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. STEELE,

Brigadier- General.

HEADQUARTERS,

Fort Smith, Ark., May 26, [1863.]

Brigadier- General COOPER:

GENERAL: I have ordered Captain Folsom, with all the Choctaws, to join the regiment. I will order Hardin back by the first opportunity I have to communicate with him. A gentleman, through direct from Missouri, tells me that it was stated in the Leavenworth Herald that three regiments were ordered from Springfield to Fort Scott. He further states that three regiments had left Springfield and gone one day's march toward Vernon, on the way to Fort Scott. This may have caused the report that these troops were en route to re-enforce Phillips. Colonel Monroe's operations near Maysville and toward Grand River will interfere with the enemy's communications. The gentleman from Missouri says that the negro regiment had gone from Fort Scott to Baxter Spring, on the neutral land.

Your obedient servant,

WM. STEELE,

Brigadier- General.