War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0966 MO., ARK., KANS., IND.T., AND DEPT. N.W. Chapter XXXIV.

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command to the Canadian, and that when the enemy advances he will be compelled to fall back. He does not say whether he will retire upon Fort Smith or in this direction. If he retires upon Fort Smith, my entire front is uncovered, and this frontier exposed. If he retires this way, he will have to make his stand at Boggy Depot, 75 miles north of this camp, where I should have to re-enforce him. His army is completely demoralized, and he says that one party of 200 men, under commissioned officers, left him at one time. The enemy has been strongly re-enforced. He says his entire command is not greater than that which Cooper had when the enemy drove him back.

Rumors of fights and defeats reach me, but nothing official since the date of General Steele's dispatch of the 9th. I will probably hear from him before the five companies of Gurley's regiment can leave, and will then cat as the necessity of the case may demand.

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

SMITH P. BANKHEAD,

Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding Northern Sub-District of Texas.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS NORTHERN SUB-DISTRICT OF TEXAS, Near Bonham, Tex., August 10, 1863.

Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

GENERAL: I have been instructed by the major-general commanding this district to write you direct in relation to all matters pertaining to the Indian Department, sending copies of my communications to his headquarters.

I herewith inclose three letters from General Steele,* one of which (to Major Blair) was left open for my perusal. I am grieved at General Steele's situation, and wish I could relieve him promptly; but I have received orders not to move up until my command reaches 2,000, with another battery of artillery. So soon as Terrell's regiment arrives, and Abat's battery reports, I will be in condition to move as far as numbers are concerned; but Terrell's regiment is perfectly raw and unarmed. I suggest, in the event of my being ordered up, as my command belongs to this district proper, my orders may be distinct to move up and attack the enemy wherever I may find him, and then either advance or fall back as the fortunes of war may make it advisable.

I do not think it would be for the good of the service to amalgamate my command with General Steele's. In a very short time I will have a disciplined command of 1,000 men, and with this nucleus can soon discipline the balance. To have me under General Steele's orders permanently would leave the lieutenant-general without an auxiliary force, which could be moved in any emergency either into the Indian Department, Louisiana, or Eastern Texas. It occurs to me that my position is most eligible for attack or defense, and that if ordered to attack I should reoccupy my position after the work is done. I am drilling my command almost exclusively as infantry, instructing them in the rudiments of the school of the trooper. I do this on the ground of efficiency and as best adapted to my arms, Enfield guns and United States muskets.

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a file of General Orders, from No. 1 to No. 57, inclusive.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

SMITH P. BANKHEAD,

Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding Northern Sub-District of Texas.

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*Not found; but see pp.921,940.

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