War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0972 MO., ARK., KANS., IND.T., AND DEPT. N.W. Chapter XXXIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

the speedy and complete stoppage of trade to the enemy on the Mississippi.

With high regard, yours, &.,

J. A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE INDIAN TERRITORY, Camp Brookin's Creek, August 19, 1863.

Brigadier General W. L. CABELL, Commanding Brigade:

GENERAL: You will move your brigade to the neighborhood of Scullyville, to be near enough to Fort Smith to re-enforce that place should the enemy advance upon it in such numbers as you could oppose with a reasonable prospect of success. Should the force advancing be so large as to make an attempt to defend not advisable, you will withdraw all the troops in the direction of Riddle's, where flour has been placed. It would be necessary to watch closely for a movement from the direction of Gibson.

WM. STEELE,

Brigadier-General.

HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, FIRST DIV., ARMY OF TEXAS, Camp Bankhead, August 20, 1863.

[Captain EDMUND P. TURNER:]

CAPTAIN: I beg you will communicate the substance of this dispatch to the major-general commanding without delay, and forward me his reply by pony express. If the express does not leave on the day when his reply is ready,a special courier will bring it through,as that is embraced in the contract with the carriers of the pony express.

General Steele has fallen back, with his entire command, from the front of Fort Gibson. He has gone to Fort Smith with Cabell's brigade, and General Cooper is at Briartown, 15 miles from Fort Smith. My front is now uncovered,and all the stores of the Indian Department are at the mercy of the enemy at Boggy Depot, the point near which the Fort Gibson and the Fort Smith roads fork. To defend this frontier I must advance to Boggy Depot with my entire command. This I shall do at once. Shall I go farther? If I go on to Fort Smith,then the enemy can come direct from Fort Gibson to this section. If they are pursued from the direction of Fort Smith, they pass out through the western counties, the most disaffected portion of the State, and where there are none to oppose them, but may to bid them God-speed. In my humble opinion, a strong force must remain at the junction of the Fort Smith and fort Gibson roads. It is my deliberate opinion that if that point is left unguarded,this country will be raided over by the enemy. The point alluded to is a strong position for defense, and I inclose a rough sketch,* which will give a better idea of the roads and localities than the ordinary maps. When Cooper fell back before to Briartown, I advanced to the point 17 miles north of Boggy Depot. I must do the same thing now; but I strongly urge that if I go beyond that point it shall be on the Fort Gibson road,and not on the Fort Smith road.

Why General Steele has fallen back to Fort [Smith] rather than toward Boggy Depot, is more than I can comprehend. All this stores, both commissary and ordnance, are at Boggy Depot,and the road is open from Fort Gibson to that point. His commissary writes that he

---------------

*Omitted.

---------------