I have caused copies of the notes herewith returned to be forwarded to him per express. I would respectfully suggest that one of the objects sought by General Steele in having the interview referred to is to provide for the calling into the Indian Territory as many troops, independent and otherwise, as can be obtained from Texas. My understanding previous to General Steele's departure was that he desired establishing a depot at and putting a force in the vicinity of Doaksville. Communications from General Bankhead are satisfactory.
Major-General Magruder has published an order announcing Lieutenant-General Smith's confirmation of Actg. Brigadier General S. P. Bankhead to the rank of a brigadier. A report is in circulation, purporting to have originated from a letter received by Captain [J. K. P.] Record, acting quartermaster at Bonham, too the effect that Little Rock had been evacuated and Charleston taken. No information of the kind has reached these headquarters. General Steele's absence will not be of long duration.
Please cause to be forwarded the accompanying mail matter for General Bankhead's command.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. CROSBY,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE INDIAN TERRITORY,
Camp Watie, September 19, 1863.
Brigadier General S. P. BANKHEAD,
Commanding Texas Brigade:
GENERAL: Your communications of the 15th and 17th instant were received this morning at 12 m. The commanding general will be glad to know of your prompt action on the receipt of orders heretofore sent to you. With regard to your movements in your advance, I am directed by General Steele to state that reliance is had upon the exercise of your judgment and discretion. I feel authorized to accede to your request that your brigade quartermaster may be sent to Bonham for the purposes indicated.
General Steele left this camp day before yesterday morning, for the purpose of holding a conference with General H. E. McCulloch, who is reported as having arrived at that point. He will be absent no longer than may be necessary for this purpose. Your communications, together with copies of the order confirmatory of your promotion, will be forwarded immediately, per express, to Bonham. I have no doubt that General Steele will publish the order to his command without delay. Orders were sent to General Cooper, on the 17th, to move Colonel Martin's regiments forward with a view of uniting the regiment with your brigade for present purposes. Colonel Martin's regiment will, therefore, be under your control until further orders.
I feel myself at liberty to state that the movements of the forces in the Indian Territory will be determined in some important respects by the fall of Little Rock. I do not mean to have the inference drawn, however, that the commanding general designs lying to await events in other quarters, or that his plan is not to strike a blow where the same can be done with a reasonable prospect of success. His general idea is that his force should be sufficient to hold so much of the Indian country as he may have the means of occupying before winter. Results