the present. He is the only man I have who understands my department office duties since the untimely death of my son and assistant adjutant-general, Major Curtis. Besides, Colonel Chipman has a mature judgment, and acquaintance with political and personal feuds in this country, the actors being friends whom I respect, but whose partisan strafes I desire to avoid, and in my absence from headquarters he will carry on current business correctly without giving offense to any. I must visit personally different portions of my department to quiet needless anxiety and secure proper vigilance.
This becomes more necessary as the enemy divides his forces and I am obliged to rely on a few troops associated with militia of the country. I have already traversed the country south of this place beyond the Arkansas, returning through Fort Smith, Fayetteville, and the bordering countries of Arkansas and Missouri. I have seen the troops, the people, and country. Although I am weary, I am much better prepared and qualified to administer the affairs and protect the interest of my department. I must make further personal movements away from headquarters, and I hope therefore you will allow Colonel Chipman to remain with me to assist in the administrative duties of this department. By complying with this request, Mr. Secretary, you will greatly oblige me, and add to many personal considerations for my requests for which I am greatly obliged and truly grateful.
I have the honor, to be, Mr. Secretary, your obedient servant,
S. R. CURTIS,
HEADQUARTERS, Olathe, Kans., February 19, 1864.
DEAR SIR: I respectfully submit the following brief report:
I have just returned from a five days' scout, within which time I have traveled the middle and south part of Grand River and over a portion of Pawnee Fork, Deer Creek, Elks Fork, and Big Creek. I did not come in contact or see may bushwhackers, but had abundance of evidence that there was quite a number in the country. On Pawnee Fork I found a bushwhacking encampment, consisting eft flour, cooking utensils, clothing, and one English carbine. The outward appearances of horses's tracks indicated about 15 in number, and that they had been there for some time. Within one-half of a mile from said encampment I found corn and oat straw, which I destroyed, as well as their camp. I stopped at a house where Jim Weddington, a notorious bushwhacker, had stopped over night with 22 men. I saw another man, Henry Hedge, who lines 5 miles from Harrisonville, in Missouri, who stated that 10 men took supper with him on last Wednesday night, we claimed t be a part of Dick Yeager's gang. I also received information from a reliable source that a Mrs. Wilson, who lines on Big Creek, was noted in that country for keeping bushwhackers. Stated on last Saturday eight that 12 of Todd's men staid at her house on Tuesday night previous; that they thought the abolitionists of Kansas thought the massacre of Lawrence was a terrible thing; that it was only a foretaste of what they would get this summer. While they were watching the front they would come on them in the rear.