LITTLE ROCK, ARK., February 22, 1864.
By authority from the War Department the town of Fort Smith is included in the Department of Arkansas. You will designate your command the District of the Frontier. You can take your choice between the towns of Fort Smith and Van Buren for your headquarters.
By order of Major General F. Steele:
GEO. O. SOKALSKI,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF THE FRONTIER, Numbers 1.
Fort Smith, Ark., February 22, 1864.
In compliance with the foregoing orders from Major-General Steele, commanding Department of Arkansas, the undersigned hereby assumes command of all troops heretofore belonging to the District of the Frontier, and now in the Department of Arkansas, including the town of Fort Smith, with the troops in and around it, with headquarters in the town of Fort Smith. Commanders of posts, brigades, and detachments will report to these headquarters.
JOHN M. THAYER,
P. O. FEMME OSAGE, MO., February 22, 1864.
RESPECTED SIR: In compliance with your request and my promise I will undertake to lay before you my views of the condition and the necessities of our State, with the candor and impartiality of which I am capable, remarking that I have never asked from those in power a personal favor, but always taken a lively interest in the public welfare, in the cause of freedom, humanity, and progress. Missouri was, under the severest struggle, admitted as a slave State, though by her geographical position she ought to have ranked with the free States. From this cause our 20,000 slave-owners watched over their favorite institution even with a more jealous eye than the people in the more Southern States used to do, and domineered over the State with a ruthless hand.
When the rebellion broke out, Missouri would have been wrested from the Union had not the numerous German population, loyal to the core and naturally opposed to the African system, most vigorously resisted. In my own county (Warren) at that time, not a dozen loyal citizens of American descent could be found, and I was for a time in constant danger of being forcibly expelled or murdered. After the Camp Jackson affair a party sprung up and got into power averse to secession, unwilling int get into conflict with the Federal Government, but rather favoring an independent position for our State, and resolved to preserve the institution of slavery at any hazard. A majority of the members of our State convention and the provisional government erected by them belonged to that party.
Meanwhile, events progressed rapidly. Many portions of the State were devastated by raids and the bloody deeds of guerrillas