on their left flank. Having visited the southern portion of my department, and after 800 miles of travel returned to my headquarters, I thus briefly present my views of matters essentially important to a complete organization and support of my command.
I have the honor to be, Mr. Secretary, your very obedient servant,
S. R. CURTIS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS, Fort Leavenworth, February 27, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK:
GENERAL: I was ordered to this command on the 1st of January last, and immediately wrote the Secretary of War concerning arms which I desired might be immediately forwarded to the new arsenal at this place for delivery, just as arms are deposited in other localities for delivery on proper requisitions. I want siege guns to put in the fort already erected at Fort Gibson, forts commenced at Fort Smith, one which I have directed to be located on the Arkansas, about 40 miles above Fort Gibson, and at several places which I design to fortify on the route to Fort Gibson. I want field batteries for a company partly mustered (70 men) at this place, and for other companies which may be raised for service in this department.
I want mountain howitzers, as stated in the requisition, for use with cavalry regiments, to use at block-houses, which are being constructed for the use of steam-boats that run on the Missouri, and to guard depots and towns attains Indians and other irregular enemies. I suppose I was the first to introduce mountain howitzers in this war in my campaign through Missouri against Price, and their great convenience in mountains and prairies has induced their general use in the West. I ruptured many while commanding the Department of the Missouri, but I would like to have six for every cavalry regiment in my command, two for each battalion.
I want cavalry carbines and revolvers to arm cavalry regiments which are mustered, and have been for months almost useless for want of arms, and also for accidental losses. I want infantry arms to supply accidents and losses, and in case of great emergency to be used by the militia to repel the terrible raids that have been made against the towns and people of this region of country. There is a safe and convenient depot for arms to accommodate extraordinary emergencies which may and have arisen in the region of the Missouri and Arkansas, and the supply formerly held at this place has been entirely exhausted. Arms, especially cannon, are much needed at many points, where a hundred men with a square redoubt and two small siege guns can do more to save stores or a town that a thousand men could otherwise perform.
If I delay asking till forts are made I cannot secure my defenses before the grass and leaves will accommodate rebel raids. I can built a field-work while a gun would be moving to the Neosho, the Grande, or the Arkansas Rivers, and my troops would not like to work at forts when they were not sure guns were near enough to be made available. I do therefore hope, general, that the requisition of my chief of ordnance, Major McNutt, may be immediately filled. He is a capable and efficient officer, and I do assure you I need the arms to strengthen my defenses and enhance the power of my troops.