War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0462 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS, Fort Leavenworth, February 28, 1864.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

The Indian regiments at Fort Gibson, about 2,500 strong, are anxious to be mounted; they of all other troops are best suited to mounted service. The Osage Indians have come in from their hunt with plenty of ponies, which can be bought for from $20 to $30 apiece. I respectfully recommend the mounting of the Indian troops on these ponies. There is danger of the rebels obtaining the ponies if we do not get them from the Osages. Besides, such ponies are used to living on the prairies, are acclimated, and I would buy them for Government use where better horses are now becoming very scarce. If you approve, telegraph me to buy the ponies, so that it can be done before they are scattered or stolen. If bought, I would collect them at Fort Scott and Humboldt where grass and corn would recruit them, so as to deliver them for use in April, when grass is good and friends and face will begin to operate in the region of the Arkansas and Red River.

I have the honor to be, Secretary, your very obedient servant,

S. R. CURTIS,

Major-General.

WASHINGTON, February 28, 1864-12 m.

Major-General CURTIS, Fort Leavenworth, Kans.:

The dividing lines of the Departments of Kansas and Arkansas remain as fixed by the orders of the President, and the military commands must conform to them; but this should not prevent the co-operation of the troops against the common enemy. The inconveniences of which you speak were foreseen and represented before the order was issued.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS, Fort Leavenworth, February 28, 1864.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

GENERAL: I have received no answers from you or from the honorable Secretary of War concerning the ambiguity or dilemma involved in the meaning of the words "Fort Smith" as contained in the order, Numbers 1, of the honorable Secretary creating this Department of Kansas. I wrote you last from Elm Springs, Ark., in which I expressed my views, after personal reconnaissance, of the necessity of fortifying both Fort Smith and Van Buren, this latter place being the safe and proper depot for stations above. Since my arrival here, I am informed that General Steele has advised General Thayer that the War Department has decided that the town of Fort Smith is in the Department of Arkansas, and therefore directs General Thayer to command all the troops in and about the town.

When I was there the stone inclosure, about 200 feet square, did not contain a corporal's guard, and it would be mere mockery to attach such a place to my command while all the troops within 50 miles belong to another department; and if such be the construction,