of the military post of Fort Smith proper. I repeat, there is nothing at issue between General Blunt and myself. I am under the direct orders of Major-General Steele, commanding Department of Arkansas. Will you show this to the Secretary of War? I trust I shall be excused, under the circumstances, sending this direct to you. I do it to prevent any misapprehension.
JNO. M. THAYER,
HDQRS. DIST. O THE FRONTIER, DEPT. OF ARK.,
Fort Smith, Ark., March 15, 1864.
DEAR SIR: Everything is quiet here. General Kimball understands everything about affairs, and can explain to you. I told General Blunt I had no question to settle with him; that my command was intact, complete, and unqualified, unquestioned,and unquestionable. The question of supplies trouble same if the river does not rise; all the stock is greatly reduced on account of the difficulties of getting forage, all of which has to be hauled from east of Roseville, 45 and 50 miles. For 60 miles south of here the country is entirely destitute of forage, so that if I move I must gather the forage here and haul it for the first 60 miles.
My plan has been with your approval, to throw a brigade forward to, say Waldron, whenever you decide to move, and establish a temporary depot there for supplies, if we can ever get them here. It seems to me that we have got to depend on the Arkansas River, or rather Little Rock, for supplies; for as we approach the Red River I think we will find the resources of the country exhausted by the rebel troops. I shall hold myself in readiness to carry out your plans whenever made known to me, as promptly as possible. Should like to have your views more fully as to what points should be garrisoned, 7c., when I move.
Very respectfully and truly, yours,
JOHN M. THAYER,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, March 15, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: Having carefully examined into the condition and position of this department, I am satisfied that the interests of the service require the following measures:
First. The provost-marshal-general's department here should be filled throughout the State with able and impartial military men, properly qualified and free all interest or bias in local polities, while they should be sound, earnest, national men. This, being in my power, I am effecting.
Second. The necessity of international peace and order, the suppression of guerrilla and other unlawful or thieving organizations,