War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0672 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

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of cavalry at Drum Barracks, on the Pacific coast, until further advices. I was fearful, if they came forward now, that they would perish for want of food before they could reach the Rio Grande. I have sent some drafts on the East to Colonel Davis, and directed him to do his best to provide for the troops, and we are getting stores into Arizona from this side as fast as possible. See my letter to Colonel Davis, marked D. The lack of transportation is sorely felt. Generally we can hire citizen trains to help out in case of a sudden pressure, but at this season of the year the most of these are after goods in the States.

Unless I can have authority to draw on San Francisco to pay for supplies of flour, fresh meat, beans, and forage, to be bought in Sonora for the use of troops in Western Arizona, we will always be embarrassed in that distant and isolated region. I therefore beg that you will, at the earliest practicable moment, cause $100,000 to be placed in San Francisco to the credit of the chief quartermaster of this department, and the same sum to the credit of the chief commissary, to meet these pressing necessities.

To recur to the movement down the Rio Grande: I have sent an efficient officer, Captain P. W. L. Plympton, U. S. Army, into Chihuahua to make inquiries about getting supplies of beef, flour, and corn for forage from that State, and to see if he can purchase some mules and other means of transportation.

We shall want $150,000 in coin for the quartermaster's department, and the same for the subsistence department, for this expedition, or in deposits in New York, Saint Louis, or San Francisco, on which my chief quartermaster and chief commissary can make drafts, payable in specie. This would not only be the most economical, but is essential to success. I shall ask the governor of Chihuahua for authority to pass through that State from El Paso to Paso del Norte. The wagon road from Fort Davis is now, from the three years' drought, quite, if not entirely, destitute of water. I have sent a party to see if this is so. The mule trail down on our side of the river passes over formidable hills and across deep canons. This, of course, can be traveled by infantry, and by cavalry leading their horses, and the food and ammunition can be taken on pack-mules; but the General-in-Chief knows that, even for 1,000 men, unless when we get through we can buy supplies from Chihuahua, it will be very expensive. This trail is ordered to be explored and will be reported upon.

The first objective point must be to cut the road leading from Paso del Norte to San Antonio, and to hold it so as to prevent the introduction of supplies into Texas from Chihuahua by that channel of communication. I think that 800 or 1,000 men, to make a secret march and get a lodgment at Seaton's, opposite Paso del Norte, and there intrench, would hold that point against any force the rebels would be likely to detach to pass the desert from San Antonio. From this point our way would have to be felt toward Eagle Pass, where another road would be cut, leading toward Montclova, in Coahuila. I will not say anything about the lack of troops, or about the demands made upon me from Arizona for protection against Indians, or about the winding up of hostilities against the Navajoes, of whom I now have 6,000 prisoners, in round numbers, at the reservation and en route to it, which must for a time be guarded.

The General-in-Chief will have learned all these facts through the Adjutant-General's Office. Nor is it necessary to remind the General-in-Chief that Colonel Carson's regiment, Colonel Bowie's regiment,