abundantly supplied. I have looked at your dispatch again, and it directed me to move on Monday, the 21st. I mentioned my difficulties so that the general might know the reason of myself being still here. I should have been off this morning but for the desertions and trouble in the Fourteenth Kansas. The regiment was at Ozark and I supposed it was on the south side of the river, on the march, till this morning. Only 16 of the men have been caught. Will answer you directly as to time for reaching Arkadelphia. I could not go by way of Waldron. The country is entirely destitute of forage for 80 miles. I therefore took the route by way of Booneville, on toward Danville and then to Mount Ida and Caddo Gap. It is somewhat circuitous, but it is the only route I can get corn.
J. M. THAYER,
FORT SMITH, March 23, 1864
It is 170 miles to Arkadelphia from here, according to the most reliable information. I mean to be at Arkadelphia before the 1st of April. Have that drink ready. I did not understand you as censuring me, but I wanted the general to know why I was still here. I will reach Arkadelphia at the earliest moment. Scouts tell me I will be troubled for forage; that is, will have to go off the road a great deal to find corn.
J. M. THAYER,
SAINT JOSEPH, MO., March 23, 1864
Saint Louis, Mo.:
Colonel Winston has been caught. Thornton cannot be found. No trouble need be apprehended at present in Platte. Shall return to-morrow.
Lieutenant-Colonel and Inspector.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Numbers 43.
Saint Louis, Mo., March 23, 1864
District commanders will send to these headquarters the name of an officer to be appointed as topographical engineer for the district. They will require itineraries [to be] kept by all commanding officers of scouts, containing full descriptions, of the country, roads, cross-roads, forage, water-courses, towns, churches, stores and places of public resort. District topographical engineers will be required to compile all information obtained and report the same weekly to Captain William Hoelcke chief engineer of the department, inclosing therewith all sub-reports during the week.
By command of Major-General Rosecrans:
O. D. GREENE,