set to work in hauling provisions to the troops. Such as are good for beef will be turned over for commissary stores. Where Indians need food they will be fed, and when Indian owners can show a bonafide ownership the Indians will be paid.
I am anxious that the cattle should be collected and not left in the abandoned Indian country to feed rebels, but I do not want them stolen or wasted, as it is said the Osages are doing, by killing them for their hides. Anything you can do to aid in preventing the stealing of the Indian cattle would be good service for both the Indians and the Government. I have reported my doings fully to both the honorable Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Interior, with a request that I may receive instructions in the premises. Any particular information concerning any special case which you may discover should be immediately communicated to my officers, who are directed to aid you in efforts to avoid what we must all deprecate, the waste of the stock in the Indian country.
I am, sir, very respectfully, yours,
S. R. CURTIS,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF NEW MEXICO, Numbers 8.
Santa Fe, N. Mex., March 25, 1864
I. It is announced to the troops in this department that, by the active efforts of the officers of the general staff, a sufficient quantity of food for some 7,000 captive Indians has been secured, to last until supplies come from the States, or the crops of the present year shall ripen and come into market. About 6,000 Indians have already been captured or have voluntarily given themselves up and are at or on their way to the reservation at Fort Sumner, on the Pecos River, where we must feed them until they can raise food enough to support themselves. This they will in a great measure be able to do the coming summer. Next year, without a doubt, they will produce as much as they can consume. It is believed that when the last Navajo Indian has surrendered or been captured the number to be fed of this tribe will not exceed 7,000.
Anxiety with regard to our ability to get this food was the reason why a short time since the troops were placed upon half rations until the result of efforts to this end should become known. An account of subsistence stores on hand exhibits the gratifying fact that we can not only feed the Indians, but that the troops can resume the drawing of their full rations except of the articles of coffee and candles; of these, two-third rations will be issued until further orders.
II. Hereafter, on the last day of each month, the commander of every military post and camp within the department will send direct to department headquarters an exact account of all subsistence stores on hand, and a list of all troops, employes, laundresses, and servants who receive rations by issue, purchase, or otherwise at his post, with an exhibit placed against each article of stores showing how many days it will last.
III. Officers will be permitted to purchase a reasonable quantity of stores for the use of themselves and their families and their authorized servants. This authority has heretofore been grossly abused in several instances which have been brought to the notice of the commanding general. Commanders of posts will promptly arrest and