War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0753 Chapter XLVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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downring robbery. It is hoped that there is no one in this division who would be guilty of such practice. Should, however,andy one so far forget the honor and dignity of an American soldier as to commit acts marauding he shall suffer the severest penalties the law can inflict.

by ordered of Brigadier General E. A. Carr:


Assistant Adjutant-General.


Fort Leavenworth, March 27, 1864.

Colonel N. P. CHIPMAN

(Care of General Canby, Washington, D. c.):

DEAR COLONEL: I have just received your of the 20th. Of course non-action at Washington is equivalent to deciding the Fort Smith matter against this department. You will perceive Halleck has evaded the issue and referred the papers, as he says to the Secretary of war and the Lieutenant-General. So the Secretary and President referred the matter to the General-in-Chief. It this way time and pretext rises for moving the troops out of my reach. I have just received the inclosed telegram* from general Blunt, which speaks for itself. It is now nearly three months since Orders, Numbers 1, was issued, and I have most respectfully and constantly urged the determination of a patent ambiguity in it as to the meaning of the military post of Fort Smith.

I am sorry the issue was a little charged by asking the attachment of a portion of Arkansas, as thought I myself suggested this as an easy way of avoiding controversies as to the military post of Fort Smith. But clearly words requite some explanation, and somebody at headquarters ought to resolve such a question in less than three months. So far I have received answers from General Halleck only, of false issues, not in the least connected with the main point, or harsh reproaches for what I had not done in the premises, while I protest that I have only respectfully and earnestly present the necessity of an explanatory determination of words within my first order. Form Smith is near the Red River than Little Rock, and I do not see how a movement of Red River via Little Rock is likely to be availing to General Banks, whose troops had moved up the lower Red River ten days before General Thayer left Fort Smith for Little Rock. If half the forces at Little Rock had moved west, then Fort Smith forces could have united an easy occupation of the upper Red River Valley at Fulton of elsewhere.

I will not believe General Grant is going to have an evasive dilemma style of giving instructions. I hope he will have somebody ready to act for him from decisively and unequivocally. This is the idea of a military, concentrated will. If we ever secure this in our army we will gain a position of vast advantage over past efforts in this regular. I was once associated with General Grant in a movements on Frederick, in Southeast Missouri. In connection I heard of the attack on Belmont, when some of our Iowa troops were pretty badly cut pieces, and at first got more kicks than compliments from Illinois latter writers. Telegraphed Grand asking who it was that got up the Belmont


* See Curtis to Halleck, March 28, p. 764.