mont movement, and also as to the behavior of Iowa troops. He said the Iowa troops were all right and he took all the responsibility of the Belmont movement. I liked the style of his dispatch; it was just to orders and to himself. It was also prompt. I hope that indicates his character. But he has too much on his hands to take up detail, and must depend on staff officers to determine such matters as mine. It is no trifling matter, however, and deserves consideration, which I hope you will press on him.
S. R. CURTIS,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SOUTH KANSAS,
Paola, Kans., March 27, 1864.
Captain JOHN WILLIAMS,
Asst. adjt. General, Fort Leavenworth, Kans.:
CAPTAIN: I received a telegram from the general while at Fort Scott, on the 23rd instant, in regard to the necessity of extending pickets and patrols outside the lines of my district. On the south line and east from Fort Scott I allowed Colonel Blair to establish them at discretion. Along the Missouri line, east of this, I understand there has been complaint by the military authorities and by the people in Missouri against our troops getting in to that State, and to prevent any collision or disagreeable complaints in that quarter, the commanding officers on this line have all been instructed substantially according to the inclosed copy of a communication * from my headquarters to Lieutenant John Murphy, commanding a detachment at Coldwater Station; and beg to call attention to these instructions, to the end that if any modifications present themselves to the mind of the commanding general of the department I may receive notice to that effect. I shall make strenuous efforts to suppress disorder, especially in regard to marauding by soldiers in the district. The troops have been so much scattered and divided into small detachments that many of them are in bad condition as regards discipline, but I have got the commanding officers at work, and do not yet despair of some sort of success. Some small squads of guerrillas have made their appearance along the Missouri line, and it is believed, further, that the rebel Todd, with about 60 men, has lately returned to Mississippi.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THO. J. McKEAN,
Brigadier-General, U. s. Volunteers, Commanding District.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE FRONTIER,
Fort Smith, Ark., March 27, 1864.
Major General S. R. CURTIS,
Commanding department of Kansas:
GENERAL: Since my arrival here I have examined closely into the condition and efficiency of the three regiments of Indian Home
* See Hampton to Murphy, March 21, p. 686.