Guards, and from all the fact obtained, as also from my previous knowledge of them, they having been under my command most of the time since were first organized, I am clearly of the opinion that to longer make them efficient soldiers and useful to the Government requires that they should be thoroughly reorganized.
The three regiment number at this time an aggregate of about 2,300, but their value as soldier is much impaired by inefficient and unqualified officer. To keep them under proper control and discipline, and to learn the duties of soldiers, requires officers who are patient, but prompt and strict in discipline, and who can command the respect and confidence of the Indians. Unfortunately for the utility of the Indiana regiments this to a very great extent is not the case at present; most of the line officers are Indians, and the greater portion of them totally unqualified for the positions they hold. The mustering of Indians for line officers was against my judgment at the time they were organized, but my objections were overruled by the War department.
A few white men have been appointed to fill vacancies, but with these few exceptiones the line officers are at present Indians, and of little value in the positions they occupy, while a great improvement might be made also inthe field officers, in some instances, if a reorganization was effected. I would respectfully recommend that they be reorganized and consolidated into two regiments to be reappointed when they are found qualified, and soldierly qualities. I would further recommend that they be mounted, and would suggest that for this purpose horses be purchased from the Osage and other tribes of Kansas Indians, as the Indians are more accustomed to this class of horses. They are hardly, easily subsisted upon prairie grass, and can be purchased at a comparatively small cots, while they will do as much service as large American horses. The Indian soldier are excellent horsemen, and well fitted for scouting and all kinds of mounted service. As they are likely to be used to protect the Indiana country against the operations of guerilla and raiders, it is almost indispensable that they should be mounted, as our force here is very small, and therefore should be made as effective as possible. The indians are willing to re-enlist for three years, as regular volunteers, if they can be organized as mounted troops. I hope the matter may meet your favorable consideration, as I am anxious to have all the force under my immediate commanding in the best condition possible for active service.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. G. BLUNT,
DENVER, March 27, 1864.
(Received 3.10 p. m., 31st.)
The Navajo nation, near 6,000 have been surrendered unconditional prisoners of war and are being concentrated at Fort Sumner, N. Mex.
They are starving and must be fed. To do this the troops have been put on halt ration, as our supplies are limited. To prevent suffering