ley, which make my road 5 miles shorter than by moving the stores
at Bird's Point, opposite jacksonport, while at the same time I will be better enabled to get them here.
I have to urge that the gun-boat 37 be permitted to guard these transports until I have hauled everything away, as I cannot well spare the troops to guard the stores, if landed, do the escort duty to train, and guard this post to the fast I now have nearly 1,000 men out on various expeditions. This last matter is of vital importance to me, as forage is not to be found in the country; and while the enemy in numerous and active he might, in the event of your leaving the stores on shore, attack and drive my guard, destroyed the stores, and thus rended our labor so far useless, while taxing of patience on your part will insure their safety. The stores should not be landed, except as required to load the teams. I will use every possible means to hurry matters along consistent with safety.
I have 15 officers and about 80 enlisted men of the enemy's forces prisoners, captured in various skirmishes; sorry I cannot send them down. I have reason to believe General Mcrea will try to rescue them en route, and the transport which takes them should be well guarded to look favorably upon request to remain and guard the stores and boats. A few days' hard word on my part will relieve you.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. R. LIVINGSTON,
Colonel First Regiment nebraska cavalry, Commanding District.
SAINT LOUIS, MO., March 29, 1864.
Major O. D. GREENE,
A. A. G., Dept. of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.:
MAJOR: At the request of the general commanding the department, I have the honor to state for his information that during my tour of inspection in his department several matters have come under my observation which I deem it important should be brought to his notice at an earlier date than I shall be able to complete my report to the War Department. An irregularity which I have observed in all new volunteer cavalry regiments that I have met with prevails to a great extent in this department. It is the practice of officers allowing their men, while serving on escorts, scouts, and other duty, an in going to and returning from water, to ride their horses in a gallop, instead of at a walk or trot. This violent exercise soon wearies the horses and, when continued for any great length of time, breaks, them down and renders them unserviceable, and I believe that more horses have been lost to the Government in this way than in any other. I have often spoken to the officers open this subject, but they did not seem to appreciate the importance of it, and I see no effectual way of stopping it but by an order from the department headquarters forbidding the practice and holding the officers responsible for its enforcement.
It has been the custom in many parts of the department for officers and soldier, when operating against guerrillas, to immediately put to death all who fall into their hands, even after they have thrown done their arms and asked for mercy, and colonels, lieutenant-colonels,