commanding directs that cause the matter to be thoroughly investigated, and it the facts are as thawed, the sergeant will be arrested and haled fortial by general court-material.
I am, colonel, very respectfully,
JAMES H. STEGER,
BELLEFONTE, ARK., March 30, 1864.
(Via Cassville, Mo., 31st.)
Major Murphy, commanding, Yellville, dispatch to-day what he believe to be reliable information that General Pickett, who has recently supersede McRae about 2,000 men, and intends attacking Yellville in a few days. I ask if I cannot re-enforce him immediately, having t Yellville no sufficient force to make a successful resistance. Major Murphy states that the enemy is on Richwoods, Isard Country; I supposed on this side. Crippled by the absence of the 100 men sent to Batesville, I could not venture out far and collect satisfactory information. I send 50 men, mounted, in that direction to ascertain the truth of the report, and in the mean time ask for your orders, in case of its being true, as to what course to pursue; whether I shall join Major Murphy or he withdrawn toward me. I have a heavy train, and withdrawal on my part by way Yelloville and Forsyth would only impede any retrograde movement, while by moving from this place on to Berryville I have safe road, nad also other forces at Yellville.
JAMES A. MELTON,
Major Second Arkansas Cavalry, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE FRONTIER,
Fort Smith, March 30, 1864.
Major General S. R. CURTIS,
Commanding Department of Kansas:
GENERAL: In your of the 18th instant you remark that you are in receipt of a latter from the honorable Secretary of the Interior, in which he speaks of his ' misadventures," caused last year by promises or expeditions held out by commands in the Indian Territories which were not realized." Since my official connection with the Indians and Indian troops, knowing well the Indian character, I have been very to make them no promises except such as I knew I could fulfill; and having always complied with all my prisoners, I believe that I have had and still continue to have their entire confidence, as expressed in the resolutions of the Cherokee council last winter, copies of which I inclose.
I am aware that promises have been made the Indian at a different times by their immediate commanders, Colonels Phillips and Ritchie, that never were fulfilled; but such promises were made without my knowledge or direction. I will see that they do not cause the same difficulty again. I am not at a loss to understand the reason why the Secretary of the Interior in times that General Mitchell would be preferred to command the Indian Territories. While lately in