railroad with subsistence, and I could send my train back to the interior. If it were necessary for my brigade to support General Bee I could move with cooked rations without transportation. General Bee says I cannot forage ten days, even at the great distance from which he is now drawing his supplies. The general has not designated any position for my brigade, and I am fully satisfied, under all the circumstances, a position near Columbia on the railroad is best for the brigade at present.
The brigade is at present waiting at Columbia for its wagons, and it will yet be several days before they arrive. Let me hear from the major-general commanding as soon as convenient on the subject of this note. I send with is a special messenger. This letter is written with the concurrence and approbation of General Bee.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF INDIAN TERRITORY,
Fort Towson, Chostaw Nation, February 26, 1864.
Lieutenant General E. KIRBY SMITH,
Commanding Trans-Miss. Dept., Shreveport, La.:
GENERAL: The complicated business of this command demands that I trespass much on your time and patience, and my letters are disagreeably long to myself and doubtless more so to you. I returned yesterday evening from an inspection of affairs in the neighborhood of Boggy Depot, Fort Washita, &c. The late move of the enemy had in view, I think, several objects: First, to forage. Fort Smith and Fort Gibson are both poorly supplied. The cavalry was about 300 of the Fourteenth Kansas from Fort Smith; the infantry, about same number of renegade Indians from Fort Gibson. Second, to alarm and intimidate the Creeks, disaffect them toward our Government, and bring about desertions. Third, to reassure the force, mainly Indian, at Fort Gibson by the presence of a well-appointed body of well-mounted cavalry. Lastly, to make a dash on Boggy Depot, if unprotected, and capture or destroy the large supplies accumulated there. In their first object they succeeded to a degree; in the second, although the people were alarmed they fled to our lines for protection; in the third, I suppose some effect was produced, although the Creek part of their command express a great desire to be again with their people.
Their last object was a total failure. Had the Creeks who had been left on the Canadian acted with spirit and determination much of this trouble would have been avoided. They, however, seemed more intent on protecting their families by moving them to the rear than by driving the enemy back. The Seminole battalion fought them with inferior numbers, losing 11 men; no wounded left on the field. I am officially advised that the bodies of these men were mutilated, their throats cut from ear to ear, and they were thus left on the field. One company, Nail's Chickasaw and Choctaw, was engaged, losing 4 men included in the above. These inhuman outrages were committed by the white troops; no Indians on their side in this fight. On their march they fired into a camp of poor fugitives, killing a child about ten years old and a woman.