HEADQUARTERS NORTHERN SUB-DISTRICT,
Bonham, Tex., March 15, 1864.
Captain E. P. TURNER,
CAPTAIN: I learn from sources which I regard as more or less reliable the that there are a good many persons now on the Concho, and others going there early in the spring, with the view of moving their stock and families to California, and that large numbers of deserters are flocking to them. Of the latter there is no doubt, or that a large number of deserters are going west, and will concentrate at some point either to go of Texas in the spring or return to the brush and steal, plunder, rob, and murder. A good many of these had reported to Colonel Bourland, now assigned to duty temporarily, done good service, but on being ordered to their commands have gone to the brush, and, as far as I can learn, traveled west. I have given notice of these things to major Quayle, who commands the State troops in the reserve counties, and to Colonel McCord, who commands the Frontier Regiment, but neither of being under my command I do not know far they will heed my warning or listen to my advice, and really do not know what advice or direction to give with regard to those moving to Concho, unless we could know that they were going to the enemy; but it is a strange thing to see men moving entirely outside of our lines among the Indians at a time like this, and as they cannot be prevented from moving from there at any time without keeping a force to watch them it seems to me that the general could with propriety refuse to let men carry their stock beyond our lines. I have urged Colonel McCord to try to find out the whole matter by sending spies among them from his own command, as deserters, to learn all they can and then return. I would be pleased to have the views and instructions of the major-general with regard to these things.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
HENRY E. McCULLOCH,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Northern Sub-District.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF INDIAN TERRITORY, Numbers 30.
Fort Towson, C. N., March 15, 1864.
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IV. It having come to the acknowledge of the commanding general that many loose and suspicious characters are roaming over the country, some as spies, others as deserters, and still others evading the conscript law, it is hereby ordered that, in addition to the duties heretofore assigned to enrolling officers, they perform the duties of provost-marshal in their respective commands, before whom will be brought all suspicious characters for examination.
V. SAll matter of interest elected upon the examination of such characters will be reduced to writing and forwarded to Lieutenant S. R. Mabane, chief enrolling officer of the district, who is hereby appointed chief provost-marshal, with office at these headquarters.
VI. Commanding officers will, upon request of the provost-marshal, furnish necessary guards to arrest and hold as prisoners such characters, who will be disposed of by the commanding officers as the interest of the service may require.