and Walker's Indian Brigade can be readily thrown to any point indicated, and Waite's and the little fragment of dismounted cavalry could also be brought down at the point mentioned. The lieutenant-general commanding directs all the troops to be withdrawn and sent to the southeast, except such Indian troops as may be absolutely necessary on the frontier. That word has so long been used to refer to the West that I am not certain that I catch the true meaning, but certainly the danger from the wild tribes on the Western frontier is nothing to this Territory compared to that which may be apprehended from Fort Gibson and Fort Smith on the north and east. I approve General Cooper's suggestion to replace Well's battalion at Fort Arbuckle, with Bourland's frontier command, where, in guarding the line from Arbuckle to Cobb, it can do more good to Texas than anywhere inside. An early reply asked, and in the mean time, as nothing will be lost by this delay, I will be gathering the troops for any move I may be required to make. I cannot, however, think it good policy to abandon this Territory, and run the risk of losing our Indian allies and of opening the Territory and Northern Texas to cavalry raids.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. B. MAXEY,
I would add that in order to carry out my views as set forth last winter I made application to withdraw Gano's brigade from Laynesport, feeling that as it had been guarding the Line road he should be notified of my intention, and sanction or oppose as he thought [best], and that on the 8th instant, but four days previous to the order herein referred to, the change was approved. The letter of the 12th, however, has caused me to still continue it at Laynesport. This latter is based on the belief that the enemy is not now withdrawing his forces from Fort Smith and concentrating at Little Rock, but has been re-enforcing the latter from the former, with a view of holding Spring and Gibson as fortified points from which to operate with cavalry raids. It is under that belief that this letter and the letter of the 16th are written. Colonel Watie's, received to-night, confirms this view.
[Inclosure No. 1.] HEADQUARTERS FIRST INDIAN BRIGADE, Camp Longstreet, March 20, 1864.
Captain T. B. HEISTON,
SIR: Three men of Captain Adair's party got in here last night. They report the Federal forces at Fort Smith's at about 3,000. They consist in part of two negro regiments, encamped some distance above the garrison on Poteau. About three weeks ago two regiments (the Twelfth and Thirteenth Kansas) started from Fort Smith to Fort Scott. The supposition is that they went up for the purpose of escorting a train down. They represent the horses and stock of the Federals at Fort Smith as very poor. Captain Adair captured about a dozen horses from a party near Peter Folsom's. Foraging parties go out as far as that place and Pleasant Bluff. The Federals are throwing up earth-works in the Mazzard Prairie, southeast of