finally drove Hindman from Fort Smith. Schofield returned, but Phillips, with the Indians, remained in Cowskin, and again last spring returned and fortified at Gibson. Blunt brought re-enforcements and took Fort Smith. You will observe that this force, including Indians, amounting to about 5,000 men, has under all circumstances acted on the extreme right of the enemy's line, mostly in the Indian Territory. It is reasonable to suppose that the Indian expedition, as it was generally called by the Kansas papers, had a mission to accomplish and that it will be carried out if possible. That object is the restoration of the Indian country to the United States, no matter whether the invasion and occupation of Arkansas and Texas be permanent or not. My conclusion from watching this Kansas movement is that the Indian expedition is a subsisting organization, acting in conjunction with other movements in Arkansas, it is true, but at the same time not to be diverted from the Indian Territory, and hence that we may expect the Indian and Kansas forces to move down in the Indian country, pari passu, as the more imposing army of Arkansas advances southward. I think we will have the Kansas jayhawkers, the Indians, and negroes down upon us when grass rises. Could not Colonel Bourland be put at Arbuckle, and thus enable me to draw Colonel Wells' battalion eastward? Colonel Bourland can defend Texas better there than on Red River against the Indians by scouting thence west to Camp Radzminski.
The general will recollect that I endeavored to have arrangements made to concentrate the Indian forces on Middle Boggy, near Mrs. Flack's, from which they might be moved toward Gibson by either of the Hillorby roads, or by the North Fork road, toward Fort Smith, by the main overland mail route in the direction of Dallas, Ark., by a road which leads east on the south side of the "divide" up to the head of Kimishi, or be interposed between North Fork and Doaksville in case the enemy should endeavor to move via Blackburn's and Caffrey's toward Doaksville. I urged the accumulation of forage there last fall, but failed to get any. I would now call attention to the reports of Captain Hunter and Captain Wooten, at Boggy Depot. The former had a little over 1,000 pounds of flour and between 9,000 and 10,000 pounds of meal on the 15th, and Captain Wooten 100 bushels of corn. It would seem we will probably be obliged to move everything down the river. There is no forage to be had, and a strong probability of the failure of subsistence for the troops. I am told when wagons are sent into Texas for supplies for indigent Indians frequently they have to be again sent over the country to pick up corn, &c., at other placed distant from the depots. I will consult with Colonel Watie and ascertain what force can be equipped for a raid in direction of Gibson and rear of Van Buren. The Chickasaw scouts report some corn on Canadian. I think Watie's brigade (Cherokees, Creeks, and Seminoles) might be sent up on Canadian about Hillorby and move down toward Webber's Falls and up Sallisaw toward the Dutch Mills, threatening Gibson and Van Buren. A movement of this kind would probably create a diversion favorable to General Price. At all events, we could find out whether any considerable force is retained is that it would leave the routes from Fort Smith to Texas on south side of Canadian unguarded. If the Choctaws and Chickasaws
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