This letter I don't want it known that you ever got such, for I tell you positively a man would be shot and killed by those men as certain as they knew it our suspected him or them, and from the names of those men I gave you you can find out al land be your own judge about the matter. I think if you want to keep peace in the county it is the duty of men in the county to let you know what is going on, and, if anything, to give you all the information they can that is worth your attention in regard to disloyalty in any shape, for I think you want law and order to prevail. These men intend to drive all men from the county they can that don't belong to the same order.
N. B.-If you want the truth of this letter get G. D. Toll or Harvie Bradford, who is acting detective, to find out and report to you in regard to the conduct of the men.
HDQRS. DIST. OF THE FRONTIER, DEPT. OF ARK.,
Fort Smith, Ark., June , 1864.
Major General S. R. CURTIS,
Commanding Department of Kansas:
SIR: Yesterday I started a train of 100 wagons for Fort Scott, via Gibson, for supplies. A large number of refugees accompanied the train to Kansas. I shall also send a lot of refugees to Little Rock by the next boats. The most of them are in a state of great destitution. If they remain here we are obliged to feed them, or they must starve. It is absolutely necessary to remove them to points where supplies are more plentiful than here. You have, of course, learned the result of our campaign to the Washita. Before I joined Steele he had not 8,000 fighting men. I has about 4,000. Price had about 13,000.
We first learned of the disaster to General Banks on Red River at Prairie De Ane, the other side of the Little Missouri, and 14 miles from Washington. We could, of course, advance no farther toward Shreveport. We then moved east and occupied Camden; this was in accordance with Sherman's orders. Our train to Pine Bluff for supplies was captured. At that time we had but two and a half days' rations, and at the same time Kirby Smith, in person, re-enforced Price with four divisions of infantry. The enemy had also 7,000 well-mounted cavalry, which had wintered on Red River where forage was plenty. If the gun-boats had come up the Washita, as they could have done, convoying transports loaded with supplies, we could have held the Washita River; but they did not, and we were obliged to fall back to the Arkansas. Smith and Price, with whole force, followed us to the Saline and attacked just as we were about crossing.
We turned upon them and after a terrific fight of five hours we drove them from the field, but we could not remain. We received information direct from Kirby Smith's headquarters that their policy now is to harass our communications and cut off our supplies, and they aimed to operate on the White River below Devall's Bluff and