War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0998 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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Smith from Little Rock by land, which forces the former place to depend on land communication from Fort Scot, Kans., via Fort Gibson, C. N. From letters found ont he boat recently captured by General Watie we know that this last is the only route now open to the enemy. From Limestone Prairie our cavalry can make this route untenable, compel the enemy to send large scouts with his trains, enabling us not only to cut off his supplies, but fight his army in detail, with certain success. If necessary, the communication from Fort Scott to Fort Gibson can be broken up, thereby forcing the evacuation of Forts Gibson and Smith, and giving us possession of the Arkansas Valley. The position at Limestone Prairie affording these eminent advantages makes its permanent occupation an imperative necessity. To maintain it, our army must have supplies, not only its daily bread, as at present, but a reserve sufficient to enable it to assume the offensive at a moment's warning. The precariousness of these supplies, enhanced by the difficulties presented int heir accumulation and the great deficiency of transportation in this district, cannot but cause serious apprehensions. The whole amount of supplies in its magazine at Johnson's Station and en route to the army are barely sufficient for twenty days, consisting of beef, flour, and salt, with a small amount of salt bacon. Captain Fraley, acting commissary of subsistence at Bonham, informs me that he has orders from Major J. K. P. Campbell, commissary of subsistence and chief purchasing commissary for the North Sub-District of Texas, that our supply of flour is to be stopped, and that for thirty days or more we must depend on our own resources. What are our resources? No once, except from personal observation,c an form an idea of the utter destitution of the Indian Territory of everything except a limited supply of cattle. On Red River there are here and there a few small farms, from which a limited supply of corn may be obtained. We are told that we can get corn meal from Northern Texas, but this is unfit for use when it reaches the army.

Our supply train consists of about seventy ox-wagons hauling for the army and indigent Indians, capable of transporting about nine days' rations of breadstuffs only a trip. From twenty to thirty days are consumed in making a trip to and from the sources of supplies. With these facilities it is evident that our army cannot maintain its present position very long, especially when the bread is made of meal which is ground in Texas and exposed to the hot sun in open wagons for twelve or fifteen days. Subject to the will of officers whose connections, and consequently interests, are with another district, our supplies are very precarious and doubtful. Every military district in this department has internal resources except the Indian Territory. Arkansas has the country south and west of the Saline and Ouachita Rivers, admirably adapted to raising grain. Louisiana has the country north of the Red River and that between the Sabine and Opelousas country. Texas has the whole of her extensive domain exclusively, with a large share of her northern sub-district. Our sole dependence is Northern Texas, before whose border we stand as a bulwark and defense. If we fail to maintain our present position and are forced back to Red River, what becomes of Northern Texas? What becomes of the great storehouse of the Trans-Mississippi Department? The Indians are devoted tot heir homes and country. Thus far they have exhibited the strongest evidences of their loyalty to our cause and cheerful compliance with their treaty stipulations, as is manifested by their recent unanimous re-enlistment; but there is a point where their