HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF INDIAN TERRITORY,
Fort Towson, C. N., July 11, 1864.
Respectfully referred to the general commanding the department.
I urge his earnest attention to this very able, satisfactory, and truthful report; it is in no sense overdrawn. These subjects have been very often presented by me. I know the immense labor devolving on the general commanding, but believing, as I do, that the salvation of the best supply district of the Confederacy is guaranteed by the successful defense of the Indian Territory, I hope I will not be deemed importunate in asking that my hands be strengthened in holding and advancing, if necessary, my present position. It is proper to state that the order suspending our supplies for thirty days has been rescinded. It is folly to attempt to haul meal for troops at this season a distance of 200 miles with ox teams. A good portion of the transportation now in use is such as I have secured by personal exertions. I need only refer to the tenor of any whole correspondence to show the importance I attach to recovering and holding this whole Territory. The reasons presented are also strengthened by the additional reasons that since this report was made the lines have been moved nearer to Fort Smith at Dog Creek. This, of course, leaves the rear, via Fort Gibson, Perryville, &c., much exposed, making, [as stated] in my letter of yesterday, very great reasons for additional troops that ought to be put, say, at Perryville, for the double purpose of guarding line of supplies and operating on the Arkansas River.
SPECIAL ORDERS, ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 160.
Richmond, July 9, 1864.
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XXI. Brigadier General Harry Hays will forthwith proceed to the Trans-Mississippi Department for the purpose of collecting and causing to return to their respective commands all officers and men in that department belonging to the organizations east of the Mississippi River. He will report to and receive special instructions from General Bragg. Major John H. New, assistant adjutant-general, Early's division, will report to General Hays for duty in connection with this special service.
XXII. Commanders will forthwith detail from each regiment and battalion raised in the Trans-Mississippi Department, and now serving east of the Mississippi River, two commissioned officers with orders to report to Brigadier General Harry hays, at Alexandria, La., for the purpose of collecting and returning absentees belonging to their respective commands. The officers so detailed will be furnished with complete lists of such absentees, with such information as to residence, location, illegal enlistment, &c., as may be requisite to cause their return.
By command of the Secretary of War:
SAML. W. MELTON,
[JULY 9, 1864.-For S. D. Lee to E. Kirby Smith, in relation to Canby's operations against Mobile, see Part I, p. 89.]