HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF INDIANA TERRITORY,
Fort Towson, C. N., August 18, 1864.
General E. KIRBY SMITH,
Commanding Trans-Mississippi Department, Shreveport, La.:
GENERAL: Colonel Adair, Second Cherokee Regiment, Watie's brigade, was at my headquarters this morning on business, and laid before me and expedition which General watie is anxious to undertake. General W. has for a long time desired a movement of this kind. He directed Colonel A. to lay the same before me, and if I regard if favorably to notify him, and he would present it in writing in full. Believing that, in view of probable quiet below - that is, no effort to regain Little Rock and Pine Bluff this fall - this movement would be the best that could be made for this district I have thought proper to lay it before you. I do this, as the last orders I received on the subject of this command were to hold it in readiness to co-operate with movements below, orders under date May 19 last. Should General Watie prove successful it will be such a diversion as will prevent movements south from Fort Smith or Fort Gibson, and if well conducted will be attended with material results. i respectfully solicit an early reply. Since commencing this letter I have received the inclosed information from Fort Smith.* This additional force was doubtless sent in consequence of the recent demonstration of General Cooper in vicinity of Fort Smith, and is probably only designed to strengthen the garrison, though Cloud's reappearance may portend a cavalry raid. I have been much surprised that he has not done so before.
I wrote to you some time ago requesting you if you could spare him to send Captain Oldham, assistant adjutant-general, to me. Oldham has been with me a great deal and feels like one of the family.
Let me urge you, general, to stir up the clothing men on that question for this district.
Various unofficial letters have been received here from officers who express great apprehensions of an emeute amongst the troops unless they see some fair showing. The command has been actively employed in the field ever since it started to Arkansas, 5th of April last, and is literally ragged and barefoot. I know a word from you will do more good than all the representations and requisitions on staff officers of the quartermaster's department that could be made out. I am uneasy about this thing. I think my arrangements for shoes will probably do, but orders on Huntsville and san Antonio are good enough for the future, provided anything ever comes of them, but won's of them, but wont's supply present necessities. Shirts, drawers, socks, and pants are necessary for decency.
I heard unofficially the other day that you were quite unwell. I hope you have by this time recovered.
Very respectfully, general, your friend and obedient servant,
S. B. MAXEY,
Blankets are very rare in this district. I hope that provision will be made.
[AUGUST 19, 1864.- For Taylor to Smith, in reference to crossing the Mississippi, &c., See Part I, p. 111.]
* Not found.