War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0218 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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WASHINGTON, October 24, 1864.

Brigadier General JOHN M. THAYER,

Fort Smith, Ark.:

Price will be closely pursued from Missouri to the Arkansas River. The quartermaster's department and General Steele have been directed to supply you from Little Rock, as trains cannot be sent from Fort Scott. In the meantime you must collect all the supplies you can from the surrounding country, taking them from the rebel inhabitants. If necessary to concentrate all your forces in Fort Smith, do so. Steele and J. J. Reynolds are collecting forces to meet Price on his return. General Canby is also by this time at the mouth of White River.

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE FRONTIER,

Fort Smith, Ark., October 24, 1864.

Colonel WATTLES:

DEAR SIR: If there is any corn belonging to Captain Durbin still remaining at Gibson keep it and grind it into meal for your troops. I have supposed you could a good supply of corn in your vicinity. I don't mind what price you have to pay for it, or what inducements you offer to Indians to bring in cattle or corn. Secure all you can. Seize whatever you find to subsist your troops. Keep scouts up north and northeast of you, so as to hear of Price if he comes this way or your way. Forward the dispatch* to Colonel Jennison and inform him if the force crossed the Arkansas as your Indians reported. Send your messengers by a route so as not run into the enemy.

Very respectfully,

JOHN M. THAYER,

Brigadier-General.

P. S.-You can keep your stock on hay, and not feed out corn.

J. M. T.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE FRONTIER,

Fort Smith, Ark., October 24, 1864.

Colonel C. R. JENNISON,

Fort Scott, Kans.:

SIR: I have no late intelligence as to the whereabouts of General Price, and cannot, therefore, advise as to the starting of the train for this place. Colonel Wattles informs me that his Indians have reported to him that a large force of Cooper's command, with artillery, had crossed the Arkansas forty miles above Fort Gibson. If this is true they are probably looking for the train. Colonel Wattles will advise you by this same messenger as to whether the force has crossed or not. I am anxious to have the train start soon, but there must be a sufficient escort with it to insure its safety. Please send messengers through to Fort Gibson as often as you have any information of interest to communicate.

Very respectfully,

JOHN M. THAYER,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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