War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0462 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI Chapter LIII.

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personal attention. When the mesquite roots have all been consumed we shall have growing quite a forest of wood for fuel if we plant from 5,000 to 10,000 trees per annum. Captain Calloway informed me that immense numbers could be easily procured.

5 P. M.

Your letter of the 28th ultimo has just been received. The Indians must be contented with the amount of food now ordered to be issued to them, i. e., twenty ounces per day of solid food to each individual. Major McCleave, First Cavalry California Volunteers, is the officer I propose to send to your post to act as commissary. Please make arrangements to have a certain census off all captive Indians on the reservation made the 30th instant by actual count. At that time it will be well to know the strength of each family, with age, sex, of each. Report the number, age, sex, of the orphan children, and what plan you have adopted with reference to their cases. This will be an e special report required for the War Department. Pray let it be as full and complete as possible, and give the amount and kind of stock owned by each family, or each Indian, as the case may be. If you require any more of the tin ticket to facilitate the issue of rations, please write to Captain Shoemaker to have them made, stating the number and size (with regard to figures stamped on them) of what you require. It is left with yourself to invest the money due to Indians for fodder as you may think will most conduce to their interests. A fund should be formed to provide grape cuttings and to pay for pumpkin, melon, chile, and other seeds. Please let me know if many seeds have been saved for planting, and what you will require. The seed wheat must be selected from the wheat you have on hand as far as possible. Suppose, for example, you cause to be sown, say, 3,000 acres. This will take from 4,500 bushels to 6,000 bushels, equal to 300,000 pounds- a frightful quantity considering the scarcity. It will not do to trust to much to the corn crop. Besides, if the wheat is sown early and matures early, beans can be raised on the same ground next summer, a great gain. The Indians destroy a great deal of the corn crop by eating the corn before the ears are filled. Separate ground should be planted to be depredated on, so that the main fields would be left intact to ripen. Captain Bell, commissary of subsistence, has bought twelve new plows. These shall be sent down as soon as they come. If all the able-bodied Indians will keep busily at work now, and day by day, until the next planting season has passed, 10,000 acres can be put in seed with ease. The 4,000 sheep have been bought and are en route to you. The fleeces should be given to the poorest Indians. Please inform me of how much these sheep average in weight per head, taking every ounce that can be issued as food. If the commissary would arrange to have all the blood of slaughtered cattle and sheep saved to be made into haggis and blood-puddings is would be great foot for the orphan children who go to the school. The scarcity of food in the country will very great, and every resource must be tried to economize, or there will be positive suffering before the next crop will gathered. Please have the land which is to be cultivated measured. A calculation can easily be made which will determine beyond a doubt the number of acres. Delays in the arrival of the mail have detained me from going below. I shall some time this week and shall endeavor to return via Fort Summer.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant.


Brigadier-General, Commanding.