FORT LARNED, KANS., December 14, 1864.
Lieutenant J. E. TAPPAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: The Santa Fe coach has just arrived from Fort Lyon and brings in news of a fight with the Indians thirty miles from that fort, in which 10 soldiers were killed and 38 wounded, and from 250 to 280 Indians killed. These Indians were those that have been camped around Fort Lyon for some time past. Colonel Chivington is reported as being in command of the force on our side, assisted by Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony.
Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony sends word that it will not be safe to send the stage through with less then fifty men, and as this garrison cannot afford so large an escort the stage will be obliged to wait. Lieutenant Crocker has detained it under General Field Orders, Numbers 2. I report to you for instructions. I Know of no other way at present than to let part of the force at Fort Zarah come up here and help this post do the escorting between this fort and Fort Lyon. From what I can learn, I think it hazardous to start out a less number than fifty, and that number cannot be spared from here without disobeying General Orders, Numbers 2. The Indians will, no doubt, be exasperated by the late action at Fort Lyon, and we have every reason to suppose will harass the travel on the road more than ever. If any way can be found by which a sufficient escort can be procured I shall proceed to Fort Lyon with as little delay as possible.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain and Chief of Cavalry.
East Pascagoula, December 15, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that I landed at this point with my command early this morning, and that a considerable force, under Colonel Bertram, is now advanced about nine miles along the Mobile road. Upon arriving here I found that the place had been evacuated by the enemy about three days ago, and that all their troops have been ordered within the fortifications surrounding Mobile, in anticipation of an attack upon that city. The telegraph wires have been moved by order, and there is the greatest possible excitement respecting our projected movements.
If you desire that the Mobile and Ohio Railroad shall be rendered useless to the enemy, I can destroy it effectually by having the co-operation of the cavalry force under General Davidson, and if you will order him to report with it to me I can control that road entirely. The force about Mobile is small, and many of the troops would offer but little resistance to our advance. I will advise you of my movements by every opportunity. If you wish to carry out General Grant's instructions by breaking the Mobile and Ohio road and threatening Selma, in my judgment it can be done more effectually from this point than all others. The rebels admit that the war is carried into Georgia and every man is being pushed in that direction. I would, therefore, suggest that not less than 15,000 infantry and your available cavalry be concentrated at and near this point, at the earliest possible day.