at the steamers, eighteen miles below Clarksville, to load with forage, and cannot be back here before the 26th instant. I have here twenty-seven pieces of artillery, but no artillery or cavalry horses. I can only move the artillery by taking mule teams, which will require fifty, thus leaving me but fifty teams for other transportation. A train is on the way from Fort Scott to this place. I sent two regiments up to meet it seven days ago. I do not know how large the train is. It will probably reach here by the 1st of January, and I cannot move before these trains arrive. I have here about 170 tons of ordnance stores and 205 tons of quartermaster's stores (serviceable property, mostly new). When we leave Fort Smith the inhabitants will be left at the mercy of guerrillas, and loyal people will be subjected to terrible suffering. Those who are not killed outright will be robbed of their subsistence, and in a short time will be in an actual state of starvation. There are at least 500 persons, both white and black, who have no transportation, and there is none that can be obtained here. These people will have to leave here, and humanity demands that we should furnish them the means of getting away. I respectfully but earnestly ask that a train as large as can be spared be sent here from Little Rock to assist in transporting Government stores and removing these people. The Indian troops at Fort Gibson were raised for service in the Indian Territory, and I am satisfied that any attempt to remove them from that Territory would prove disastrous, as they would become entirely demoralized and utterly unfit for duty elsewhere. All those Indians not in the service are of that class denominated refuges, and should they be moved in any direction it should be toward Fort Scott, Kans., and unless I receive instructions to the contrary I shall leave the Indian troops where they now are. I will be making all my preparations to move as soon as my trains arrive, and there will be time for me to send this dispatch and receive an answer from you before their arrival. Please send me a dispatch informing me if you will send up a train.
JOHN M. THAYER,
HEADQUARTERS SAINT LOUIS DISTRICT, Numbers 269.
Saint Louis, Mo., December 17, 1864.
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5. Colonel Maupin, Forty-seventh Missouri Volunteers, is hereby relieved from duty as commander of the Third Sub-District, Saint Louis District, and will proceed to join his regiment at Cairo, Ill., without delay.
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9. Colonel Maupin having been relieved as commander of the Third Sub-District by Special Orders, Numbers 269, extract 5, Lieutenant Colonel H. M. Hiller, Second Cavalry Missouri State Militia, is hereby assigned to the command of that sub-district, with his headquarters at Pilot Knob, Mo.
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By order of Brigadier-General Ewing:
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.