Plant, in the vicinity of which it will remain for a few days and then move to the neighborhood of Madison, on the Saint Francis. After clearing that country thoroughly, without, however, crossing the Saint Francis, unless perfectly convenient, it will move to Helena for supplies, sending a week's previous notice that supplies may be on hand. It will remain in Helena only long enough to replenish supplies and rest, and will then move into the Indian Bay country, where it will remain as long as forage can be obtained, when it will return to Brownsville, crossing White River at Clarendon or below, as may be most convenient. The commanding officer of the expedition will, whenever it is practicable, send semi-weekly reports direct to these headquarters by telegraph from Devall's Bluff. As often as he gathers a sufficient number of beeves he will send them to the acting commissary of subsistence at Devall's Bluff. He will provide himself with blank memorandum receipts for beeves, and will cause all beeves, except those properly subject to confiscation, to be receipted for whenever the owner can be found. He will also cause all forage and provisions consumed by his command, unless the property of notorious rebels, to be receipted for in such manner that the proprietors will have no trouble in getting their pay. The commander of the expedition will keep his troops scattered over the country in which he may be operating as much as is consistent with safety and discipline for the purpose of rooting out the bushwhackers and procuring supplies and beeves. But he will at all times have his command in such condition that it may be concentrated at short notice for the purpose of acting against any considerable force of the enemy or of obeying any orders he may received. He will communicate his instructions to his second in command, but to no one else, and will take especial pains that his plans do not become known to the inhabitants.
By command of Brigadier General E. A. Carr:
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. SECOND SUB-DISTRICT OF SOUTH KANSAS,
Fort Scott, Kans., December 29, 1864.
Colonel S. H. WATTLES,
Commanding Indian Brigade, Fort Gibson, C. N.:
COLONEL: General Thayer is anxious to get the two mule trains that are here down to Gibson as soon as possible and has written to me to forward them without delay. Accordingly I shall start them on the 2nd proximo, but as there are only about sixty of your me here and I have no troops that can possibly be spared (my men being dismounted by the recent campaign) you will have to send re-enforcements up to meet it. They should meet it, if possible, at Cow Creek. I wrote Colonel Dole requesting him to come clear up with the ox train and take these wagons down, but his hoarders did not allow him to comply. All my mounted troops are at Newtonia and I can't send any one. I therefore trust you will promptly re-enforce the train, as General Thayer is anxious for the wagons, and they will start on the 3rd without fail. There will be fifty mule teams and I shall load them with subsistence for your command exclusively.
In great haste, very truly, your obedient servant,
CHAS. W. BLAIR,