HDQRS. DISTRICT OF INDIAN TERRITORY, Numbers 71.
Fort Towson, C. N., December 14, 1864
I. It having come to the knowledge of the major-general commanding that numbers of persons are calling on the quartermasters in this district for forage without evidence of authority for absence from their respective commands, thus consuming the supplies gathered for the use of the commands at localities where stored, it is hereby ordered that no quartermaster or agent will issue forage to officers or soldiers absent general officer or brigade commander or post commandant for such absence.
By order of Major General S. B. Maxey;
T. M. SCOTT,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS.
Washington, December 15, 1864.
General E. KIRBY SMITH,
Commanding Trans-Mississippi Department:
GENERAL; General Rains is here representing that he is acting under your orders and those of Governor Reynolds. He has about 200 men. I have heard he is a man of bad habits, and from what I have seen, believe it. His men are under no control; they are lawless, and have been and are depredating on the citizens. I have no cavalry in hand that I can rely on to prevent this. I desire to be authorized to cause these men to be dismounted and turned over to Parsons' division until they can be disposed of by the infantry organization of Price's army, as contemplated, allowing them to keep their infantry arms and issuing their cavalry arms and equipments with their horses (after appraisement) to the cavalry. I have not the least hope of obtaining these men, arms, and horses unless allowed to use Gano's brigade. No time is to be lost. I therefore beg that this and all other suggestions made by me on the subject of the reorganization or connected with it be answered as soon as possible, for I am anxious as you can be to proceed rapidly with it. You seem to think that Price's army is in hand whilst only about 3,500 of them can be so considered, and if I dismount and organize these the others may never come. Should this occur we shall not only lose the men, but what is of far more importance, their horses, mules, and arms. Even the order, Numbers 90, which you sent me, to dismount those who have joined since the 31st of August, 1864, will cause many to stay away, and of those present many will escape. I intended to have dismounted all by a general order, then by confidential instructions given at the same time to have retained the regiments necessary to form the prescribed number of brigades, and to have furnished these retained regiments with the necessary horses and cavalry arms taken from those who are to remain as infantry after the mules were taken and the artillery supplied. All this is very difficult, even when backed by you, for every step must be legal or the officers and men cannot be punished by court-martial for disobedience of orders, I am told, when you dismounted Dockery's brigade and were acquitted, and I am informed that no horses or mules were obtained. The men own their horses, saddles, and bridles, and in many cases their arms.