HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
May 16, 1865-4. 40 p. m.
The Fifty-third Wisconsin is ordered to report to you.
J. W. BARNES,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, Wis., May 16, 1865.
Colonel OSCAR MALMROS,
Adjutant-General, Saint Paul, Minn.:
Yours of the 12th instant, thanking me for the readiness to promote the efficiency of the State troops now organized or organizing for the purpose of assisting in the protection of our frontier settlements by furnishing the militia, whenever necessary, with transportation, subsistence, and ammunition, is duly received. I hope my remarks were not so construed as to cause expectations which I may not have power to carry out. In my operations in departments south of this I have furnished militia with such articles and accommodations when in actual field service with my Federal troops, and suppose I will be authorized to continue the policy in this department, but I had much to do with the determination as to when and where and how the militia should serve. I hoped to have met your Governor, who is commander-in-chief of the militia, so as to have a full understanding of the kind of co-operations which should be practiced in case of the calling out of militia. I am very anxious to have them organized, armed, and always ready. In the event of their being called, I want entire and cordial co-operation and combination, so as to make the very best use of numbers and time. It is also desirable to arrange official rank so as to secure harmony and efficiency at all time sand under all circumstances. I have explained my views to General Sully and Colonel Smith, but do not so well understand your laws and preliminary organizations as to rely much on my own views as to the best arrangements of such important relations, so that in the event of serious trouble the troops may all be ready and useful. It is also desirable to have the militia certain of pay only in the event of their prompt and continued obedience to orders when called to the field. To secure this, payment should only be made to those who receive certificates of their fidelity to their proper commanders. I write making only suggestions which are the results of some experience and to secure the utmost strength to our frontier with the least possible expense to State and Federal authorities. While prompt measures have been taken to avert danger, I desire to make very little display of our numbers, locations, and movements, for I perceive Indians have such an intercourse with the whites, and good and evil so intermixed, the culprits will get intelligence of our strategy, and if possible seek to avid it. No orders have been issued as yet concerning the militia.
Hoping that those at present in the service are properly provided for, I have the honor to be, your very obedient servant,
S. R. CURTIS,