HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, Mo., May 25, 1865.
Major General J. J. REYNOLDS,
Commanding Department of Arkansas, Little Rock, Ark.:
GENERAL: Do you not think that the Third U. S. Cavalry had best be sent here to be recruited and remounted? Both can probably be done here at once. Where they are it will be difficult. If they are not absolutely necessary please send them here at once. Of course, you must be the judge of what troops and how many can be spared from your department for General Sheridan. I suppose that there are really very few fit to go, even if you could spare them. Do the best you can, however, for Sheridan. Whilst I am very unwilling that you yourself should leave Arkansas, I shall not, of course, oppose any sort of obstacle to your going. For reasons I have written you, I think your position as department commander much more desirable than any you can have in Texas, and that you have where you are a fine field for usefulness and distinction. Of these things, however, you shall be the judge.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS,
Little Rock, Ark., May 25, 1865.
Colonel A. R. WITT:
COLONEL: Yours of the 18th instant is received. In answer I have to say that the request to disarm certain companies organized for neighborhood protection cannot be complied with at the present time. These companies, it is hoped, may be disarmed and disbanded at an early day, which day will, however, be postponed until all men now in arms against the Government lay down their arms and give their paroles. These armed companies or colonies are ordered not to commit depredations on unarmed men or peaceably disposed citizens, and information to the contrary, by whomsoever given, will be willingly received at any of our posts, and if sustained by evidence the offenders shall be brought to immediate punishment. The citizens who have taken no part in the war are no required to come forward now and take any oath. They are expected to attend to their business and conduct themselves as good citizens until the President shall issue a proclamation covering their cases, which will be published for their guidance. Officers from here are now en route to Wittsburg, and will be at Jacksonport on the 5th proximo to receive paroles. These officers meet others from Saint Louis, who have instructions from Major-General Pope. If these instructions do not prohibit it, I am willing that the men of your command shall retain their horses for agricultural purposes, and if they require seed corn on application to the nearest post commander they will receive it in reasonable quantities. Every encouragement will be given for all men to return to peaceful pursuits, and those who continue in any other attitude will be promptly pursuits, and those who continue in any other attitude will be promptly disposed of. All citizens are invited to give information at the nearest military post of the whereabouts of marauders of any description.
J. J. REYNOLDS,