portion of Dakota Territory lying along and east of Missouri River, one infantry regiment and six companies of cavalry; in Kansas, to include the Upper Arkansas River as far as to include Fort Lyon, one regiment and one battalion of infantry and seven companies of cavalry; in Colorado Territory, one infantry regiment and five companies of cavalry; in Nebraska and Montana and that portion of Dakota, Territory west and south of the Missouri River, two regiments of infantry and one of cavalry; in Utah, one regiment of infantry and one of cavalry. This is the least force, in my opinion, which can perform the service required. West of Fort Leavenworth there are 3,500 miles of overland routes to California and New Mexico to protect. The whole distance traversed is through the Indian country, and the overland routes are new and will for some time be infested by wandering parties of lawless white men, lately bushwhackers and deserters from the army, and men from the disbanded rebel armies. These men prowl through that whole region of country and are more dangerous to travelers than the Indians themselves. All outrages committed by them are, however, charged upon Indians, and it requires great vigilance to prevent retaliation from being practiced upon Indians guiltless of offense. A mush larger force is required on the plains than has heretofore been considered necessary, arising from the state of facts set forth in my communication of August 1 to Colonel R. M. Sawyer, assistant adjutant-general, Military Division of the Mississippi, an extract from which is submitted. *
By the 15th of October at latest the whole force of this department will be reduced to the number above stated, and expenditures brought down to that scale. I need not say that the accumulation of supplies on the plains and the large requisitions sent on were made before I came into command of this department. My whole attention has been given since I assumed command to reduce everything to the lowest point which actual necessity demands. As there seems to be great anxiety and some misapprehension in Washington concerning the condition of troops in this department, I have the honor to request that copies of this letter be furnished to the General-in-Chief and Secretary of War.
I am, general, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE UPPER ARKANSAS,
Fort Riley, Kans., August 25, 1865.
Commanding at Larned, Kans.:
COLONEL: I am expecting orders reducing my command, and also to garrison the Smoky Hill route, and do not expect to be able to leave with You much more than Your regiment to manage Your sub-district. I simply write this to show that it will be better to make as few changes as possible until the new order of things is established. The remaining portion of Your regiment will leave here on Monday next and come through at once to You, and I may soon want the Fourteenth Missouri Cavalry to move up on the Smoky Hill route. I would recommend that You more as few troops as possible until we know what amount of force
* The extract (omitted) begins with "The Indian question is the most difficult" (p. 1150), and ends with "expenses can be easily settled" (p. 1153.)