HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WESTERN ARIZONA,
Tucson, Ariz. Ter., October 2, 1862.
Lieutenant W. A. THOMPSON,
First Infty. California Vols., Actg. Asst. Adjt. General,
District of Arizona, Mesilla, Ariz. Ter.:
LIEUTENANT: I have to report that in obedience to General Orders, Numbers 20, from headquarters of the District of Arizona, I relieved Major D. Fergusson, in command of the District of Western ARizona, on the 27th ultimo. Assuming the command near the end of the quarter, I have not yet had time to make myself thoroughly acquainted with the condition of affairs within the district, but there are some things that have already come under my congnizance, concerning which I desire full information and instruction. First, in regard to the force at present stationed within the district. I consider it inadequate for the duties required under General Orders, Numbers 11, headquarters of the Column from California. The return will exhibit the fact that there are but little over 200 men in the whole district for duty. These men have to perform garrison duty at this post, at San Pedro Crossing, and at Cerro Colorado, besides furnishing escorts to every party which it is necessary to send two miles from town. In this connection, within the past two months rich mines have been discovered at Fresnal, and reliable information has been received that there is now a foreign mining population of at least 500 persons at that place. I deem it highly important that at least one company of infantry and a detachment of cavalry should be stationed there to preserve order. Major Fergusson appointed a local judge for that place, but among the class of persons who usually congregate at those localities it will be impossible for him to administer justice without sufficient power to enforce his authority. I would also respectfully suggest to the colonel commanding the District of Arizona the propriety of assessing and collecting a foreign miners' tax at the Fresnal mines. I also respectfully call the attention of the colonel commanding to the small force of cavalry stationed here. There are now but eighteen men of Company E, First Cavalry, not sufficient to furnish the necessary escort to Major Fergusson on his exibertad. After Major Fergusson's departure there will be none to do express duty and other duties highly essential which pertain to the proper adminstration of the affairs of the district. Secondly, I desire that I may be fully informed concerning the prisoners who were sent from this place to Fort Yuma, and the disposition which was made of their property, with the necessary instructions in the premises. Many of them have returned to Tucson, released by order of General Wright, commanding Department of the Pacific, and persistently urge claims for property which they allege was taken from them when arrested. There are no records here throwing any light upon the subject; not a paper relating to the proceedings of military commissions or showing what property was taken from them at the time of their arrest, or what disposition was subsequently made of it. The urging of the claims of these men is ver annoying to the commanding officer here, and he can only acknowledge his ignorance of the transactions and refer them to those in authority at the time. I respectfully request, therefore, if I am expected to take any action in these matters (and I would suggest that some action is necessary to preserve inviolate the credit for hnor and integrity of the Government), that the information asked for may be furnished. Thirdly, in relation to the post at Apache Pass, Fort Bowie. In consequence of
10 R R-VOL L, PT II