securely. Return to this post, starting from San Diego Corssing on the 15th instant. Advise me of anything important that may occur.
Very resepcetfully, your obedient servant,
J. R. WEST,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARIZONA,
Mesilla, March 5, 1863.
Captain WILLIAM McCLEAVE,
First Cavalry California Volunteers, Commanding Fort West:
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to inclosure for your information copy of a letter from the general commanding department, dated 27th of February (with an inclosure from the superintendent of Indian affairs), giving his views as to the measures that should be taken as to the permanent establishement of Fort West*. The commencement of the erection of buildings at the post, you will observe by the letter of the general commanding, is made to depend upon the contigency of my making plans for the work and an estimate of the cost without Captain Anderson's visiting the site. This I shall apprise the commanding general I scarcely consider practicable, and certainly injudicious. Without a plot of the site selected and a knowledge of its surroundings, any plans formed by me would in all probablity be inapplicable in fact, and I must know the facilities that exist for procuring material before being able to from a just estimate of the cost. In reflecting upon the ability of any officer under your command to make plans and estimates for the work, I am forced to the conclusion that it would be injudicious to instruct any one of them with that duty. Should these reasons have weight the commanding general, a competent officer will no doubt be sent to Fort West to make the plans and estimates. You will therefore not undertake the construction of any permanent buildings until further orders. This, however, leaves you at full liberty to provide temporary quarters for your men, should such be necessary and their construction not interfere with an active pursuit of the Indians. There are other matters in the letter of the general commanding that should claim your attention. The planting of corn, the cultivation of a garden (the seeds have not yet reached here, but will shortly), and the gathering in of hay are matters that will contribute to the efficiency and ement of your post and to the comfort and health of your command. Plows will be applied for and sent to you, also work oxen. Lieutenant French goes forward to-day with a train of supplies for your post. It is evidently the anxious desire of the general commanding to supply you with all that can contribute to yur efficiency and well being. I shall take pleasure in carrying out his views, and shall rely upon you to communicate freely your wants. A supply of corn should be with you by this time. You must exercise you judgment as to its consuption, with a view to recruiting your stock. On foot or mounted, your troops are to make war against the Indians. That must be the business of your command, and all other duties but the spare tiem from your primary occupation. Indian women and children are to be taken cpatives when possible and reported to these headquarters, but against the men you to make war, and war means killing.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. R. WEST,
* Letter and inclosure not found.