War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0014 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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San Antonio, March 12, 1861.

Lieutenant Colonel L. THOMAS,

Headquarters of the Army, Washington, D. C.

COLONEL: I have the honor to inform you that a communication, under date of 25th ultimo,* was received on the 8th instant from Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Reeve, captain, Eighth Infantry, advising me of the arrival at that post [Fort Bliss] of the "four companies of the Eighth Infantry recently stationed in the Department of New Mexico - the last one, Company B (Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Reeve's), arriving on the 21st instant" (February).

Brevet Major Sprague's company (E, Eighth Infantry) left Fort Bliss the 25th ultimo for Fort Davis, under Lieutenant Frank, Eighth Infantry.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding Department.


San Antonio, March 13, 1861.

Lieutenant Colonel L. THOMAS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.

COLONEL: The want of co-operation on the part of the commissioners, who have the entire control of the means of transportation; the great distance from this place to El Paso; the uncertainty in relation to the condition of things at the several posts on the upper Rio Grande, especially in regard to their facilities for the transportation of baggage, supplies, &c., and the difficulties which attend the march of troops and the movement of trains at this season of the year over a large portion of the route - have caused so many delays that I was not able until yesterday to entirely complete the arrangements necessary to bring the troops down from those distant posts.

The three companies at El Paso with probably leave that post about the 25th of this month, and, with the four companies now at Fort Quitman, Fort Davis, and Fort Stockton, may be expected to be at the coast and ready to embark in about forty days from that date. The last returns show the strength of the several companies to be 14 officers and about 426 enlisted men, laundresses, &c. As it is not possible for the companies above mentioned to embark before the first week in May, transports for that number of troops will not be required until that time.

To a certain extent the same uncertainty as to the time the troops can be assembled and ready for embarkation which prevented my stating in any of my former communications the exact time the transports would be wanted still hangs over our future movements. this arises from the confused condition of affairs in this department, the interference of the commissioners, and my having but a limited control over the means necessary to move the troops.

I am now concentrating the troops at a camp established at Green Lake, some twenty miles from Indianola, the nearest point to the coast where pure water, fuel, and good grazing can easily be obtained.

By my present arrangements, I think I shall be able to assemble by the 10th of April and have ready for the transports some 45 officers and